An Abundance of Potions

Days 20 & 21 – Crisis is an Audit

Good afternoon to all 228 readers. We've made it through a third week. I received a number of heartening responses to Thursday's letter, on creating a memorial space. Here's the one that my partner and I set up in our own home. Thanks so much for reading, and sharing. —Jack

Weekend challenge: Connect with a teletherapist.

Crisis is an audit. It opens society's books—and not just the financial. It takes stock of imbalances of care and access, the accrued debts of injustice. On a personal level, it shows, even for the financially sound, how one can be overextended in other ways—running deficits in health and relationship, living emotional paycheck to emotional paycheck.

Your challenge this weekend is to work on your mental-health budget. To start building, if you haven't already, your psychological rainy-day fund. There is stigma, in many cultures, against seeking therapy. People are more likely to get advisors for their physical bodies—personal trainers, fitness coaches—than for their emotional lives. Yet in times of pressure, therapy can be another, important, valve.

Many therapists are now offering teletherapy, through Zoom or other video chat services. Many health insurance providers have also expanded their coverage to include it. If you already see a therapist, but haven't connected virtually, Psychology today has a guide to making the transition. If you don't already see a therapist, take the first steps this weekend toward finding one. Reach out to those in your network to ask about their experiences, and see if they might refer you to someone. As with other relationships, finding the right fit could take some time. Start now, but allow it to take the time it takes.

Remember: An audit is only an inspection, an examination. It comes from the latin auditus—meaning "a hearing, a listening". It's still up to you to speak.