It’s been 17 months like no other.
A pandemic that began in B.C. a year ago this past March isn’t over yet.
There is grief in coming to terms with knowing children died on the grounds of the former residential school at Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc — and what that means for survivors and the rest of us as we grapple with the legacies of colonialism.
We have an opioid crisis that killed more people in this province in 2020 than did COVID-19.
We have seen wildfires, climate change, a deadly heat wave, weeks of poor air quality and neighbours fearing — and, in some cases, seeing — their homes burning to the ground.
In Kamloops and beyond, we’ve been under one stressor after the next for what seems like a very long time.
The certainties that used to shape our daily lives seem a long way away.
Routines have been disrupted. Workplaces, schools, gyms and restaurants were closed, then reopened. Events were cancelled, rescheduled and cancelled again.
Human- and nature-caused fires, villages burning down, lightning strikes and evacuation alerts and sudden orders (I see you, Juniper Ridge).
Evacuees are living out of suitcases. Firefighters, first responders, doctors, nurses, volunteers, social workers and those at emergency operations centres are also in the thick of it.
Even if we’re not on the front lines, the accumulation of the last several months may have us feeling like things are out of our control — and, as a result, we feel off-kilter, uncertain and wobbly.
I’m not a therapist, but as a fellow human being, I urge you to find ways to make your personal OK-ness a priority today.
You may be able to carry a heavy load for a time, but no one can do it forever.
Ask for support when you need it. Find ways to structure your days when you’re feeling that wobble — whether that’s prioritizing mealtimes, getting regular exercise, talking to a trusted friend or simply taking a moment for a deep breath.
Have you already hit the wall, then gone a few feet past it? It happens. It’s not too late to reach out and free resources are available.
Call the BC Crisis Line at 310-6789 — no area code needed.
Health Emergency Management BC has a helpline for those who have been affected by the forest fires: 1-888-686-3022.
For residential school survivors and their families, the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is at 1-866-925-4419.
Whether you’re an optimist whose glass is half-full, a pessimist whose glass is half-empty, a resilient realist who knows the glass can be refilled or a count-your-blessings type who is just grateful to have a glass, none of us can give from an empty cup.
The people in your life need you, as does your community.
Can you take a moment just for you today?
Kathy Sinclair is a Kamloops councillor. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Council columns appear monthly in KTW and online at kamloops thisweek.com. To comment, email email@example.com.