It’s Been Tough to Hold Things Together Lately

Everyone’s talking about how ‘things are looking better’ and I just feel like a fraud because I can’t feel it

Eileen Wiedbrauk
7 min readMar 16, 2022


Photo by Alex Alvarez on Unsplash

It’s been so hard to hold things together lately.

Let’s just take a moment and feel that: It’s been hard to hold things together lately.

It feels good to say, because I haven’t been saying it. I’ve been saying I’m fine, Things are good, Can’t complain, Oh you know just winterish, Doing all right — how bout you?

Everyone’s talking about how “things are looking better” now — pandemic things, economy things, job market things, child care things, spring is around the corner — and I can’t see it.

Oh, I can understand the words and logic. I can appreciate the cautious optimism. But I can’t see it for myself.

Because I can’t feel it for myself.

I’m not feeling better. I’m not feeling like better is on my near horizon.

It makes me feel like a fraud. I am a fake. A façade. I mirror human optimism; I don’t feel it.

It’s been two years that we’ve been in this pandemic. What the heck just happened to us?

Our social skills are shit. Our ability to empathize fluctuates wildly — you never know if you’ll get an outpouring of love and support or if you’ll hit the bare shelves of someone who has no fucks left to give.

We’re terrified and hoarding. Still. Hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer is passé. Now all the cool kids hoard dried pasta.

For as much as we hear individuals say we “miss being around people,” we are all now deeply afraid of each other. Don’t think that’s true? Ask anyone who’s worked a job that involves requesting that someone else wear a mask to receive service and yes, we’ll admit that every interaction is laced with terror that we carefully repress and hope it will never be brought to the surface.

And somehow, amid all the upheaval and work and terror that is navigating a deadly pandemic, the politics went from crazy to even crazier. Are we looking at World War III? Probably. Are we already there? Possibly. Am I emotionally able to process that? Not at all…



Eileen Wiedbrauk

Writer. Geek. Coffee addict. Former editor. MFA grad. Odyssey Workshop alum. Library fangirl. Escaped cubicle minion. Home cook. On a mission for better health.