Letters to L: ¨We were robbed¨

Dear L, 

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, but there’s no time like the present. We are currently in the middle of a pandemic, a worldwide shut down due to a virus caused by a single animal. You and I have been stuck inside for 29 days now since the school shut down, 32 since the last Thursday we went to school. As of April 1st, we heard that school was not going to be in session till the next school year, cutting both our memorable years short. 

We were robbed.

You were robbed. 

I was robbed. 

I lost having lunches with my friends, talking about stupid things that made us laugh. I lost my sport, my performances that were just around the corner. I lost weekends with friends, dates, and outings. I lost emotional and physical contact, the very things I thrive on, the things that keep me sane and happy. I lost memories. I lost the chance to wear the last day of school outfit I wear every year. I lost the chance to finally put myself out there. I lost some of the best teachers I’ve had. I lost my normal. 

You lost seeing your friends every day. You lost your school activities and spirt week, the things that any little kid looks forward to. You lost the opportunity to learn next to your best friends, to learn from a teacher you actually liked. You lost the weekend playdates you had with your best friend. You lost packed lunches and buying lunch, things you always planned the night before with excitement. You lost morning drives with Mom, with music playing and you telling her your hopes and fears for the day. You lost spelling quizzes that we always tested you on in the mornings and reading club that you were doing so well in. 

You lost your birthday.

We lost so much. 

I think the thing the hardest is just adjusting to our new “normals.” 

I was used to having at least seven hours away from our family, a time that I needed to refocus on myself and my schoolwork instead of whatever crazy thing we had going on in our family. Now, I’m used to seeing both mom and dad every day without a break longer than an hour. I’m used to going to bed at 2 am and to you waking me up at 10 am every day for “school”. I’m used to the crowding of our dining table as you and I work on our schoolwork together while mom does work and helps you. 

What I’m not used to is feeling sad and falling into a deep depression at least once a week.

As we all know, both you and me and everyone who has read these letters, I have a past relationship with depression and anxiety. And sadly, it’s coming back in small waves. 

Now I don’t claim to have a hard life or that were struggling as much as people in Italy, for example. I know we are very lucky to be healthy and safe for the time being. But everyone has problems, and they are all valid, remember that. We shouldn’t compare our problems to those of others because maybe something someone is struggling with doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to us, but it could be the hardest thing they’ve ever had to deal with. And for me, being without outside human contact for 32 days is hard. Not being able to feel the sun on my face or go on random drives with my friends is killing me. I can’t even dance anymore; I have no room in our house. My body and my mind are struggling, both falling out of shape, and I can’t seem to find the strength to fix them. I have no more motivation. 

But there have been some new things that have come out of this quarantine that I’ve actually grown to enjoy. 

I love having time to do things I wasn’t able to during school, like read for pleasure and to organize my room. I love bonding with mom, something we weren’t able to do that much before all this craziness happened. I love having my blinds open to let in the sun, something I never used to do since I got home so late and took advantage of the time I got with the sun. I love having little dance parties with you, both of us singing and dancing our little hearts out. I love getting creative in ways to connect with people, from facetime calls to Netflix parties across our computers. I love trying to improve my cooking skills, even though we all know that I’ll never be the renowned chef I joke I am. 

I’m honestly not sure as to what this letter is meant to be. Maybe just a way for you to learn about a time we all went through, maybe an outlet for me to get my feelings out. I guess I’m finding these letters to be helpful for hopefully not only you but for me as well.

Even though you and I fight during these times, and I’m sure everyone reading this is having their own problems being stuck inside with their families, I hope you know that I love you and I love everyone reading this. We all need to stay connected during this time, and we need to be there for each other, so please stay positive and find the little things that are keeping you sane. 

And L, when you read this later on in your life, please know that although we all never thought this would happen during our or anyone else’s lifetime, we got through it together. Through all the struggles and all the things we all lost, we still made it. We lost so much, but we gained a better relationship and a better understanding of each other. We gained love.