May 12, 2021

The Message that’s Waiting to be Found in our Exhaustion.

Writing, Editing, a Video Call, and a Shot: How an Exhausting Week helped me Connect.

This was a long and beautiful week of awakening.

I felt my innate human nature recognizing the connection we all crave and yet sometimes deny when we don’t feel worthy. As social creatures, we are wired to connect, and feeling a bond with my fellow humans again made the week’s fatigue hardly noticeable.


My writing has brought me out of my recent bout with depression. It’s become cathartic and is connecting me with people who may relate to my words. It is also exposing a bit of perfectionism and a desire for validation, but I welcome the awareness because I’m beginning to work through these things.

The article I wrote is about how getting in the flow state can be a problem for me, and writing it started off my week with a lack of sleep, unsurprisingly. But the comments of others who relate made the insomnia spurred on by its creation worth it.


Editing the work of my peers has become an enjoyable new challenge.

After I wrote my problem piece, I turned my attention to servicing my peers by helping them fine-tune their writing. Just like my own writing-in-the-flow problem, I lost myself in peer editing and again, lost some more sleep. It didn’t bother me though, because helping people connects me to a writing community which I love being a part of.

A Video Call

I tend to crawl into a cave when I’m not feeling worthy, hiding myself to lessen my burden on others, believing it’s too much for anyone but me to bear. When this happens, I won’t talk to my friends or family, sometimes for months and months.

This week I gathered the courage to reach out to a dear friend who I’ve been neglecting. I was worried she was done with me because a recent text had gone unanswered, but she responded and said she felt the same. She was also worried I’d moved on because she felt she was acting like a bad friend.

We both cried tears of relief and promptly scheduled a video call to catch up. Before we realized it, we’d been talking for many hours. Losing a little more sleep while connecting with my friend was a meager price to pay to feel her love again.

A Shot

My exhausting week ended with a bang when I was finally able to get my COVID vaccine.

Recently, my state opened up vaccine eligibility for everyone older than 16, but it’s been difficult to find an appointment. Luckily, I found a vaccine hub that had some available and was excited to get my first dose—but I was also extremely nervous because of my fear of needles.

In the beginning of this crazy pandemic, I wasn’t sure about getting the anticipated vaccine; then so many people started dying. During last summer’s second scary wave of cases, my husband had his third heart attack and was diagnosed with lung disease soon after. I knew the vaccine was necessary to save his life so I made up my mind to get it.

His high-risk status gave me a different perspective. It created empathy for others who are more negatively impacted by the pandemic—like Black Indigenous People of Color—and when I noticed most of the people getting vaccinated that day were BIPOC, I felt gratitude in my heart and that connection helped me forget about my fear.


Writing about this problem I have

of when I get in the flow state.

It’s all-consuming and keeps me up too late,

and I’ve learned that others can relate.


Editing words is a challenging pleasure

and I exhaust myself to make them read clear.

I dig shaping and sculpting the work of my peers

in support of the community I hold dear.


A long video call with a beloved soul

meant more than a tearful text.

Catching up for hours after months hiding our mess

dismissed our fear of being bad friends.


A COVID shot in my arm is the best way

to protect those at high-risk, like my husband.

Seeing so many BIPOC, my needle phobia was lessened,

and the love in my heart swelled with connection.

And as if this tiresome and fulfilling week of heartfelt connection couldn’t get any better, it was topped off with my 43rd trip around the sun.

The outpouring of messages, texts, and phone calls from my family and friends made me feel welcomed and accepted back into the land of the living and it felt so good.

I hope to never forget the power of human connection and to harness it—even when I feel unworthy.


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Crystal Tomlinson  |  Contribution: 35,540

author: Crystal Tomlinson

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