So this is week…4 (I think?) of self-isolation. The days blend in together. I look through the news to see when this will all pass but there are no clear answers. Lately though I’ve read small hints about the world starting to open up again and part of me is relieved to see that one day we’ll go back to “normal” but there is another part…and I’m a little ashamed to say it out loud…there is a small part of me that maybe I won’t ever be able to go back to normal again.
I’ve dealt with agoraphobia off and on my whole life so staying in the house for a week at a time isn’t hard for me. I already hid from the mail man before this started. I pretend to be on the phone when I see my neighbors so I have a reason to not panic and have awkward small talk with them. And then it all lets up and suddenly it’s okay. I can go out and talk to people again. Not for long and if I have to be around people for more than a few hours I have to hide and recuperate for hours or even days afterward, but for the most part I look almost normal if you don’t look too close.
But this last month has been different. In some ways it’s wonderful therapy…I suddenly crave people and the idea of going out to lunch seems like heaven. In some ways this forced lock-down has given me time to take a deep breath and assess. The self-distancing and social isolation in some ways came easy. I’d been practicing for this my whole life, after all. And I found that I became something new for friends I’d always relied on when I was low. Those same friends and family were suddenly reaching out to me as they, sometimes for the first time, felt isolated and scared and numb. They suddenly recognized anxiety and depression…though situational and temporary…and they didn’t know how to deal with it. So I talk them through it as best I can. And they get better. And worse. And better.
I suspect many of us are like this…sudden experts in dealing with constant fear and sadness and numbness and isolation. Some of us even feel somehow better during this time. It makes sense though. With anxiety disorder you’re constantly afraid and feeling dread for something that isn’t real. Now with something real to focus on it can be a sort of relief. The rest of the world has joined us and the cognitive dissonance you feel for feeling so terrible when there’s no reason to feel terrible is gone. Some of us use this time to recover. Some see the rest of the world suddenly struggle and realize that this can bring empathy in some ways…both from the people who now see how exhausting it is to fear the unknown for so long, and from ourselves as we see that no one is immune to fear.
So I wait for the day when the world reopens and I have hope that it will be better, one day. But part of me worries. I worry that all this time at home has create a leash around me. I worry that my agoraphobia will be worse and the world will go on without me. Even now I want to go on a long drive just to see the world past my door but I can’t make myself. The fear is already there. I haven’t driven my car in a month. I don’t even know if it would start. I tell myself that it’s for the best because if I was in an accident I’d have to go to the hospital and be exposed to germs so I am doing the smart thing. But deep down I know that it’s more than that.
It feels stupid to write about this. About the fear of not being able to leave your house when you literally aren’t allowed to leave your house anyway, but still…it’s what’s going on in my head, and maybe it’s going on in yours too. There’s something to be said about not being alone…even in isolation.
I remind myself that I have always escaped my broken brain before. I have fought and I have won. And then lost. And then fought and won again. It’s a cycle. One that even those without mental illness can recognize. We are all fighting. And failing and thriving and barely surviving and then starting all over again. I remind myself that I have tools to help and that when the time comes I will begin the forever-work of being human. Just like you. Just like all of us.
We will get through this. This part and the next and the next. And we’ll take what we’ve learned and use it. And that’s how life continues.
PS. Every week of isolation I share one of my drawings that you can color or print or set on fire. This one feels particularly fitting.
Keep fighting. You are not alone.
133 thoughts on “You will get through this.”
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Oh…wow. I love this one. Thank you for it! Something to keep me busy tonight that isn’t more tv (not that there’s anything wrong with tv, I’ve just been isolated and doing that since December and it’s getting old).
I share your worries about ever wanting to actually leave my house again. God forbid I have to get up really early, shower, get dressed, and catch a train into the city. DREAD.
I’m an introvert with anxiety disorder, I hate being around more than a couple of people at a time. I embraced it when we were given the opportunity to work from home a few days a week. But now I suddenly get why they wouldn’t let us do it more than 60% of the time any given week in a way I didn’t before. I do miss people, even though I’m FaceTiming my best friend once a week, which I never did before and my boss holds a weekly Skype video chat for her team. But I haven’t been out for two weeks and I’d only been out a couple of times in the couple of weeks before that as well.
I worry about turning into an agoraphobic as well as worrying about my family, who aren’t nearby. I think it’s because before, the rest of the world was carrying on as normal around me, even if I was at home alone and I could still go shopping or get a coffee but all of that is gone now.
TL;DR – I totally get where you’re coming from and agree/empathise!
Thanks so much. Somehow seeing the word embiggen always makes me smile.
Sending you big love and looking forward to the time when we can all board a plane and come to see the fabulous bookstore!
I honestly feel a little cheated as my anxiety has had me run every conceivable scenario for every situation for years so I’d be prepared and never once, in all these years did I run a scenario close to what is currently going on. It would have been nice to have some payback for all of those sleepless nights in the form of a plan. Sigh
Seriously, I have to fight inertia to get out and do things under the best of circumstances so I have wondered what it will be like as things improve. I’ve also thought about you and am sending hugs and am sorry for the worries it causes you. This has been a wearing season for so many.
Sigh. I’ve said this to several people, “I’ve been fighting agoraphobia for years and this is just reinforcing it.”
We can do this. We’ve got this. You’ve helped us, Jenny, reach out… We’ve got your back.
I so appreciate you and your honesty. You describe what I often feel and seldom tell anyone.
I honestly wouldn’t mind being in lockdown ALONE. But I’m here with my mother. I rarely watch TV, but she has to have it on all day, every day, usually on an endless stream of HGTV, and I’m not allowed to turn it off. So from 7 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. of constant inane TV, it’s…trying. But I just put in my earbuds (even though she thinks it’s “rude”….yet I’m not allowed to talk because she’s “trying to watch this”), turn on some music I like, and go to my happy place.
Thank you for articulating what I cannot. I, too, feel like I am not suffering with the isolation and I fear going back to “normal”. One day at a time.
I’ve never had agoraphobia before, but I know people that have. After having been on lockdown, I find myself making excuses NOT to leave now, too, and I wonder if this is becoming a bad habit. I haven’t wanted for anything (aside from hugs and human interaction) during this lockdown. I have food, supplies, I can work from home so my income hasn’t change… I’m very blessed. And I know it, and I count those blessings. But where at the beginning of this, I felt the need to go out and had to fight myself to stay home, now I very much feel the need to stay home and have to fight myself to even leave to go for a walk (which I haven’t in a week). And I worry that not wanting to leave the house has become a bad habit. And this has never ever been part of my existence before. You’re not alone in your musings. :\ (And I don’t mean to post anonymously, but for some reason I can no longer post to your blog when I’m logged into my Word Press account. I have no idea what I did. Please forgive me?)
I love that drawing. Thank you, Jenny, from the bottom of my depressed/anxious/extroverted heart. 💜
I get this. All of it.
I am not OK. I keep going through the motions but inside I know that I am not OK. If I could only accept that it’s OK to not be OK right now I think I would feel a little OK-er but I have to keep going through the motions so I can’t stop long enough not be OK or it will all go to shit around me.
I am so grateful that you expressed this. I’m feeling similarly – added guilt that I don’t want to go out for my government sanctioned daily exercise (in the U.K.) even though it’s one of the few times I’m allowed to leave home. And knowing that the longer I stay in, the harder it is to get out. It’s just nice to know I’m not to only one.
I think a lot of people are going to come out of this agoraphobic, even if they weren’t before. I am essential personnel (yay) so I have to physically go into an office a few evenings a week and do things that require having actual Hands-On actual pieces of paper. Masking up and going outside is emotionally exhausting, even though I think I already had the bug in mid March, but without testing we can’t be sure.
And yes, I’ve become the voice of “yes this is a thing that can happen when you’re under severe stress or experience trauma’ on Facebook, reposting articles to reassure my friends who have never dealt with this kind of thing before that what they’re feeling is normal. “It’s OK to not be OK right now. Nobody is OK right now”.
I saw a great meme the other day on Facebook. It said “Welcome to 2020. If you don’t already have an anxiety disorder, one will be provided to you’
Good one. As an extrovert, one of my favorite Facebook posts during this time (I’ve seen it a few times) is: Introverts! Put down that book and pay attention to us extroverts! We’re having a hard time!
Thank you, Jenny. I always feel like a user when I comment that “we need you.” We do, but we need each other, and you should feel free to use your peeps and fans, too. Keep on keeping on; we all will, and this will indeed pass. Good health to everyone: be well, be strong, be safe.
I have at least gone out to my car and sat there. I’ve started it and let it run a minute or two. I’ve heard it helps. So, maybe go sit in your car, let it run a minute or two. It’s actually leaving the house while still being there. A change of scenery can be a good thing.
While I am the same with staying at home, I sometimes feel the urge to go somewhere. Do something. Then get sad we can’t go. But then there is a weird little part of me that is glad with the stay-at-home order. With it, I get to work from home. Not be forced to go into the office. Where there are really loud, outgoing people. And it makes that small part of me want it to continue for a while longer.
I know this makes me a horrible person. I’m sorry.
I’m an introvert and have always struggled with a variety of anxiety issues. About six months ago, life circumstances changed, and I took a (so far part-time) job as a companion/caregiver to the elderly in their homes. After a couple of weeks doing that, I realized how good it was for me, because if I didn’t have to get out of the house for work, I was well on my way to not being able to leave the house.
Right now, I’m working fewer hours because my usual clients who don’t need 24 hour care are rightfully self-isolating and not having additional people (me) coming in and out of their homes. I fully support this. At the same time, yesterday I was going to check the mail and bring in the garbage can, and I froze at the door. I eventually managed to make myself walk to the end of the driveway and back to do those tasks, but it was an effort. The possibility of coming out of this pandemic with agoraphobia is something I really do understand.
Fortunately, I know I have a tribe here, and people who understand, are going, or have gone through similar things.
Here’s the thing that I’m ashamed (?) about: I don’t want things to return all the way to “normal” – back to when everything was traffic and pollution and wasteful and…unnecessary. Of course I would like the option to see people in person again, but I don’t want to go back to an office until there is a vaccine. My husband would be super high-risk and I do not want to be the one that brings it home. I miss restaurants, as we have cooked/made every meal for the last 3 weeks, but I just don’t want to return to the culture that we had. I hope in some ways we don’t. I can hope.
I love to read you, Jenny. Thanks for reaching out to every single part of the greater whole. xo
Yes, Jenny. To all of it. Merci, mon amie.
This is hard. So hard. I have suffered from debilitating anxiety for most of my adult life. Specifically anxiety related to medical things. This has just made it all so much worse. It has simply reaffirmed my anxiety and I think I will be digging out of it for years after this is over. Please know you are not alone.
I am feeling all the same things and I don’t have agoraphobia. I’m just feeling that familiar old depression telling me that every effort to leave the house is too much trouble, and I keep putting any errands off to the next day. And the next day. And the next day. Also, for some reason my computer won’t let me like any of the other comments and I wanted to like all of them and little stuff like that, which used to irritate me, now makes me think catastrophic thoughts. UGH.
Like you, I have been at home most of the time for the past ten years. I used to go to the grocery store and library regularly but for the past couple of years, I’ve been mostly getting ebooks from the library and I’ve been ordering groceries online from Walmart and picking them up at the drive-thru. As long as I don’t have to get out of the car, I’m okay.
Maybe you could try that. Go to a fast food drive-thru and get yourself a treat. That gets me motivated and out of the house and then I can go on to the Walmart drive-thru. Whatever works for you.
Just a note – in the third paragraph, I think you mean “assess,” not “access.” That’s not something spellcheck would catch. Sorry to be a grammar nerd.
I’m one of the people who is doing better right now. Thriving in fact. I have generalized anxiety and right now I not only have permission to stay home in my comfort zone, I have orders to do so. Yes, I’m worried about the virus. But it’s not worse than my every day worries about my kids being killed at school or my parents dying in a car accident, and everyone else in the world is worried about the virus right alongside me. There is something to the idea that my anxiety and OCD are now being put to good and valid use. I am worried about the day I have to go back into the physical office. Once we have permission to return I’m going to ask if I can ease back into being in the office because it’s going to be hard for me, because I will still have my anxieties but will have to leave my physical comfort zone.
I am an introvert with a wonderful partner (40 years together, in separate houses!), and I think I am in the best possible situation, but it’s getting tough even for me. I especially feel for extroverts living alone, who must really be suffering, and also for anyone confined with others who are driving them crazy. The very worst would be being trapped with a TV constantly on or with someone who never stops talking. Yeah, guess I’m pretty lucky after all!
I’ve been isolating with my adult daughter at her house. Even at my own house, I hate when people show up unannounced – friend or delivery person. Someone pounded on the door while my daughter was in the bathroom and I freaked and hid. Turns out it was the pizza delivery guy. Her boyfriend had a surprise pizza delivered to us (he lives 4 hours away). She found my hiding hysterical.
We will get through this you are right Jenny. I normally eschew physical contact unless it’s with someone special. I’m now feeling like I want to hug people. Weird.
I broke both wrists two years ago, coudn’t drive for two months or so. It WAS weird and scary the first time I drove again. Not nearly as scary as when we livedi n the Netherlands. I think it took me six months to get behind the wheel. There are sooo many roundabouts and lanes for cars and bicycles and I don’t know – joggers in wooden shoes? I just knew the firs ttime I drove I WOULD KILL SOMEONE. But eventually I drove. And it was ok.
I have honestly felt a little guilty because I have really enjoyed the down time. My work schedule had to change, and now instead of working 6 days a week, I am working 3. They are long days, but man. I do love having time off! I feel spoiled and I kind of wish some of this would go on a bit longer.
I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve self-isolated for long periods of time without a pandemic, so this is kind of my comfort zone.
I love my home, and my husband, and my fur babies. Since I’m high-risk, my husband does what few errands are necessary. He is an essential worker so we don’t have to worry about paying bills. I love my time in isolation, but really want to hug my daughter, and my best friend, and all the other people I love who don’t live with me, and hope things turn around before I lose hope of seeing them at all.
Just noticed my agoraphobia has returned. I feel panicked with the thought of leaving my house. I’ve been sleeping too much, my bipolar has become unstable. I feel like a total mess. Just glad to know I’m not alone. Thanks Jenny!
When you’ve worked so hard to heal, it’s heartbreaking to watch yourself backslide. I have the same fears. I’m already afraid to go outside, and be around people at all. Terrified that I will bring this home to my medically compromised fiance.
The world could use more empathy. The good thing about ‘the big pause’ is we get to have a
say in what the new normal looks like. The sky has cleared of smog since we are all in & the
water looks clearer. We spend more time with family & pets. We don’t have to go back to a
full blown overbooked frantic pace. Advertisers will try to convince us that we should, but
we can create a new normal that is not so frantic & exhausting. We can be more mindful
of each other, the planet itself & our own comfort levels. Mindless consumption & filling
every minute of the day with scheduled work & ‘busyness’ was exhausting anyway.
Chin up everybody. And dream on…
I have to admit I’m having some of the same worries about driving, leaving the house, seeing people again … The virus is keeping people from visiting the house my husband and I just moved to, and it’s keeping me from having to deal with traveling to see family (to be clear I want to see my family but I absolutely hate traveling). On one hand I wish things would go back to normal, but I also wish we could keep the good things about all this sheltering in place and social distancing. I’ve kept in touch with my kids and mom and family better. I’ve realized how awesome my husband is, and how great our relationship is if we can be together 24/7 and still enjoy each other’s company. It feels like people are pulling together and giving wildlife and nature a chance to recover a little. There’s a sense of community even though we’re all separated. I’m afraid when things go back to “normal” people will be so desperate for it that all the good things will be lost again. And I’ll have to deal with all the same anxieties I had before, only worse. I know we’ll all figure it out and everything will be okay eventually; it’s just getting to that point that sucks.
Normally getting out to my part-time job helps to keep my anxiety and depression level. And when I feel like I’m starting to slip too low, I’m able to visit my parents a couple of hours away, and the change of venue helps. I have lost both of those things right now. I’m very lucky to be working from home and have my husband and child with me. We have food, and anything else we may need…except for me it isn’t enough. When this started my anxiety was manageable, but the longer it goes on the worse it is. I now get panic attacks when I go out to take a walk, so i understand the agoraphobia thing. Thank you for sharing what’s going on with you.
You have written the thoughts straight out of my head!
It’s strange. As an introvert, I thought I would enjoy working from home. I’ve gotten used to it (and I am somehow always on time now, when, before I was decidedly not. But I was always earlier than my boss, so that’s all that matters, right?). I just don’t really like it because it is a disruption of my routine and we have no idea when this is going to end. Uncertainty has always been my enemy; I just hate it.
But I find myself anxious over dumb things like toilet paper. I had a meltdown at Walgreen’s over someone (well, two people) who had taken the last four packages. I was decidedly not nice to them. I might have used the c-word even. So, sorry strangers. I don’t actually hope you die, although I do hope you run out of toilet paper.
I mostly just want things back to normal, whatever that is. Badly. Normally I’m kind of a homebody but I just want the freedom to go anywhere I want, unmasked. I want to go back to the gym. I really, really want a haircut.
Oh for God sake! I am sick of people freaking out because they stay at home for one month! I have Complex Endometrial Hyperplasia which puts me high risk for Endometrial Cancer where I was trapped in bed for 6 whole months!!. This is not a fucking lockdown yet where you are trapped in a bedroom for half a year. People can go for walks with your dog, go shopping, talk to other people! You all are a bunch of fucking cry babies! You get to play with your kids, and you get to watch Netflix movies! Shut up already! There are little kids and people who suffer from long term chronic illnesses like me that never saw the light of day for half a year or more! You all would never last a month in solitary confinement in prison or a month of true lockdown in solitary confinement in a mental hospital where there is no comfort food, or Netflix, or dog walks. Get a grip and put things in Perspective!
I was born for this lockdown, and would be deliriously happy being “trapped” here with hubby and children – if only people weren’t dying or unable to also work from home. Most days I don’t go outside because there are so many things to do inside
Hi Jenny! I am 63 yo and have suffered from anxiety and depression all of my adult life. It’s getting worse as I’m getting older. Right now I’m nearing the end of TMS treatments for depression (it gets me out of the house every day) and they’re not working the way they did last time. I’m still depressed but not as bad as when I started the treatments. I’m sure it’s because of the added pressure of Covid-19. Never did I ever imagine having extended periods of anxiety over toilet paper!
It’s definitely NOT stupid to write about this or even to feel this way. It’s a struggle for everyone, but we’re all in it together:-)
I don’t share many of these thoughts or feelings, but for one of the first times in my life this isolation is making it hard to focus and get anything done. I’m building a little empathy for people who have felt this way all along. Thanks for sharing…
I don’t want it to go back to the way it was before. I have been chronically ill, in chronic pain, and suffering from depression and anxiety for 30 years. I fell ill to an unknown pathogen 30 years ago and never recovered. Few believed me, and I WAS traumatized.
For the last few weeks, I’ve felt my body slowly relaxing as it realizes it doesn’t have to push-push-push to keep up with what “society” is doing and tells me I should be doing. For the first time in 30 years, society is saying that it’s okay to feel traumatized, it’s okay to feel exhausted, it’s okay to REST, and it’s okay to “indulge” in self-care. The thing is, self-care isn’t an indulgence. Where did we go so wrong that the basic need to care for ourselves and others, and to be connected to family and friends, is an extravagance?
As a society, we’re overstressed, under unreasonable economic pressures, cut off from our friends and families, overconsuming everything, and destroying the planet. No, I don’t want it to go back to the way it was before. Let’s change it.
i go for a drive just to feel normal. perhaps, victor could rig up a projector & dvd player, & you guys could sit in your car in the driveway & watch a favorite movie playing on a sheet/screen over the garage door. your own isolated drive-in movie theatre. then maybe take a meal in your car, like you are eating fast food. make your car more of a ‘normal’ place for you now, so later won’t be so scary? i have never had the problem of leaving the house, until now. i am my parents caretaker, so i cannot get sick, bc i cannot get them sick! so, unless we REALLY need something from the grocery store, i really don’t want to be around people. so many are not taking any precautions. i feel for everyone that has to be out with the public. and then the people who cannot work, but we need them. its such a weird world out there right now. aside from the usual panic attacks & migraines, my depression is better. it is all just WHACKO! i don’t get it.
Wow Jenny! I was just telling my Therapist, via phone, how good I feel these days – the world knows what anxiety, fear and depression are like: Welcome To My World!!!!!
I’ve never commented before. I live alone and have a few friends. I’ve barely been out in the last several months. You have expressed so eloquently what I can’t find the words or courage to say. I can’t say thank you enough. And I needed this so much today. You might have just saved a life. Thank you. ❤️
Most excellent, Jennie! Thank you!
Most excellent, Jennie! Thank you!
I am stressing every day that being home for so long has only made my introversion worse. Yes, I crave interaction something fierce. But I find that I’m so anxious when I do go out for the essentials, that I am going as fast as I can so I can get back home. I hope that part of my anxiety goes away because while I sometimes do enjoy spending days at a time at home, I know it isn’t healthy. Love and light to you ❤️
Thank you for being there. Again.
“In some ways it’s wonderful therapy…I suddenly crave people and the idea of going out to lunch seems like heaven.”
GURL SAME. I was about to start intense c-PTSD therapy (EMDR), because I lost the ability to leave the house altogether, when the virocalypse hit. A few weeks in I realised that I actually crave company. It turned out that when I could invite people over I did it more often than I realised and they came, now that I am actually alone or with Husby I’m…less agoraphobic. Because now I should be. My name is Larssen, Contrarian Larssen.
My best friend lives 6 blocks away. We are doing drive by swaps. She gave me a rack of ribs and meatballs in sauce, beet greens from her garden. She got a half a chicken, corn on the cob and fat fresh strawberries. This is fun, she’s making chicken soup and I’m roasting the other half with beet greens, shallots, apple cider vinegar, sweetener and crispy bacon. I gave her a chocolate birthday cake Sunday.
We’re having fun and eating great
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you for this post. I’ve beat back years of feeling afraid in my house and laying in bed thinking “What happened to your maxim: Shower every day, Outside every day?” And now this. I’ve watched other people trying to deal with the same things as me and they are frightened and struggling. I didn’t want that to happen to them when I’m trying to live life as they seem to do so well.
But I’ve gained new favorite things, things I didn’t know were in the world. I watched a man walking and he called over “How are you?” to me, a stranger. I was thrilled to see that he was waiting for an answer. I’m thrilled and relieved to see my state’s Governor passing measures to get us safe and to champion for us. And my heart filled with joy at seeing Jimmy Fallon’s little girls climb on him in total love and trust. Later I saw a vid he did with his wife talking about how they met, and read the comments from others who were tearing up at their quiet love for each other.
Lots of things weren’t working for so many people. I’m hoping we decide to grab this chance to protect all of us. “Look for the helpers.”
PS Go start your car so the battery recharges and the alarm can still work. XO
Thanks once again for your words and thoughts…we are not alone in this…even in this time of isolation I am so happy to be with my wife and my daughter…these are the moments that I will never forget…times when I read a book…drink a cup of coffee…bake some fresh cookies…make a sandwich for lunch…cook dinner for my cuties…and binge watch TV next to my wife…this time has been a blessing…
My psychiatrist was saying that his patients, myself included, seem to be handling the stay-at-home and social distancing better than most of society. I replied that I have been doing most of this stuff for 30-odd years and my life hasn’t really changed much and I already have a toolbox for dealing with the anxiety and depression. I know how to do this. And, I’m so grateful this crew is one of my tools.
I have used this time to LITERALLY heal, Jenny. Before this, I had been dealing with a pirifomis muscle issue (which, don’t jack up that muscle. It’s shitty and I wouldn’t recommend it) that wouldn’t heal because I had to go to work and re-injure it pretty much every day. Being forced to stay inside and rest on the couch or in bed has allowed it to heal and while I’m still dealing with a pinched sciatic nerve (also shitty, would not recommend), I’m in probably 80% less pain than I was a month ago.
My teenager, who has been doing school at home for 4 years now and has anxiety, has been a mostly happy camper here at home. My husband, however hasn’t let the virus slow him gown. He has to work and when he’s not at work he’s not able to plan ahead (ADHD) to do things like not go to a store every 3 or 4 days (wears mask and gloves). And he’s had friends over every other day during his week off. I’m making them stay outside. I’m pretty much a homebody and getting used to appointments over the phone and online. It will truly be interesting to see what life looks like in six months, and a year.
Thank you for your kind, and moving words. Some days I have to say this to shall pass every hour, like today. And then I read your post and was relieved to think I was not alone.
Wenona, comment 44. I am sorry for your suffering. I do not know why you should be so irate at people who are already anxious about this very difficult situation. As an empathetic person, I feel we should let our friends vent in a safe platform. I hope that you will join me in uplifting and supporting everyone here. I am sending positive thoughts to heal your spirit. I want to extend positivity and healing to all here. Thank you, K
Yep to all of this.
As an extrovert with social anxiety it’s a relief to be off work from my restaurant job and no longer worrying about picking up COVID from strangers passing through my small town. I now dread leaving the house once a week to run errands as my husband is immune compromised. I agree with the person who wrote that it is easier being on lockdown when you know everyone else is too. I don’t feel as pressured to keep up with the normal pace of life. Thank you All, for sharing your truth.
Hi, Jenny, and others commenting here.
Thanks for this. As usual, you’ve helped reassure many people that they aren’t the only person on Earth with their problems and to show that it’s okay to talk about it. We have to take care of ourselves, and as a friend once put it, sometimes you can’t save your face and your ass at the same time. I don’t have all the same challenges, but I’ve had to work to adapt to others – I can’t say I overcame them, but I’ve learned how to not let them get behind my internal steering wheel. In that sense, I empathize.
About the self-criticism: your essay and a lot of responses talk about feeling guilty, but it sounds more like shame – feeling not that we’re doing bad things but that we are bad people. Not true. When I catch myself sliding in that direction, as I do, I’ve learned to stop, picture a close friend or my brother telling me about having the same thoughts and feelings, and think about what I’d say to that person. It’s always something a lot gentler and more nurturing than what I was just saying to myself about myself. We are our own way-too-harsh critics.
Everyone has their own struggles – at times that are more stressful than usual, it’s more important than usual to remember the Golden Rule, to be as supportive and patient and safe for others as we would want them to be for us. Even if we can’t relate – any one of us has probably run into someone who was dismissive, condescending, judgmental about what we were finding to be very hard for us. We know how it feels to be on the target end of that situation, and I don’t think we want to be the kind of person who piles on when people are already judging themselves harshly by amplifying those cruel things they’re saying to themselves. That’s kicking someone when they’re down or trying not to fall.
I’m an extreme introvert, and I’m finding this easy to adapt to. I don’t think I’m agoraphobic, but maybe I’m anthropophobic – being out and about has never bothered me, nor have the kind of fleeting interactions we have with store cashiers, the person delivering the mail, and so on. But any time spent with people that involves really being seen is exhausting, draining. I get “peopled out.” I’m only good for one group situation a week when I’m doing well. That’s ironic, since before I retired I had two careers that consisted mainly of near-constant focused interactions with others, and enjoyed them at the time. I was in the Marine Corps for twenty years, then had a second career for about thirteen years as a psychotherapist, until a semi rear-ended my car on the freeway and rendered me unable to work a regular schedule.
Anyway, I’ve always preferred to hole up at home and felt stressed when my wife wanted us to go out and do things around crowds. She’s less introverted, so she needs that – this self-isolation is bothering her more than it is me. For me it’s a relief to have almost no dealings with people besides her.
My only issues with it have been (1) worrying about my grown children and my grandchildren. My son has been smoking for 24 years, since he was 15, and he has that cough that scares me so. My parents both died of lung diseases. So that aspect of this scares me; it feels as if there’s a specter stalking my family. It feels personal; (2) worrying about contracting it myself, for the reasons I just described; and (3) elective surgeries being unavailable indefinitely, as I gave myself a minor hernia last week that hurts and is kind of anxiety-provoking. Talked to my primary care doc at the VA on the phone – she’s great, and has been my primary care provider there since 2002 – and she agreed with what I’d found in online research, that as long as it doesn’t get worse I’m best off staying home and keeping a close eye on it, and calling the ER and then going in if it seems to be getting strangulated or I spike a temperature, can’t push it in, and the pain gets sharp instead of being the kind of ache you have somewhere you got hit hard, a short while after that happens.
So I’m giving myself permission to enjoy not having people – even good people in positive interactions – sucking the emotional energy out of me. When I do feel shitty, I try to remember that it’s a universal experience, and when I start beating myself up for beating myself up. I remember that’s a universal experience too (except for sociopaths.)
This, too, shall pass. It’s an ass-kicker until it does, and the losses so many families are suffering won’t pass with it.
Take care, Jenny, and everyone.
Thank you. Once again💖
I hear you. My concern is that all the fear and trauma and uncertainty from this will make it so that even when I can leave the house, I won’t be mentally well enough to.
That piece about the cognitive dissonance being gone- YES. It made so much sense and I didn’t even know I was feeling that BUT I AM. So thank you.
I was ok until I got to the paragraph with “I have fought and I have won,” and then I lost it, sitting here crying…as always, your message comes at just the right moment in my life and lifts me up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Everyone, please stay safe and healthy!
Thanks, Jenny. Last night was not great as far as sleep. I’ve also wondered what “back to normal “ will look like. https://possumscatsthingsgnawingatme.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/were-struggling-i-guess/
great post and I sent your drawing on to a dear friend. You will be fine……love you.
As someone who has bipolar with an added twist of agoraphobia every time I hit the nasty depression downturn I totally relate. Stay strong. Walking to the end of your driveway and back is a huge accomplishment if you’re up for it. Hell, even opening your front door and sticking your face outside is a banner day.
My car has a bad battery….actually it has a lot of things bad in it….however, I go out every day when it’s cold and start it and let it run for a few minutes. We’ve had snow every other day for a few days and will through Thursday. If your car is in a garage, make certain you at least open the garage door some to let the fumes out.
You will get through this. We will have a new normal.
Help the post office out and buy stamps. Their volume is down by 50%. Keep writing to your Bloggess friends from last years post! I’ve made a couple new ones this year. Also Banned Books tweet from a couple days ago is away to make a new friend as well.
This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
I go out driving every couple of days to clear my head. It’s good therapy. I usually end up at CVS, put my mask and gloves and buy something. You are allowed to leave your house to buy groceries and meds, Go for it.
I am just a little bit freaked out about the idea of going out again. I would like some other people to do it first! And this is even though I really do miss my friends and coworkers.
In 2 days it will be the 1 month “anniversary” of when I started working from home. I am scared to admit this, but ….. I don’t want to go back to “normal”. I like this. I like being at home all the time. Going out is getting harder each time. I feel safe and secure at home. I can do all the things I need to do from home – working remotely is easy, we were already set up to do that; ordering food and supplies online for delivery, even take away meals from local businesses to support them. I get to watch the birds come and visit every day, the cats try and sneak up on them (while the birds laugh and wag their butts at them!), and the dogs sleep the days away. I think I could easily become a hermit and live a very happy life…. Is that bad?
I really want to know if you have any Rory teddy bears cause i seriously need one, no two. I can’t get one for me and not my daughter. Anyway I hope you see this message and give it some consideration. Im sure pretend Rory would be a huge hit, i would take him to work too just so i can help people smile. Oh I work at an Optometrists imagine Rory wearing all the latest glasses!
Let me put it this way. Corvid-19 has so far resulted in about over 135, 000 people dead 💀 globally. Honestly, this is not the worst in history! The worst in history was the Native American Genocide Holocaust by the hands of Christian Americans resulted in 95 million Native Americans murdered in cold blood including native kids, native elders, and native pregnant women carrying native unborn babies using blankets purposely infected with germ warfare with small pox according to Mohican Elder Don Coyhis on purpose! Plus the same Christian murderers and their spoiled cry baby offspring children stole the native people’s land that was still soaked with those native blood 🩸 ! 95 million native people murdered and their land stolen is a real tragedy to cry about! When Corvid-19 reaches 95 million people dead 💀 then I would agree you have something REAL to cry about! None of Texas or any State belongs to you! Texas and all the 50 states in the US belongs rightfully to the Native Americans not you according to the UN! I will say it again get a grip and put it into perspective! You have not suffered til 95 million of your family and your people get murdered in front of you macaroni and cheese Netflix watching ungrateful brats!
I’m enjoying seeing some very positive things in this season….I saw an entire family riding bikes together. I’m seeing couples out walking my street holding hands…just strolling along. I’m seeing people be appreciative of very small things…and myself as well….like when I get bananas with my grocery order, or when the neighbor, whom I’ve never met left Easter cookies on my mailbox with a sweet note. If I couldn’t get what I wanted at the store before I would have likely felt some aggravation…I wouldn’t have been rude or said anything, but inside would be the sigh and the eyeroll that the world wasn’t operating correctly. Utterly ridiculous, but true.
I hate that people are suffering….I pray through the news weeping almost daily…because except for my little corner of the world, I’m helpless. But it doesn’t mean I’m blind. Boredom? check. Loneliness, eh…I’m able to be alone well. But I appreciate people who can’t…and am empathetic. There was a time in my life I couldn’t be alone well either. We are all different. That’s a good thing. Doesn’t make anyone’s perspective wrong…it’s theirs. I Just think there are ways we can get outside of ourselves, and turn that internal eye outward. It really helps, though it can be hard to put into practice. I love seeing God at work everywhere, in the middle of all that’s wrong…all that’s hard.
Along with tragedy will come things hopefully that will mature us into something less self absorbed, less focused inward. It’s going to be ok.
Thank you so much, Jenny, for continuing to write to us all. I can relate with so many things you are feeling and dealing with. Today as I lay on my bed next to my husband; I thought of the 36 years of marriage we had spent together. And I wondered, if the world ended today would our living as a civilization even mean anything? Who knows? But if it does end, thank you to all the people in my life and those in our world I haven’t met. It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it?
I actually feel More connected to my friends and community lately.
I like socializing and feel lonely easily, but I also get overwhelmed in social settings and need to recharge after big events (and by big events I mean being around more than one other person for more than 2 hours). Two years ago my company decided we were switching to home offices, and we had just moved to the country. That was a very physically isolating experience, but at least I still had lots of verbal and written communication with my clients and coworkers.
Then last July I got laid off. Suddenly the regular phone calls and emails and meeting ended. So then I found myself physically and socially distanced. That was hard, and I got depressed. Well, I’m always depressed, but it became unmanageable without medication. Medication helped, but I was still isolated.
With COVID-19 more and more people began working from home, which opened up their schedules. As my friends and fellow social group members began to feel isolated they began to reach out to each other (and me) more. More texts. More phone calls. The the shortages began and I realized I had things I could share. Stores ran out of dry yeast; I have plenty of sourdough starter to give. A friend who can’t eat regular bread but doesn’t bake asked if I could make her sourdough loaves, so I did. A neighbor gave me a flat of basil, which was way more than my garden needs so I shared those too. I wanted to make masks to donate so some sewer friends shared patterns and tips, while other friends donated fabric. A couple social group ladies asked if they could buy some masks from me; one works in an ED and the other is medically vulnerable; I donated masks to both. One of them gave me pork from her farm, in thanks!
All of these gifts and swaps were done with precautions; standing at least 6 feet away or just dropping in mailboxes or porch pickups. But they all involved messages, phone calls, or in-person chatting at pickup/drop-off that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
For the first time in two years, in the middle of the greatest mass-isolation we’ve seen in memory, I don’t feel lonely.
Girl, I feel you so much. To be honest, I’m not missing social interaction, like, at all… like an out of sight out of mind situation. But when I talk to people it makes me realise how inside my head I’ve been, and how much I need other people’s thoughts to bring me back down to earth again. It makes me worried that once we’re let out, the world will be oh so overwhelming because I won’t be used to it anymore, you know?
The Life of Little Me
My anxiety is still largely ignored by the friends closest to me, proximity wise. They’re of the “it’s not that bad” variety, and I can’t get them to understand. They’re washing their hands, their wearing masks, but at home, they’re still gathering in small groups. Makes me angry. More so when they tease me for being so scared. I live alone, and don’t have a lot of money, so I still have to go out for food, and walk my dogs, so I’m not as sheltered as I’d like to be, but even so, I get nervous when people get too close to me, and I know, because I know myself and my worrying, that fear will take a long time to go away. But, each day I wake up and look at my dogs, I wake up and check on my friends in the virtual world, I check on those who I know understand, like you, and I know that we’ll all be ok, whatever our version of ok is. Hang tough everybody.
I am afraid this is going to become my new normal. Don’t want to isolate myself from others but the more distant they become the more I can feel myself giving in to being alone. Just giving up.
Have to admit, I’m usually a hermit but driving is my go-to. I had to run to the store over the weekend, and that was not a pleasant experience, but at the same time, I got to drive. I’m admittedly worried about when everything reopens as I have asthma and allergies that usually makes it difficult to breathe, but wow am I looking forward to when I can go for a drive again, and if I want to stop somewhere, I can (and work, yeah, really not sure how that’s going to go as people there keep testing positive, I’m thankfully able to remote, but have serious concerns about when everything opens back up and we’re congregating again, though it would make the job so much easier; wow am I horribly on the fence).
As usual Jenny, you’ve captured the perfect message that I needed to hear this week and didn’t realize until i heard it.
Also i need to figure out where i put my printer, as that picture is amazing and has me reaching for my pens.
Seriously! Now there are all these other people in my/our/your boat. And you’re/we’re all counseling them now… because they had no idea how this felt. And “how this feels” is Every Day for some of us. Crazines!! But we will get through this!! Huzzah!!!!
Jenny, I replay your books at times when I am down and struggling. They are on replay right now, especially when I can’t hear or see anything else out there in the big world. Thank you for being vulnerable and awesome! I am a life coach and I recommend your books to all of my clients as a “tool” in their emotional toolboxes. Sending light and love, Melissa Robinson
You expressed so much of what I’ve been feeling. I have worked so hard to manage my germ phobia and I had the best cold/flu season I’ve ever had. Then a pandemic hit. More than anything right now I’m afraid that I will lose ground. I know how hard I fought to be okay. I don’t want to do it again. I know I can. But I’m tired. The world matches the way I have worked my ass off not to feel inside.
EXACTLY! I fought so hard to beat the agoraphobia. I’m worried about being scared to leave the house now and that once this is all over I wont be able to turn it off.
I am sooooooo over this. Fortunately I’m one of two essential employee so I can leave my un-medicated ADD doomsday reporting husband at home. He is convinced that Covid19 is a distraction from something much bigger and scarier that is coming and I get an update every evening when I get home. And there’s supposed to be an asteroid the size of Manhattan on it’s way to Earth with no idea where it will land.
Feel the weight of 20+ families counting on me to keep their jobs full time and making payroll. Worried about my (24yo) kid who is worried about making her bills so she is hustling doing Favor full time. Had to stand in line yesterday just to get into the grocery in order to buy the essentials (wine, beer, watermelon-a-ritas). Find myself falling asleep in the chair after dinner and then staring at the ceiling at night. Last night I was eating ice cream at 3am and today I have to figure out how I’m going to get enough hours for everyone when four substantial accounts haven’t paid their bills and aren’t answering the phone calls / emails. Fortunately two big checks came in today so I can get a paycheck and pay MY bills.
Just like everyone else.
FFS my comments aren’t showing up. That about sums up how I’m doing.
I’m an introvert with anxiety, and while I always push myself to be more outgoing, and I liked going out for a walk, or a drive, or to a store or restaurant, now I’m stuck inside all the time. I used to at least see my mom for lunch, and my husband and I used to go out for dinner, or to a store to browse or buy stuff. My husband is working half shifts due to his job being “essential” but his company is trying to limit the number of people in the office at the same time. He still has contact with the public, and his anxiety and depression are severely exacerbated by the virus. He’s always thinking of the worst case scenario, so it’s a testament to his strength that he can get up and go to work each day, despite his fears that he’ll have a total breakdown. Ive always been afraid of large crowds of people, but I learned to manage my panic attacks by stepping out of the crowd and putting my back to a wall or a fence and watching the people go by without being in the middle of it. I had to stop working 10 years ago due to my allergies, asthma and multiple chemical sensitivity and sciatica from a back injury and fibromyalgia. Then I had to stop driving more than a short distance due to developing vasovagal tendencies (almost fainting and losing control of my hands due to the blood pooling in my legs.) Between that and my Raynaud’s syndrome causing me to have stroke-like left side numbness symptoms and my PCOS making me gain weight and messing up my blood sugar and blood pressure, most days I’m at home even before the pandemic. I’m also an empath, so other people’s emotions are contagious to me, and I find tremendous struggle with other’s struggles. Your books really helped me when my mother was going through cancer treatment, and your blog really helped me get through my days. That and the Ellen Show, help me everyday get to get by. Last night my husband and I went to the grocery store to shop for our elderly divorced parents households. 4 different households, 2 shopping carts, 4 lists, and nobody at the store was following the one way aisle arrows or staying 6 feet apart. Lots of young people being totally oblivious to the guidelines. My husband and I were so stressed out. We had a big argument when we got home, because we both got cranky and snappish due to the ordeal. Our parents and ourselves have been trying to get grocery delivery but there aren’t any time slots available. Too many people need delivery and not enough people are delivering. And people are going hungry, but food suppliers are throwing food away because they can’t sell it to school cafeterias or restaurants. So while I love the clean skies due to the lack of pollution, and the world slowing down and appreciating what’s really important in life, I can’t wait for the world to return to running a little more like normal. I just hope we all get our priorities in order and decide that healthcare, mental health care, addiction services, food and shelter, a good education, a more just and fair justice system, comprehensive immigration reform, freedom and equal rights for all should be human rights guaranteed by our governments who are guided by science and facts and compassion, not greed, delusions, and power hungry bullies. Knowing that we are all in this world together, and the virus has proven we are all connected, what hurts one of us, hurts us all in some way, may make this world a better place if we remember to take these lessons going forward and work towards fixing our planet’s problems.
A friend had been working steadily for 2 years to get beyond her germiphobia when the covid alarms sounded worldwide. Whiplash. It took me decades to get beyond a lonely and debilitating state of environmental anxiety, just in time for the world to start taking climate change seriously. Considering the many stories about agoraphobia and anxiety expressed in these comments, and it’s hard not to ask “Does anyone feel like a canary in this coal mine?”
Same. So very much same. As I sit here knowing I need to go to the grocery store and yet can’t seem to move to get there. It should be better. I haven’t HAD to go anywhere for weeks. But I honestly don’t mind too much. Would I like to go out to eat? Sure, but I’m just as fine ordering in. Sigh.
Thank you for this! I needed it! It’s just so hard!
Lucky for me, my doctor adjusted my meds just before lockdown. I already was anxious because of personal family stuff. I spent most of February isolating while recovering from surgery and had finally felt well enough to go out and do things when the lockdown threw me back into isolation with my husband. We’re seniors and he’s high-risk after being diagnosed with severe emphysema in May (he used to smoke, and it’s true that smoking is bad for your lungs). I’m an artist and writer so I appreciate some alone time to create but this is numbing. Hang in there!
Thank you. I have been fighting with this though for a few weeks now. when things go back to ‘normal’ I am not going to be enjoying a nice lunch out. I am still going to be looking at all of the other people in the restaurant wondering which of them have germs that are going to make me sick. I have chronic illnesses, I get sick with the weirdest crap. I know now that I wasn’t doing nearly enough to keep myself free of others germs. I might just be the lady who gets rid of all of the card board in the driveway before taking food into the house of the rest of my life. I morn my more carefree days before covid 19.
I feel like I could have written this post. Before the lockdown, I was actually making efforts to work on my agoraphobia. Now, I fear that when it comes time to be able to go outside. …. i will have fallen so far backwards. But, even worse, I will be terrified of those close to me going outside too….because not only is there the anxiety that caused the agoraphobia to begin with, theres now an obsession with washing hands and germs and contamination.
Its been “nice” to have people suddenly understand anxiety in a way they hadnt before….but its also terrifying that they will mostly be happy to be back in the world, in a way that i wont.
Long story short, thank you for writing this.
Absolutely spot on – I feel exactly the same and it is so true what you say about the rest of the world suddenly catching up and joining us. All kinds of people are extremely freaked out by what is going on – understandably – and there is such a universal loss of control. Really love your work and your ongoing honesty. And thank you for this!
It’s a real push-pull. I like being home in my lounge clothes without a firm schedule. I make myself available to work for the hours I’m supposed to, but I take more breaks. And after the initial panic that work just can’t flow like want it to, it’s a lot easier than going into the office every day. I would like to feel free to go out, but my internal panic and OCD about getting this virus will be with me long after the stay-at-home orders are lifted.
I just don’t think life will ever look the way it did before all this happened. It’s going to have far reaching consequences for society in general, and for individuals in how they view the world. It doesn’t have to be bad, though. Maybe it could be better.
Thank you for being my voice of reason. You are the best.
Wonderful information, thanks for sharing with us.
Sometimes I really don’t know if I CAN get through this. 🙁
OMG, I love this. I’m a raging alcoholic (in recovery) and I totally LOVE the sentiment because, DUH. I AM fireproof! AND bulletproof, but a glass of fucking vodka will kill me and coloring this will totally zen me out during this crazy-ass time! Thanks, sister!
If you are needing a good pandemic themed laugh, Julie Nolke on YouTube is a must watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms7capx4Cb8&t=8s She also has a segment on pandemic panic attacks that is spot on and has lots of good advice. As always, especially for Bloggess fans, laugher is the best medicine.
Jenny – as always, tonic for the soul;) the struggle is real and the demons i’m fighting is the desire to be optimistic while sublimating my anxiety so that it comes to haunt me in physical ways…so HELLO gout/arthritis! WHA???!! Hello telemed. My f’n big toe hurt so much – irrationally – on Sunday that i just had to ask (literally) What’s up with you Mother F’er??? Apparently it needs attention and ice and rest…but i’m staying chipper! FUCK THAT! 🙂 WE WILL SURVIVE CAUSE AS LONG AS I HAVE LOVE TO GIVE….*cue diva fan:) XOXOXOXOXOXSTACY
Thank you, as always, for your honesty. I wish I could give to you the same sense of joy and belonging that you give to me, every time I see your Instagram, read your blog, or re-read one of your books. All I can say is that you’re not alone in your anxiety and fear. This pandemic has changed us all.
I relate very much to this. In the past year I had made some progress with my social anxiety and agoraphobic tendencies. I’ve always liked to stay home and be by myself mostly so I have felt strangely validated everytime I hear “stay home!” After so much time of isolation though I am feeling afraid that I will have no idea how to leave my house again and a part of me kind of doesn’t want things to change so that I won’t have to. Knowing how much hardship this is causing for so many, I feel guilt for having that thought but I know it’s the social anxiety part of me that is adapting a little too well to this new collective normal and scared of having to learn how to go out into the world again. There is a part of me that wants to just disappear rather than get used to being around people again. I do miss going to the bookstores though. Thank you for the great book recommendations and for your blog. I always enjoy it and I appreciate the laughs and the heartfeltness. While I’m here and making words, I recommend watching a show called Preacher. It’s based on a comic book series and it’s absolutely delicious. One of the characters is a drunken Irish vampire. 🖤
Hi Jenny. I enjoyed the post. I would like to invite you to check out my blog about having Asperger’s syndrome. I share excerpts from my book of memoirs. I hope you stop by.
Jenny, I want to thank you. Your writing always finds a way to make me feel seen and remind me I’m not alone at just the time I need to be reminded.
I am doing better though this. My anxiety disorder is still with me, but it seems quieter. Like you said, with everything going on, I feel like it is easier to ignore that particular goblin.
I’ve been feeling guilty about feeling okay. How can I when all of this is happening?
Your blog has made me feel better about feeling okay and that will make it so much easier for me to help the people in my life who are struggling with anxiety and depression for the first time.
“and that when the time comes I will begin the forever-work of being human.” That line punched me in the loveliest of ways.
I’m not sure about going out after this either, although I did get irritated at first at being told to stay in by people who were out there flouting the lock down and thought I might be keen to go out, but my indignation is over, so I’m back to business as usual.
My situation is not different to normal, as I rarely go out – I can count the amount of times in a year on my fingers and still have spare fingers. The one thing I am finding tough is having others here all the time and not being able to shop online as easily because others are (still) panic shopping.
Thanks for writing about this, it helps to know my fears are shared.
Thanks, Jenny. I’ve been reluctant to read any blogs about anxiety when the world is experiencing a pandemic of anxiety, as it just increases my own. But I braved your page today and I’m glad I did. Thanks for your courage in sharing your inner battle with anxiety, and at the same time reassuring us all that we’re really going to be okay. Well done.
It’s weird how desperate I’ve been to get out into the world lately, when usually I do everything in my power to AVOID the world. My husband often says, “the longer you stay home, the more reclusive you become.”
But also, I don’t know any neighbors, or humans where we live, so there is no temptation to go out and visit anyone.
I relate to so much of what you say. Some day you will leave your house and it will be scary and you know what? You will still be ok because you are surrounded by love. I love this post.
I’m handling the quarantine better than I expected. I suspect I could become a hemit with how well I’m adapting to this quarantine. LOL!
Thank you for writing down all the things in my brain. I go out onto the back deck and avoid eye contact with the neighbours because the idea of small talk terrifies me sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. I said at a meeting the other day that I was feeling fragile, and FUCK BEING BRAVE. There, I got that out of my system. Yes, we are in this together, and we will laugh again, and go for lunch and I will get to see my grand-daughter in person and not just through Whatsapp video chats.
“ With anxiety disorder you’re constantly afraid and feeling dread for something that isn’t real. Now with something real to focus on it can be a sort of relief. The rest of the world has joined us and the cognitive dissonance you feel for feeling so terrible when there’s no reason to feel terrible is gone. ” YES!!!!!!
What if the world is better this way? What if I don’t want it to be “normal”? I feel bad about feeling this way, but the Earth is healing. I miss (sometimes) doing stuff that is not work (because I am fortunate that I am still working), but I think this is one of the best things that has happened since the industrial revolution. Not the death of the people, but just… the resting of the human race. Am I awful? I don’t feel like I am, but sometimes my opinion is skewed.
Yeah I’ve been thinking some people, myself included, may end up with a sort of ptsd coming out of isolation (“I can’t go to a store! There are people!!”).
I’m terrified that I’m never going to really leave my house again. I’ll go out but not to the store. Maybe to the movies where because I have a physical handicap I can physically distance myself already.
Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel. I’ve had anxiety and hypochondria for most of my life, but the one thing that always brought me back was the normalcy of the rest of society. Without that aspect to lean on, I’m struggling. Suddenly everyone else is sharing my fears, and to be honest, it sucks.