What We Aren't Talking About During the Covid19 Pandemic 2020
Coronavirus has caused me health problems. I’ve not had a high fever, I’ve not had a cough, and I’ve not found myself with any flu type symptoms. Instead, I’ve found myself at a higher level of anxiety than I’ve been in a long time. I’ve hated on myself in the mirror. I’ve cried myself to sleep and not been able to tell you why. I’ve complained about being lonely then refused to answer the phone to friends when they call, I’ve complained about hunger and not wanted to cook, complained about my weight and not wanted to exercise and in general my mood has been as unpredictable as what Trump will say next.
The world seems pretty split at the minute. I don’t know about you, but my social media has gone from a place full of dog videos and memes to suddenly being filled with political advisors, conspiracy theorists and people who got their medical degree from WebMD.com over the weekend. Should we wear a mask, should kids go back to school, are phone masts ruining our lives…you can find it all over the media…and while the mainstream media continues to print about the Voldemort of viruses (seriously, we don’t call it by its name, we just nod sagely and say, “with all that’s going on”) there’s another health issue being left by the wayside. And that’s mental health.
So here’s the thing. I don’t believe we always need to label mental health. It’s just “health”, as much a part of you as the way any of your major organs or limbs are. We just don’t talk about it that way. You’re ok telling people you had acne as a teenager right? You broke your leg at your fifth birthday party? You’ve got asthma? You had chicken pox as a baby? You suffered so majorly with morning sickness with your first child that you wondered how your child already hated you so much when you’ve not even met yet? These are the approved health issues. Mental health though? Suicide? Depression? Anxiety? No thankyou. We won’t talk about those.
The sad thing is, that I personally know of three separate people who have taken their own lives in this pandemic. I’m not talking about numbers in papers, I’m talking about real people who have walked and talked in the lives of my loved ones. And how many more are out there?
Self isolation is an apt name for what’s going on in the minds of those that are struggling. Right now we are living in fear, be that for ourselves, our jobs, our loved ones, our economy, or something different. We are all living our own unique experience, and for some, it is considerably bleaker than for others.
So this post is for the people out there who are struggling right now. It’s important for you to know that we see you. That you have so much magic inside of you and so much power. You deserve to shine your light on the world. In the darkness, hold out a hand and let someone pull you through. Remember, even the moon has it’s dark phases, but it is always whole.