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30 Apr 2020

Divine Muva Diva: Sleep deprived – and I need a divorce

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April 30, 2020 Category: Commentary Posted by:

Dear Muva:

I am wondering if you can help me. Like everyone else, I have been dealing with the traumas from COVID-19, and the quarantine. I am really worried about family and friends who have either died or are extremely sick from this disease. In the middle of being home, I am finding that I cannot sleep, and I can go days without having a full night’s sleep. I have tried everything from meditation, to singing, to turning off social media, and nothing seems to be working for me. Help!

Signed, I feel like I am losing my mind.

Divine Muva Diva

Dear I feel like I am losing my mind,

Interestingly, you are not the only person who is dealing with such a conundrum. When we were first notified that this pandemic had hit the United States, everyone ran for toilet paper, masks, gloves, and food. Many people were checking in on each other. I was wondering if this was truly going to happen and if it was going to impact what we were hearing across the globe. 

We did not have long to wait, because shortly thereafter, despite all the warnings that we had been getting, we started to see signs of family members who were not only getting sick but dying from this dreaded disease.

It is one thing to watch on the outside, as it is affecting other families and other countries — it is quite another for it to affect us right here where we live and sleep. As a direct result, insomnia has become the thing that is affecting many .

What I have found that works on my end is not only shutting down social media an hour or so before I retire for the night, but finding meditation sounds that will go on for about an hour or two, and that usually works for me. It allows me to get at least 4 to 5 hours’ worth of sleep. That is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but it is something.

On days when I am having a particularly hard time resting because someone in my family has died from COVID-19, I take a natural sleep aid, like warm milk.

I also call family members that can calm my soul, and that is usually effective in helping to relieve my stress. Let me also say this — crying is cathartic and helps to relieve the pressure valves that we keep closed, in order to appear as if we have everything together.

I also seek to view things that are comedic in nature on television, and I watch nothing that speaks of a virus or violence in any way, shape or form. When I checked in with my other friends, they said pretty much the same thing, and some have added that they have taken on new skills like sewing and cooking to help relieve their minds. 

All of what I suggested above is not the panacea, but maybe something within will help you. Prayer does work too — in fact, it is powerful when done in earnest and helps to give a modicum of peace. I wish you well and hope that you will find the sleep that has been eluding you.

Dear Muva:

A realization came crashing down on me in the middle of sitting next to my husband while we have been quarantined. I don’t like him and should have divorced him a long time ago. The problem is, all our finances are tied together, and I have a reputation to uphold as a community leader who is being watched for having what is considered a “perfect marriage.” I feel so miserable and lost, with nowhere to turn. What can, or should, I do?

Signed, sealed but not delivered.

Dear signed, sealed but not delivered:

You are in quite a pickle, aren’t you? I would dare say, that before you even wrote this letter acknowledging what you have been feeling for a long time, that you knew well before this pandemic and quarantine that there were issues in your marriage.

It has been said by experts in recent weeks that domestic violence has spiked because people who could normally stay away from each other outside the house for hours at a time now have no choice but to cohabitate in the middle of this quarantine.

While you did not intimate that there was violence in your house, what you have said is that you now must face the music in terms of what you need to do with your marriage.

Your other concern is that people will speak about you because you have been considered to have the perfect marriage. So, let me be clear, there is no such thing as the perfect marriage and anyone who has been in any kind of relationship is aware of this. Do not allow anyone to put their expectations on your life, because you are the one that must live it.

I would say, that you sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your husband if you feel that it is safe to do so, and begin making plans to either go to counseling as a team, or go to counseling separately, and then decide how you want to move forward with your marriage. The bottom line here is that whatever you choose to do, it will not be easy — but for your peace of mind, it will be worth it. Good luck.

Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational/entertainment purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. This column, its author, the Philadelphia Sunday SUN newspaper and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.

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