Misrepresenting My Wife. Oops.
I’ve made no effort to hide my struggles in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and everything else 2020 has thrown at us. I’ve made my difficulties, doubts, and sleepless nights public knowledge in the hopes that anyone reading about them won’t feel like they’re alone in their own struggles.
But a conversation with a dear friend made me realize I’d been neglecting to mention an important aspect of my life in quarantine. My friend asked, with genuine concern, “So, is your wife doing anything to help you with your mental struggles? Or is she just leaving you up at night, alone with your thoughts?” It struck me, then, that in sharing my struggles I’d neglected to publicly recognize my support system.
This was, at first, a conscious choice. I know I’m lucky. As difficult as it’s been to be stuck at home with an energetic five year old for three months, I’ve got advantages a lot of people may not have. I’ve got a loving spouse. I’ve only got one child to look after, and not only is he in good health but also generally well-behaved. Both my wife and I are still working. I am so grateful for all these things, but I didn’t want to inadvertently recreate the “At Least I Have A Husband” scene from Airplane!
I had become, it seems, a little too careful. So careful and silent about my support system that at least one well-meaning friend was convinced I didn’t have one at all! So let this be my one and only recognition of my advantages, my public show of gratitude for my amazing wife, beautiful son, and my support network of generous friends, so that no one will ever have to worry about me again, even in the times of my worst headspace.
But if you’re reading this and it managed to recreated that scene from Airplane! please know that it was an accident.