Having a serious anxiety attack feels like a terrible and new experience all over again. It has been a long time since the anxiety and depression held at bay by medication and strong, supportive relationships filtered through it all and snuck in a back door I didn’t know was open. I didn’t even know I was depressed for a couple of weeks. Loss of appetite, low energy, high apathy, an unsettling sense of doom – I put it all down to dealing with Covid 19 quarantine situations and family health scares.
Struggling to get out of bed in the mornings is usually because I’m just too tired at 5 am. Recently it is because I simply don’t want to get up at all, ever. I am a person who takes great joy in food, in socializing with the ones I love, in shopping, in enjoying nature, in seeing the beautiful art brilliant and talented minds create. Lately, food doesn’t make me rejoice. I eat because I need to. I can’t see many of my friends and family because of the pandemic. Even though we keep in touch, it isn’t the same. I don’t have the energy to go out and walk around. And nothing seems truly beautiful to me right now.
A few days ago, when I was in a terrible mood over a small problem I had to deal with, it suddenly came to me through the fog – I am depressed…again. Anxiety makes itself known quickly, but depression just sneaks up on me in fragments until I’m suffocating under its weight. Ever anxious and afraid of rejection, I reached out and told a few people. Usually that gives me the strength to keep moving. This time, it hasn’t. If anything, I am even more apathetic. Meanwhile, my anxiety and concern for those I love grows by the second.
One of my issues is that I take everything too personally. A friend who never reaches out to me first makes me feel like I’m forgotten. A friend who just isn’t a mushy person makes me feel unloved. A friend who has a lot going on but isn’t in the mood to discuss it makes me feel untrustworthy. I have to remember that none of it is true by recalling the many instances these people have stepped up and showed me with both words and actions that I matter to them and that I am loved. However, it is getting harder and harder to do.
Being an essential worker during this pandemic has allowed me to have a greater semblance of normalcy than many others. However, things are not okay, they are not normal, and I am not okay right now. Everything makes me want to cry or scream. My emotions are either easily raised or I’m numb. The apathy gets stronger every day of the week. It is a constant struggle to get up and do anything. It is difficult to be productive at work when I can barely make myself move.
I keep trying to boost myself out of this funk. Working out was a constant until recently (I’m fasting and can’t do cardio). I tried to cook more at home but also support local businesses by ordering in. I clean and keep a clean environment. I read and watch TV and Netflix. I chat and play online with friends. I come to work dutifully and attempt to muddle my way through. I online shop and get excited about new pretty shiny things. And then…I go to back to empty numbness. The void I can never quite fill. The dark that just won’t go away.
I am so, so tired. I am stressed. The uncertainty of the future has made me even more anxious than usual. I’m worried about my family and my friends. I’m worried about the welfare of the less fortunate and those in abusive environments who now have no escape. I’m worried about somehow catching Covid, being asymptomatic, and spreading it to some very immunocompromised people. I’m just worried.
No coping mechanism so far has worked so I decided to try blogging here again after a long time. If any of you have found a way to relax and be copasetic in these trying times, please do share. And please, please, please – Stay Safe. Be Healthy. Stay Alive.