Up Close and Personal: Hey You, How Has This Pandemic Been Treating You?
This #2020pandemic has opened up a can of worms filled with mental breakdowns and a shit ton of tears, that summed up how my lockdown has been going. What about you? How has this pandemic been treating you?
Kidding, kidding. Well, not entirely but that’s a topic for later.
You know, I used to write up a post or two––depending––about how I have changed and grow for every end of the year. I thought long and hard about writing this post sometime closer to the end of year, but after further contemplation, with the rate that 2020 is going your girl might just end up in a ditch somewhere before I’m able to post an end-of-year-zen-contemplative post. And thus, here we are.
This is what I call an almost-three-quarters-done-with-the-year-not-so-zen post. I’m sorry, usually I’m a stickler for perfection and whatnot. But we’ve all seen how the year has been going…so please cut your girl some slack.
In the Beginning
Let’s start with this: I have a very fucked up confession.
In this beginning of this whole pandemic debacle, almost everyone in the world was losing their minds with fear and worry. Worry about being able to put food on the table, fear of getting fired due to COVID, stressed about the virus that just keeps on piling up dead bodies like it was nothing.
Yet, I was relieved. For the past year or so until the virus hits, I have been running on 5 hours of sleep 6 days a week, leaving before sun rises and coming home long after sun sets. Then the news of this new novel coronavirus hits and everyone––including me––was panic buying because of the worry that we’d be lock inside our houses without being able to go out to even get food. I was panicking, yet in the midst of all that flurry of actives and worries, for the first time in a very long time, I suddenly felt like I was able to breathe.
I had been going at 100mph the past few years and I didn’t even realize that I was near breakpoint until all my activities were forced to halt by the virus. I should be upset, I should be furious that all the things that I have been working on was just stopped like that. That is what one would assume I would feel, but on the contrary, I was so happy. So, so, so freaking happy. I finally could catch up on all the activities that I had put aside for months. Picking up crocheting, cooking, baking, reading. All the things that I have put to the side for so god damn freaking long, now I finally had a reason to pick it back up.
For the first few months, my soul was the most content it has ever been in a very long time. I was actually happy and it took a virus to show me that the way I’ve been doing life has been wrong.
After the Calm, Comes Storm
How did that saying goes again? Oh right, when it rains, it motherfucking pours. Calm was good, calm was nice, but this is life and in life, we always need some kind of spice to jolt things up. Don’t you agree?
3 months after being in lockdown, I was starting to get bored. It was all fun while it lasted, but I. want. out.
I was so tired of being confined by these 4 walls, I was so sick and done with my own company. I want out. I don’t want to deal with the virus anymore; I want to wish it away and while we’re on the complaining train, could I also have my life pre-COVID back too? Please and thank you.
While it was fun the first few months, after staying at home for weeks on end with nothing but myself to keep me entertained, I was done with the lockdown. As I’m pretty sure a lot of people are. I wanted out and the door was right there, yet I wasn’t able to do so. In order to stay healthy and alive, I have to keep my ass home and not by choice.
It was then––coupled with other personal issues that sprouted up at the same time––where my mental health, which has apparently been hanging on by a thread, broke loose and spiraled into oblivion.
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend
The following weeks was just straight up agony. My sleeping schedule was shot to hell. There would be nights where I couldn’t sleep whatsoever, and then there would be nights where I would wake up every 2 hours coupled with nightmares.
And of course, what’s the fun in all this without some salty, salty tears?
Your girl cried. A whole fucking lot. I cried until my head hurts––nursed it––and then cried again until it hurts. It’s a vicious cycle I tell you, and I do not want to go back there ever again.
Normally I would say that I’m a pretty happy go lucky individual, not a lot of things get to me. And even if it does, I’m quick to get back up on my feet again. But this time, it hit harder because I didn’t have a place to escape. I couldn’t run away and occupy myself with work and school because everything and everyone is under lockdown. And when all the company you had was yourself and you dislike the person you had become, where else could you mind go to but places where dark thoughts and monsters lurks?
Mini Ray of Sunshine
I want to get better. I don’t want to be all alone. I want to have friends who I can rely on and who can rely on me. How do I get there? How do I achieve all the things that I wanted?
I take action.
First things first that I did was picked up journalling. Journalling was something that I swore I will never, ever do ever again after my parents open up of diary l by force and read it in front of me when I was a kid. From that moment on, I realized that no place is safe. The only safe haven was myself, therefore I keep all my feelings and problems inside. As long as I keep it in me, no one would be able to reach it. Not even if they cut me open into half like they did my diary.
However my deteriorating mental health pushed me to reconsider. And now with so many apps out there for journalling where you can put passwords on it before letting anyone have access to it, I felt secure enough to try again. And so I did. At first I was scared, I wasn’t able to truly put down what I’m really feeling onto the journal in worries that someone is going to get their hands onto it. I was scared to trust again, but I took it slow. Day by day, little by little. Somedays, I wouldn’t even write more than just two sentences such as: “Today I didn’t feel sad. I’m glad.” Trusting took time, and I was willing to be kind and patient with myself to let myself heal and be able to slowly believe again.
On top of journaling, I also started to try making new friends online. I put myself out there and get myself to talk to a bunch of different strangers. It felt weird at first, having my phone notifications going off so often within the span of an hour, and there are a lot of conversations that went nowhere past the initial “Hello”. There were also a handful of assholes––some horny ones, some weird ones––but through all that, I managed to make a few friendships that are long-lasting where we click and still talk on the daily to this day.
The path to finding myself wasn’t easy. Even if someone offered to pay me right now to go back to where I was a month ago, I would have straight up refused without a second thought. Where I was…it was a really bad spot. I would not wish it to my worst enemy. But I worked my way through it, and I emerged stronger for it.
Falling Back In Love With Books
Somewhere along the time where I lost myself, I also lost my zest in life and in books. For the longest time, reading and books are the only things that kept me tethered and sane. But the past year and a half, I have had a hard time picking up a book an finishing it.
I blame myself, partly because I was always on the go. Never standing still, always running from one place to another, rarely ever letting myself to just be still and enjoy my own company. And from that, I unconsciously cultivated this noise inside my head. This noise that constantly need distraction to shut up, this noise that just will not go away. It made me have such a hard time reading because my brain just wouldn’t calm down and focus on the book that I’m reading. Instead, it was listing down the things that I should be doing, future plans, the fact that I’m procrastinating when I have so many other things that I need to be doing.
We’re in a fucking pandemic, for God’s sake. What else could I be doing my stay my ass home and do the best I can to keep myself sane, brain? What more do you want from me?
But alas, my brain is relentless. It just wouldn’t quiet down no matter what I do. Until one day, I decided to ditch my Kindle and pick up this paperback of Wuthering Heights that I have bought a few years ago yet never touched. And as if by magic, the madness in my head quieted down to a hum. And eventually, nothing.
It was finally quiet in here. It was finally quiet and I could finally think and process the story in peace. Thank fucking god.
Maybe it’s the feel of the book in my hand that helped me be able to immerse myself deeper and easier into the novel, or maybe because it was just a change of scenery––Kindle to paper, or…I don’t know. All I know is that I was grateful for it, and may just have gotten a little overboard with my paperback purchase the past week.
2020, Am I Right?
Let us all take a deep breath here ladies and gents. God damn 2020 has been a rough one. I’m sure this does not only applies to me, but also for a lot of other people out there as well. Y’all hang in there dudes and dudettes, you’ve done a great job so far with all the punches that life has thrown you. Keep on pushing forward, no giving up. As my mama used to say, “Quitters won’t get no goodnight kisses!”
I think there is also something about the fact that my birthday is coming soon. Nostalgia, I suppose you can call it. The fact that I will be shedding this old skin and––hopefully––mature into someone who is wiser and less of a crybaby. This year has been an eventful one, albeit being a tad bit too much to handle. But hey, it’s me we’re talking about. Your girl always comes up on top––or at least I sure do hope so.
This year has pushed me past breaking point, dragged my sad heap of broken body to hell and back, but I persevered. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself for that. I don’t know what it is about 2020 that has made it such a shit show, but despite all that has happened this year, I am quite glad that it happened when it did. I wouldn’t be here today had it not be for my past. You know your girl is always grateful for all that made me who I am today.
So that’s how the pandemic has been for me. Now tell me, how has this pandemic been for you?
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