Day 39 Shelter In Place: I Am Not Doing OK.

Day 39 Shelter In Place: I Am Not Doing OK. 

Until recently I had my mental health in check for a long time. Even battling postpartum depression I was still able to find an outlet to channel my severe anxiety and depression. But in November I spiked and I was put back on medication for the first time in years. 

I had a plan; continue therapy, work my way to a healthy dosage, and try to get things seemingly normal. I joined a gym and used that as my outlet to calm myself. It was the beginning of March when I started to feel level again. As if I had things back to my normal and I had my routine.

On March 12th that all changed. Our school district informed us that Friday would be our last day of school for two weeks to attempt to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and we would participate in distant learning. A million tabs opened in my head about how to handle this but I took comfort in knowing that it was just for two weeks. My anxiety could handle two weeks however two weeks turned into four. Four turned into the rest of the school year and the foreseeable future. My husband is also at home, trying to work. He has a very demanding job that requires him to work all of the time. I have not been in my normal routine for over a month and I am not ok.

In the multiple times I have tried to write this it got harder and harder. And even though I am now, I still feel as if I can’t find the right words. In the first attempts I had hope and confidence I could homeschool but my emotions took over the longer we have had to be home. I try my best to keep it together for social media and I try even harder to keep it together for my kids but I’m struggling more and more each day.

Not having an endpoint and feeling like I’ve lost all of my life rafts has been soul crushing. There are no more breaks, no more outlets to release the stress or sadness, and I can feel the emotional and physical weight taking control of me like I am continuously trying to pull myself out of quicksand. 

And with the severe anxiety comes severe guilt. Guilt that my husband who has been working from home is crushing the parenting game while I struggle to get out of bed every morning. Guilt that half of the time my house is pristine and sanitized while the other times it rivals any hoarder house. The guilt that there are so many people risking their own health to help others. The guilt that my struggle is nothing compared to those dying alone, not being able to let family and friends visit a new baby or cancelling major life events like a wedding. 

I constantly refresh COVID-19 sites to try and calm myself. I want to feel some bit of hope that this might be over soon. I become overwhelmed with the fact that I am trying so hard to stay home, to protect my family while other people blatantly disregard the SIP guidelines.  

I live for FaceTime dates after the kids go to bed so I can have some escape from reality. Because the days get longer and longer and harder to handle. I’m even that annoying friend that adds people without warning to group chat just so I can selfishly gain a little more contact from people. And then more guilt comes because I am possibly taking them away from their outlet. 

This is hard. I don’t know what mental state I will be in at the end of this but I know I will reach the end. I know there will be good days and bad days and I am beginning to rely on the fact there will be good days, good memories, that come out of this. I have a small platform to stand on here but if I can connect with one person it will be worth it. If I can assure one person that they are not alone in these feelings it can only help. I will continue to be grateful for the people on the frontlines of this and ignore the people protesting. We are all in this together. We are all playing our part.