Impostor Syndrome In The Time of Coronavirus


I’ve recently seen a few members drop off due to automated spam filters and the like. If you don’t want this to happen to you, please take a moment to add me to your safe senders list. I’ll let Dr Google explain how:

Google: How to add an email address to my safe senders list

So, this isn’t the email that I originally planned to send you today. Initially I wrote about what it’s like to be sick with something other than coronavirus in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, and the sort of flipped impostor syndrome that can come from feeling like you’re not “sick enough” to warrant sympathy.

I read it back, felt it leant quite heavily on my own experience and feelings, and found myself pushed to wonder why anybody would care.

In contrast, I had a meeting last Friday regarding my dayjob, that descended into an hour of me explaining all the things that I felt were currently wrong with my position. It felt glorious.

I feel like there’s a link here, and it’s what happens when compare our own suffering to that of others and find it wanting. We don’t like to complain (Hey, can’t complain!) because we know that people have it worse than we do (At least it wasn’t coronavirus!), and often end up side-lining our own feelings and refusing to acknowledge a need for support.

Having the chance to express how I felt about something was a huge emotional release, but needn’t have been. Before the work-from-home pandemic, I might have casually vented to my colleagues about some shared work issues. I might have spent an evening with friends comparing notes on what we do or don’t appreciate about our employment.

For now, and for who knows how long, those avenues are closed, and it feels like we’re putting our feelings on hold in the avenues available to us, at least until we feel our suffering is big enough in comparison to warrant attention.

I don’t want to write self-help. I skirt very close to writing things that fall under that rather loose marketing definition, but I don’t feel like I have the authority to offer advice or motivation, particularly not when I’ve been sat hip-deep in my own low period since the middle of last year.

(again, I feel like I’m talking about myself a fraction too much, and that nobody should rightly care)

So rather than advice or motivation, I’m going to offer you hope.

I hope that the truth of what you’re going through isn’t lost amongst what everyone else is going through.

I hope that being “all in this together” doesn’t mean getting lost in the crowd.

I hope that you have the necessary self-validation to feel your feelings honestly and without caveat.

I hope that you have avenues and resources where you can share how you feel with others.

And as always, I hope that you are well,

P.S. Remember that as a member of this community, only you will get the opportunity to pick up 500ish Days In The Quiet Room at a scarily low introductory price, and after launch only you will get a digital copy of the companion collection All Better Now? for absolutely free!