This self Quarantine stuff is pretty hard. I am a stay home mom whose kids are all grown adults, so I am basically home alone A LOT anyways so i didn’t really think this would feel much different than what my life was like already… Boy was I wrong! After the first week I could feel myself going into a pretty bad place. How do I know? Because I have been there before, I have struggled with depression for years, mostly when my kids were little. It was a lot for me, three little boys and a husband who was in School changing careers and not able to help out with things, it was hard time and I would get so overwhelmed with it all, I would get pretty down and my mind would go to some pretty dark places. Yep I was put on anti-depression drugs and was on them for a good 15 years or so. But I have been off of them for a long time now, and I have managed to keep those feelings at bay, Sure I may have a bad day or two here or there but nothing I couldn’t handle. But this last week I could feel myself slipping down a dark slope that I was worried I wouldn’t be able to come back out of.
Things that help contribute to these feelings are of course the uncertainty of this whole Coronavirus, not the virus as much as how is life ever going to go back to normal again? The worry of not so much of me getting the virus, but bringing it home to my parents house, where my mom is already not doing the best. I know what you are thinking, just don’t go to your parents house, well that would be easy if my dad didn’t need the help, he takes care of mom every single day, and all he asks is one day a week to get away and go golfing while one of us watches mom. It is for his mental health too, he needs it, how can I not do this for him when I know exactly how it feels? So there is that worry.
Then there is the fact that all of my plans for the next few months have been cancelled. I am someone who lives for my trips. If i have a few things on the calendar, I am good knowing I have things to look forward to. One of them was a 8 day cruise to the Caribbean which was planned over a year ago! We also had plans to go to Nashville in May, we had Grand Ole Opry tickets and everything… I live for things like that, I know I am not alone in this, but it just sucks! Not just that i had to cancel the trips but because I have no idea if we can ever reschedule them with all that is going on and the fact that we had to work at getting them scheduled in the first place! Not to mention Having to deal with trying to get money back from flights and hotels and not being able to get through to anyone hasn’t helped things either.
Then there is the social aspect of it, I need my friends, I live for our girls lunches and walks and dinners out with friends, movies, ect. all of that has had to stop too. to Add to it I am home alone most days so there is nobody to do puzzles with or play games with or make fun Tik Tok videos with( LOL like that would ever happen, but you never know:P) or anything like that, Tyler works at a grocery store and has worked more hours since this all started than ever. So I worry about him getting sick and also his mental state, he comes home very stressed out, people can be such jerks! And Doug is still working too, although not as much this week, so then I start worrying about the money thing.
Now top it all off with watching the news. The News may be the main reason I have gone to those dark places again. I have stopped watching the news for years now. Yes I sometimes am totally out of the loop, but I don’t care, I get super depressed knowing what kind of people live out there with me. hearing day in and day out all of the sad, crazy and scary things that are going on in the world make life seem almost too much for me, I am someone who feels people’s pain, I cry if i see someone cry, I almost feel too much, I put myself in their shoes and I think about it all way too much and so I just decided to not watch it. Well… with a Pandemic going on I figured I really should know what is happening, and that my friends is probably the main problem… It’s all too much for me! I can’t handle to hear all of this stuff going on!
Oh Ya I almost forgot we also had an Earthquake! What! Really? That’s all I need is to be worrying about Is “the Big One”, that I have been hearing about here in Utah ever since I’ve moved here! NO, Not Now Earthquake, I cant even with that!
So How do I get out of this funk and still stay informed enough to know what is going on without feeling this depression? Well I absolutely know what things need to change with me in order to snap out of it. First stop watching the news. maybe just read daily updates but that’s it. Next start moving. I had been exercising everyday for 30 minutes up until the quarantine and as soon as that started I stopped. I had no drive at all, I sat on the couch for hours on end. So not good for my mental health. Next stop eating like crap. seriously the moment I started to realize this thing was for real and wasn’t just gonna go away on its own, I started eating like crap! I got into the wrong frame of mind, I was thinking, well if this is the end of the world, I might as well eat whatever the hell I want! Big mistake, all this did was make me feel even worse!
So here we are in the second week and I am going to try to have a better attitude. I am going to try not to think about the long term effects this is all going to have and take things day by day. I am going to continue to exercise and try to eat better. I am going to try to change my mental thoughts to positives. I am going To focus on my family and all the good things we have going for us instead of all the negatives. I know for me Snapchat is my friend right now, just hearing from and seeing the faces of some of my favorite people in my life are helping me out so much. So when your feeling lonely, reach out and text a friend, call a family member or whatever it is just reach out, because i promise you, you are not alone in these feelings and it will be a much welcomed text or call. Is it going to change the fact that we are living in a scary time and that there is so much change going on all around us? Nope, but it’s all about mind set, and we can’t let it get to us.
I know I am not alone in this, I hope you all are doing ok mentally. I hope you are self aware enough to know when to make the changes necessary or to recognize when it’s time to get professional help. I also wanted to share this because for some it may be the first time they have ever felt this way and don’t even know why or how to try to change things. Also wanted to share because I am not ashamed of my depression, I used to be, I have even been harshly judged in the past for taking medicine for it too, which is so dumb! You take medicine for heart issues or blood pressure, there is no difference and there is no reason to feel shame either. So If for some reason you have tried everything and still have these unsettling feelings please do not hesitate to ask for help. Hope you all are dealing with this thing better than I have been and if you havent been, know you are not alone! And if you have been doing good maybe check in on your friends and family and make sure they are ok too. We are all in this together, let’s show love and support and positivity to all!
Now time to Think Happy Thoughts…This too shall pass! XO