Updated: Apr 21, 2021
So I finally decided to be transparent about the effects that COVID-19 has had on my mental health. What a great time to share since this is my first official coming out and being a voice for Mental Health Awareness month, although it's been at heart for many years. To be honest, during this time my anxiety hasn't come from the virus itself, but its the mere fact of being in the house and having to be one with my thoughts at all times. My mind is playing tricks on me up guys!
I see the memes and the post saying ”stop complaining about staying home because at least you're safe” but this can be hard for people such as myself that battle with mental illness. Events such as these can reintroduce old mental habits that have once been overcome. I've worked so hard to heal my mental and although not infected with Corona, this time in crisis is trying to infect my mind with negativity and my body with anxiety. The mask I'm wearing is not only to be apart of the solution to stop the spread, but I wear my mental masks daily to prevent the rebirth of my depression, anxiety and mental chaos.
A little background, old to some new to many I have had a hard battle with HFD ,high functioning depression for many years. This disorder allows me to get things done, achieve goals, take care of my loved ones, support the ones closest to me with grace, a smile, and full energy. Im able to nurse my friends and family back to mental health through motivating words, time spent, and be who everyone needs at all times. It's who I am by nature, but it was also a way of avoiding who I really am. When your days are done, and everyone is happy, you take your mask off and reside in a black lonely hole.
Im a thinker and its very easy for me to get stuck in my head hence the reason why I keep busy pre virus. I’ve overcome depression and anxiety so many times and its a very sensitive topic for me that I rarely share because its becoming a fad rather than a serious issue. I’ve been fighting this thing on so many levels. Ive tried the pills, therapy, meditation, tried it all, but my break through came in 2019 where I had hit my all time low. I made the decision and mastered the energy to do whatever it took to survive it, but now that God has sat me down it's coming back in full force.
My days feel long, my space feels quiet, but my thoughts are making too much noise. All the things that I was excited about coming into this year are beginning to feel unattainable, and easy to be second guessed because of this drastic slow down of life. I cry more than ever because of the pressures I place on myself to be great, accomplished, and making sure I‘m productive during this time, but I never give myself credit for the accomplishments that I achieved pre virus.
I tend to feel as though Im being suffocated by my thoughts of comparison. Now that we are quarantined its easy to compare your work to others from the constant social media scrolling, zooms, and group chats. I began to compare my blog, my mentorship program, and my overall spiritual growth to others and I find myself wanting to give up for fear of not being enough which is a true battle for me.
I also have found in this time, that my struggles of being a mother are weighing heavy. Im naturally hard on myself when it comes to motherhood and quarantine has shown me many areas of opportunity where I can be more involved in my kids success. I feel so overwhelmed and depressed from feeling like I’ve failed them due to things I’ve now discovered that I missed. My body dysmorphia began to thrive, my fitness is lacking, and my eating disorder is in full affect.
I started feeling overwhelmed with the million group chats that were indicating what I “should” be doing and getting caught up with aiding others with how to manage stress and anxiety in their homes, instead of focusing on my own. This became toxic to my mental health.
I had no idea that my previous mental state could come back with a vengeance after all the therapy and breakthroughs encountered. It had gotten so bad that just last month I thought I was gonna chop all my hair off, runaway, or completely loose my mind at the point of no return. I’ve seen this happen in my family so I know its real. While everyone seemingly had it together I found myself having a whole Britney Spears moment. I try to talk to friends and family about it but it just feels so un-relatable. The folks that saw me through it previously began to look at me as if I should be past a certain point in life due to previous battles.
I want to let someone know what Ive learned from this. God will remind you of where you came from in order for you to realize this battle was already won. This to me is his test of your readiness. At times we cant see it in the moment due to feelings and we tend to revert back to letting it consume us, but when I actually stepped back to survey the scene, I found God’s why. I realized I was here AGAIN because I wasn’t applying any of the growth, or lessons that I obtained from my past battle with depression. I wasn’t using any of the blueprint or the step by step guide that I had already developed for this very moment. It may take days, it may take months, but breathe and remember who you are, even if the battle presents itself again. Remember your reason that you wanted to fight through it to begin with. Remember and try to feel those breakthroughs and focus on the feeling you want others to feel through YOU!
You are not weak, you are not dramatic for expressing, you are not crazy, YOU ARE HUMAN and there is room for minds like you! There has been proven room for minds like me, and I just want to encourage the girl or guy who cant see themselves blinded by lack of self belief. BE YOU consistently, allow yourself to feel, and Trust God.
I love you soul friends until next time.