I have been a bad blogger this year, and I can’t believe it’s nearly May and this is my first post.
In December I made a conscious decision to take a break from blogging and the Internet more generally over the holidays.
But in January I found myself struck with an absolutely crippling anxiety about posting anything on the Internet, whether that was blog posts or Instagram, or really even any kind of commenting.
Something about seeing or not seeing notifications started to get to me.
I couldn’t handle people disagreeing with me. I couldn’t handle people agreeing with me. I couldn’t handle people ignoring my comments. I felt like everything I might post or comment about was either stupid, or counterproductive, or weighed down with uncertain tones that obscured my intended meaning.
In the midst of that I came down with the flu. This was in early February so it was likely just the regular old flu and not the BIG BUG that’s taken over our lives, but who knows?
What I do know is that it triggered a case of pleurisy that left me struggling to get enough air. I was constantly exhausted and barely able to function beyond getting through my work day and then sleeping for 12 – 16 hours a day.
Between illness and anxiety I was left pretty socially isolated which turned into a period of depression where I had zero energy or motivation to accomplish anything. As Spring started to take hold here in Minnesota, and the sunlight came back out and I was starting to feel better mentally and physically this whole COVID-19 thing hit with Stay-At-Home Orders and quarantining.
That resulted in another bout of anxiety. I live alone, and at my worst, going to work or just the movies or a cup of coffee at Starbucks was sometimes my lifeline to basic human connection when I didn’t have the energy for anything else. With the Stay-At-Home order I am now working from home and of course going anywhere else is out of the question. I’m a fairly introverted person, but like most humans I don’t do well in constant isolation.
Oddly though, this whole situation has in some ways made me feel more connected than I was before. I am more isolated, but so is everyone else. We are alone together, and this has prompted more phone conversations and Skype calls with people I haven’t seen in months who are now also struggling with isolation.
Even my six year-old niece has been calling me to tell me stories. Between my niece and my sister, I am not sure who is having a harder time with the homeschooling:
At any rate, I find my mental health improving even as the world around me continues to find new ways to be terrifying. These are strange and difficult times we are living in, and I hope you are all finding ways to stay connected and optimistic.
I recognize that I am very lucky, and I am grateful to have a job that allows me to keep working, and to do so from the safety and comfort of my own home. I know that’s not the experience that everyone gets to have, and I am thinking about all of you who are facing greater challenges during this pandemic.
So how are you doing? How are you staying connected? How are you feeling? Anything in particular you want to complain about? Have at it in the comments!