I am pretty sure COVID19 is going to have lasting impacts.
I do not think anything will ever be the same again. And no, I am not just talking about losing loved ones and the immense loss that brings. Our culture will never be the same. Handshaking may not return for decades, people will be wearing masks for a very long time. As I think about all of the changes to life as we knew it, I realize that prisons will be one of the places that will surely experience the most changes.
"Right now, we are all living our lives in quarantine as we practice social distancing to slow the spread of this virus."
Through this, we are experiencing a fraction of what our loved ones in prison live with every day. All of the constraints and rules on where we can go, when stores are open, and who we should be in contact with remind me of the restrictions of prison and parole. Yet, we still have a TON more freedom than any prisoner in the United States. We get to choose how we spend our days, where we work, who we communicate with, and how often. Our phones and the internet provide countless opportunities to check in on our friends and families. Prisoners do not have that luxury—not even in quarantine.
Freedom is a big deal, and the freedoms you do have should not be ignored.
You have the freedom to set your schedule, choose your meals, and stay connected to people outside the gates as often as you want to check on them. Technology is your new best friend out here! You can shop, or choose to have someone else do it for you. You can decide when to get up, and when to go to bed. The options for staying busy out here are literally limitless—movies, free courses, books, games, taking a walk, going for a drive, cooking, baking, working on a project, and many more. You need to focus on the freedoms you do have to relieve stress, discouragement, and frustration.
I know that your loved one is locked down and is especially in danger of contracting COVID19 inside of a prison; to be sure that has a direct effect on you. Feeling helpless is the worst! The limited privileges they did enjoy have surely been stripped away, and they are spending hours locked in their units with restricted access to you. Truly both of you feel the turmoil of quarantined life.
That is why you must stay positive and invest in your family.
It’s important to realize your words of encouragement, consistent communication, and steady mind are providing normalcy to your loved one and children. When fear threatens sanity, your best response is a calm response. Surely the uncertainty we are facing provides an opportunity for your family to press in harder to your shared faith. The loss of contact with our loved ones is profoundly affecting us, and that loss will not be ignored.
You may find yourself more impatient, distracted, or unsettled right now. It is OK. These feelings are normal. You are grieving the loss of life as you knew it. Access to your husband, the disruption of your regular routine, and also financial challenges are all contributing to the effects of your current emotional state. Recognizing the grief you are experiencing is of course critical to managing your response to everything you have lost. Crying, journaling, and talking to trusted friends are all healthy ways to release some of the pressure. However, you do not have to pretend that this is easy. Be honest with yourself and identify how this is impacting your life.
The more self-aware you are, then the better prepared you are to self-regulate.
Self-regulation builds resiliency. Your family will be safer from disruptions when resiliency has been cultivated. You can do this! You rebuilt your life after it was shattered before. Despite this, do not let this virus and the quarantined life you are living rob you of your hope for the future. Keep pressing on, keep fighting for your family, and keep working toward your dreams. This chapter will come to an end.
The Shelter in Place orders have caused a lot of havoc on our communities, but they will not last forever. Take time every day to keep working on your future together. Now is not the time to pause on your plans, it is the time to work even harder for your legacy. Set a culture of hope in your home and moreover for your husband. Hope brings a sense of purpose, and the courage to brave the temporary setbacks. One day, the restrictions will be lifted, and then we will all come out of our homes. With this in mind, picture what that day will look like. Imagine your family and how much stronger they will be by then. You know what they say, the more significant the setback, then the greater the comeback. Get your family ready for your comeback!
I am rooting for you!