Before the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, I was used to my life routine. It was always composed of work, conventions, and family routines. And doctors because it was always something or another going off on me. Yet, to say I had much of a social life outside of these activities would be a lie. Not that I am anti-social as I do converse a bit when I go (as that is the initial point), but I prefer to be a ‘creative introvert’. I feel more at ease when doing crafts, writing, and loving my dogs than I do with a stranger. I guess that is the fear incorporated with being disabled as you do not know the individual’s intentions. Are they pure or malicious? Innocent or dangerous? Having these instilled fears can be excrucifying and even burdening and can even create a survival loop when instincts go haywire. That is where the trust issues come in, thus creating a protective shield.
Then come March 2020. The pandemic has hit and suddenly, life, not only mine but everyone’s has flipped. Soon, the effects came full swing, everything from panic shopping to job loss/hiatuses, hospitals getting overworked (still are), and having a child-like leader pulling the country into doom. For the average person, making life-altering choices that may benefit and destroy humanity in a sudden turn can be mentally and physically draining. For someone who is disabled, not only succumbing to these changes-as we must-but it becomes a matter of life and death.
As in terms of life and death, it was already hard enough to face onset challenges with Apert Syndrome, SBS, and a compromised immune system, as most days are fine and some are dipped, but when you throw in a virus that could not only kill you, the anxiety quickly builds and you wonder how you are going to unravel from that.
Byt you must, because there is no other choice except to wallow in infliction and I prefer to practice the latter as it is more efficient in my case.
But everyone has their own coping mechanisms when dealing with mental duress. It’s not the easiest obstacle, but doable if you allow it to be.
And let’s not forget about the mask mandates and vaccines. Without them, the pandemic would be much more devastating.
Shortly after the pandemic began, I took a leave of prolonged absence from work (I work in the food and drug industry) to “flatten” the curb” and to keep my family and myself safe. It was only supposed to last for a couple of months but bled into several. It was not until I was fully vaccinated and I felt it was safe to return to work until late July.
During all of those months off, however, (I worked online part-time), positive outreaches were done to alleviate negative ones. In one instance, I participated and completed a 200-mile fitness challenge from May of this year to late June. The purpose was to raise funding for one of my favorite nonprofits, Little Hearts Learning. The people behind the organization are some of the kindest, most open-hearted individuals one would wish to meet. Aside from raising funds for childhood education, there was also a euphoria of bonding with my dogs and losing ten pounds in the process.
Not the largest feat, but still something.
Another talent that I have centralized during the ‘dark days’ was my writing and creating content. As one who writes for a few entertainment outlets, it can be excruciating because many diverse opinions are flowed in; it creates almost like a vacuum because the hateful ones can suck you in.
And that is sad because all of that passion and hard work that you put in feels like nothing and then the depression looms.
But, despite this, I love doing it because it’s an incredible release, and if even if one person finds your work hopeful and meaningful, then it’s worth it.
While the pandemic has been stressful, at least there were a few good things that came from it. It is challenging for sure, but by the end of it (if there will be an ending) strength and perseverance will be more prevailing.
What keeps you going through hard times? What is the first thing you’ll do when Covid-19 has died down?
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