Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Earlier this month, I saw some posts from people requesting others to post about topics besides Covid-19. While such people were criticized by the public at large, this is one of the examples that help us really understand 'survivor's guilt'.
So let's talk about what is really bothering us, which is the guilt of being able to survive and have a healthy family. This makes one question the meaning of their life. ‘What does my life mean to me now?’ ‘It’s not fair, why am I still here? ‘Maybe it should have been me.’ ‘Did I not do enough?’ At times like these, one feels guilty for praying for one's own needs and feels we should be praying for the survival of others.
Over the past year, the importance of connecting with others cannot be understated in such times. Maybe this process in itself will help reduce the guilt and get our existential questions answered. In this fight with our emotions, we should come forward and work towards acknowledging such feelings, and allowing ourselves to process them. Talking about your grief and emotions is definitely painful but will help you in adapting better with everything going on.
Survivor's guilt worsens when we are nestled in the comfort of our homes, staring at our phones, hearing about deaths and stories about families halving in a month. Eventually, we become apathetic, try to move on with our lives, and unsee it, even as we see it all.
While speaking to a few friends, I learnt that removing social media at this point has helped them in terms of really connecting with people. As we move over to face to face or phone conversations with people, we end up knowing them at a more intimate level. Sometimes, social media just creates that facade of ‘connecting with others.’
While of course moving off social media or taking breaks reduces information overload, it has also helped some people process emotions better. Just being on the other side of the phone makes one feel that they aren't alone in this cycle of survivor’s guilt.
Life has definitely changed over the past year, and we are forced to slowly learn how to adapt with this change by really understanding the importance of connecting with others.
Do you think once this is all in the past, and we start meeting people face to face again, the quality and dynamics of our relationships will be better?