Hey, how are you?
It's been a while since I posted another blog. Anyway, the past few months had been a challenge. It felt like we were just all trying to survive and pretend we were still okay. That we were just existing and not living this year. But that was our reality.
A lot of times, I just drown in my own thoughts, allowing anxiety and negative feelings overwhelm me and spiral down into that dark abyss. In this uncertain time, it's hard to stay in the moment. You have to have an anchor or a safe place to remind you that you're still here. That you still have to go on despite the world being on pause.
And the anchor I found is rediscovering my passions and hobbies that I thought I lost, and understanding myself better. I started writing songs and painting again. I started playing instruments again. I started taking care of myself again.
In September, I bought a kalimba and learned to play it. I honestly like how enchanting and relaxing the sound is. Once everything is back to normal, I would want to play in a forest or field in the morning to match the ambiance of the music.
I am also glad that I can paint again. Art has always been my way to escape the reality, may it be in the form of writing fiction or drawing and painting, but I was so unmotivated the first few months of the pandemic and never held a paintbrush until I rewatched Kimi no Nawa in September. And I'm thankful I did because it fueled my desire to hold a brush and paint again.
I started taking care of myself better, too. Something I have taken for granted for the past few years. The food I eat has significantly changed to more fruits and vegetables. Still, it's hard for me to fall and stay asleep as I have insomnia. Sometimes, I would just lay in bed for five hours, eyes closed, but my mind fully awake.
I also cut my hair short to get rid of the bleached ends. It's been a while since I had a healthy, black hair and I want to keep it that way for now.
There are a lot of times when I felt like I haven't done anything significant this year and I felt guilty for that. But then I realized it's the little and mundane things that made me less anxious and made me feel alive during this time of uncertainty and hopelessness. And maybe that's what everyone needs to look for.
Because what makes us happy, makes us hopeful, too.
For a better tomorrow. For a better year. For a better you.
If you have read my previous post, you probably know I have an asthma.
When first reports about coronavirus broke the news in January, I was frightened. Then came reports about its transmission and asymptomatic cases as well as becoming a pandemic, crippling the whole world.
When work resumed after the holiday vacation, I was too anxious. I had been wearing face mask since last year or covering my nose and mouth with handkerchief it it wasn't available, but this time, I wouldn't even remove it until I arrived at my workplace where I could easily get and replace it with a new one. I would also wash and disinfect my hands and things more frequently. This went on from January to March.
I was so scared to get sick. When I got the flu last year, it lasted for two to three weeks because my asthma amplified it and made my cough worse. The current pandemic had the same symptoms and people with asthma were at increased risk. What made it more frightening was the shortness of breath symptom, which was one of the struggles of asthmatic patients.
Thoughts like, "What if this isn't just asthma? What if . . ." would invade my mind. Sometimes, those thoughts would trigger an attack and that would be a nightmare.
Then the lockdown happened. Despite being at home, the anxiety was still stressing me out. I would wash my hands for several times, pour alcohol and wouldn't even interact for a long time with anyone. Whenever I feel a slight discomfort in my throat or a difficulty in breathing, I would have a lot of doubts and bad thoughts.
I never left our house for three months because of the stress and anxiety of this pandemic. And the government's response to this added more stress. I wanted to stay informed but most of the times, I had to step away from social media because I get so overwhelmed to the point that I couldn't sleep at all.
Now, it's June and last week, I started working again. For the first time, I had to leave the house. It was so frightening that I had to calm myself through breathing exercises. I would double or triple my masks and would disinfect with alcohol and hand sanitizer every several minutes.
In this time of pandemic, being an immunocompromised and severely anxious person was such a difficult situation to be into. Because the risk of complications is higher for us and it's mentally draining. And because our lives rely not only on our actions, but also on other people's actions and precautions.
I just hope we could get through this nightmare.
I could still remember the times you held me in your arms, fed me, and took care of me until your body couldn't handle anything anymore.
I could still remember how our frightened faces looked when you were brought to the hospital. It was a long and arduous battle. Something only a strong woman like you could handle. The doctors said you were fighting. That you had a chance. That you wanted to live. But no matter how much we wish for something to come true, sometimes, it isn't just meant to happen.