Today was Day 6 of my self-isolation. I’ll be staying inside and removed from other people until I’ve passed the 14-day mark, just to make sure that I’m keeping everyone I love safe. After that, I’ll see my boyfriend, but he’ll be the only person. It’s been so hard to be away from him, but it’s the right thing to do.
Speaking of doing, though, I haven’t been doing much. In the end, I decided that it was healthier to use at least the first week to just relax and take things as they came, instead of rushing myself to plan and be “productive.” It feels like I’ve been doing the right thing for my mental health.
For the first three or four days, I was hovering on the edge of depression, and sleeping a lot. I had a binge eating episode the day before yesterday, too. But I woke up yesterday with more energy, and worked on a project and listened to my favorite podcast. Now I’m relatively calm, albeit bored. It feels like I’ll be in the right frame of mind by tomorrow to start putting together a plan for how I’m going to make it through this.
I’ve obviously had a lot of time to think, but what’s surprising is that I’m just not feeling that much anxiety around the coronavirus. I read all the news stories, tune in to the news at noon each day to see the new death count, and have been washing my hands like crazy. However, for a person who has suffered from extreme anxiety issues in the past, it’s been a little strange to watch my own general sense of collected calm in the face of this unprecedented moment in my life.
I’m beginning to realize that I have my dad to thank for that one, in a roundabout way. I follow a few grief-centric accounts on Instagram, and one of them, Refuge In Grief, posted something today that really resonated with me:
“Yesterday we talked about how many grieving people are feeling even worse right now. There’s a flip side to this that’s also normal. Since the coronavirus outbreak made the whole world turn sideways there are also lots of grieving people reporting that their lives don’t feel different at all. They’ve already experienced the panic they see non-grieving people expressing.” (Click here to see the entire post.)
Up until I read that, I was mystified as to why I was just kind of going about my life in the same way I have been. Literally the only things that I had any energy to think about were if my partner was taking the right steps to keep from getting sick, and if I was going to have enough craft supplies to keep myself occupied. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the shock to wear away and the horror to arrive. Now I feel like it’s not going to. I just don’t have the energy for that kind of thing. It’s old news. I’ve felt all I can, and I’m going to move forward with living while that choice is still available to me.
As I was writing this last paragraph, I realized that today is the 1-year anniversary of my dad’s death. I talked to my Mum this morning, and we didn’t even discuss it. We talked about safety measures on grocery store runs, and how she was planning her budget carefully to attempt to not have to work for anyone else ever again. She seemed cheerful. I hope that’s true.
Earlier in the year, I was contemplating doing volunteer work at a hospice. I applied for a position, but never got a response. I think after this pandemic has run its course, I’ll apply again. I’m ready to help on that level.
I’ll be back here tomorrow. It’s time to get some steps in writing to keep me occupied until May.