When talk of COVID-19 first started, I thought it was a joke. In my mind everyone was overreacting to something I had perceived as another media tactic to get us all riled up. Little did I know this was going to get real and scary; fast. I went from a full-time job to working once a week and to now not working for almost three months straight. I couldn’t find toilet paper, hand sanitizer or most food items for way longer than I was comfortable with. It was like the whole world was turned upside down before I had time to get a grip on anything.
I was already struggling with my mental health right before the pandemic started. I had lost my Grandma in February and had found out a very dear friend of mine had ended his life a month after that. I was already at risk of losing my job because I couldn’t keep my composure. I was constantly breaking down and needing to leave work and then this all happened. At times I believe it was a blessing in disguise. The world was up in flames but my world had started crashing before any of this had started.
So I got the break I needed in that regard but my heart kept hurting for the world. Many were getting sick, others were dying, racism was at an all time high (at least it was being broadcasted so much more often). Everyday I had seen more hate and fear from those around me, both known individuals and strangers. During this pandemic I definitely fell into a very dark spot for a while but I started therapy again and met some amazing people along the way. How that happened during social distancing, I have no idea, but here we are!
My Tia passed away a couple months ago and that had me stumbling a bit. I had felt like I was getting better and then I was hit with yet another death. That is something I’ve never been able to take well. I know it’s inevitable and it’s not a topic I shy away from but when it happens, it hits hard. Knowing just how permanent it is and how these are people I have to live the rest of my life without ever seeing, hearing or touching again. Thankfully I was able to surround myself, in a safe way, with my loved ones during these hard times.
Despite all the setbacks and the pain, I was able to push through the darkness I was caught in for quite a few months. In that came some great times. I had celebrated my birthday a couple weeks ago for the first time in years. I just had a zoom graduation for going back to school and getting my high school equivalency and so many people from different stages of my life came and cheered me on, it was an amazing feeling. This past weekend I was finally able to move out of a toxic environment and the next day I had my first day of college! Now that is exciting!
Pandemic or not, 2020 has been a rollercoaster to say the least. The way I see it though, September is almost here which means in the blink of an eye 2021 will be too. I know there is still so much that needs to change in the world and who knows how long this pandemic could last, but I’m hoping we can get through it together. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, am I right?
Submitted by Monique, San Diego County – San Diego.