By Tara Franey, Director of Development
Hello from my new “office” – my dining room table! I set up shop here last Wednesday and given yesterday’s announcement from Governor Whitmer, it looks like I’m going to be here for a while… The only one happy about this situation is my little chihuahua, Chili.
We are certainly in unprecedented times. I’m struck by how quickly this has all transpired and reminded how much of life is out of our control.
Beyond the upheaval this has caused to everyday life, I know that it must be surfacing uncomfortable issues for many people. For me, my health anxiety is in overdrive. While I’ve always had a bit of health anxiety, it became a major issue in my life about twenty years ago when my dad fell extremely ill out of nowhere and I was newly pregnant with my son. I gave birth to my son on the 3rd floor of St. Joe’s while my dad was in the rehab unit on the first floor after an eight-month battle for his life.
Although I managed to keep up appearances, I was in a very bad place mentally. Thankfully, I found a wonderful therapist and a group of people also living with health anxiety who helped me through. I will forever be grateful to those individuals who shared their own challenges and coping skills.
Over the years I’ve been much better, but COVID-19 has me rattled. I mean, it has even the most relaxed people a little worried! I’m doing my best to be rational, but it’s hard. I’m following all the precautions and finding peace in that. Let’s just say my hands are a little dry from all the washing and hand sanitizer. My daily date with my new boyfriend, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, also helps. His morning briefings reassure me that we’re all going to be okay and probably even stronger when this is over.
I know I’m not the only one feeling challenged during this time. My issue is health anxiety, but there are so many things people are dealing with. Depression, isolation, financial insecurity. I hope you can reach out to your network and find the help and support you need.
Please don’t forget that Hannan Center is here for the older adult community and their caregivers. Our Zena Baum Senior Center Hotline is still available Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm and our social workers can provide assistance. All calls are confidential. Reach out if you need help or just someone to chat with. We’re all in this together – don’t go it alone.
Can’t wait to be back in my real office at Hannan Center soon. Until then, it’s the dining room table and social distancing for me!