Sunitha’s First #MadCovidDiaries 9.4.2020
I thought I’d left behind the enormous amount of procrastination I have experienced in the last year or more, but with all this Covid-19 nonsense, I’ve been struggling a lot with it. Even just putting aside the time to do this has taken me days.
It’s strange how in the beginning, I felt a huge amount of positivity about the situation, because finally everyone else got to understand what it’s like living in isolation. Yes, I did see people occasionally, but I would often go for days not leaving the house, whilst the world and time just passed me by. Then came the feeling that I just needed to survive at all costs, which involved a lot of sleeping, eating sugary food and binge watching.
Right now, my anxiety is through the roof. I can feel it inside me at all times. But sometimes I can see it in my racing thoughts and speech, the feeling of this heavy heart and all the tension throughout my body. I’ve been writing updates on social media and for the first time I can be open, at least to some extent. Being open about having panic attacks seemed to worry some people, others wanted to provide me with solutions. I had to explain that this wasn’t burn out but actually, being productive made me feel better. Plus when I’ve had bad days, I don’t have to sheepishly ignore all my messages and block calls, but instead I can just let a bunch of people know I’m not doing too well, and in return I’ve had these little words of encouragement. Still, sometimes it makes me feel narcissistic and I just want to peel my skin off or hide under a rock.
The biggest issue I had in the last week was balancing supporting my partner who has a long term anxiety illness and also trying to keep myself afloat. It felt like every day I was okay, he felt terrible and vice versa. Whilst normally, we could have time apart from each other to recharge, it felt like we were both recycling each other’s negativity. The feeling of helplessness that I can barely remember from three years ago when he had a breakdown, was ever present with my only escape being going to volunteer. Unfortunately, that also increased his anxiety and fed into this vicious cycle over the idea of one of us getting sick or inadvertently making other people sick by not realising we were asymptomatic.
We are doing better though – he’s beginning to become obsessed with plants and gardening. I find it positive that he’s happy enough to have an interest again, but at the same time I find it strangely unsettling. I’m fighting on some level, fighting to make sure that I don’t go backwards and that all the progress I’ve made with my mental health doesn’t leave me back at the start. That’s my biggest fear right now, as I feel myself relaxing, sighing and allowing myself to let go. A hiccup I can handle, but I’m terrified of going back to one year ago with all of that darkness again. I can feel I need to cry, the tears are there but not quite coming out. In my head, I can hear “All I can do is keep breathing…” and I can see the smile of a new friend, who without this situation, I would never know.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. We ask that you seek our permission before you use any of our material – this includes researchers who want to harvest our data for analysis!