When it comes to real life, we all have our own versions of it. I don’t mean that we live our own lives, because that’s a given. What I’m referring to is the version that we are too afraid to voice. Either for fear of sounding insane or for fear of speaking it into existence. My other reality is my pandemic brain – my pandemic fears. And not just the unlisted symptoms of Covid-19. No, this fear is a constant in my life and has been one that I’ve carried with me for decades. It may seem as though I am using these words lightly, but my mental health has been in a pandemic state for longer than I remember. And my biggest symptom is fear.
I don’t write this to glorify what I feel, rather to highlight that these aren’t normal feelings that we should simply accept.
The biggest of my pandemic fears: losing a loved one
During the 2020 pandemic, I was afraid for my life. Not so much for me, but for my daughter and husband. My fear was that any misstep on my part would make my daughter an orphan or my husband a widower. That is something I would never wish on my worst enemy!
Above that fear, was being a childless mother, or a widow. Of course, looking back, these emotions may have been influenced by my past. However, with the lack of information we all had about the virus, my brain was given the liberty to invent its own wheel.
I did not voice this then, and I am barely admitting this now, but my biggest fear is losing my people. So much so, that I will cut people out of my life first, because losing them by chance is too painful to bear!
Fear of life returning to normal
If you have read my post on how I felt about going back to the office, you know that I had some reservations about my weight. I also had issues with leaving the comfortable habits I had formed in my new work-from-home lifestyle. But it goes much deeper than that.
The pandemic was a crutch… an excuse for our lack of growth. But it wasn’t just me, the whole world was using the same excuse to ‘cancel’ a year of missed goals. I, on the other hand, was riding that wave and hoping that it would lead me to a magical spot of self-satisfaction. A place where I would be proud of the person I had become… A place where everything suddenly made sense…
But of course, that wave hit the shore, leaving behind the debris of people like me. Those who needed to find a new direction in a world where everyone already had purpose.
I was afraid to admit that I had given up
This blog, my second baby, is one of my proudest works. And yet, it is also a reminder that I had given up on corporate and was looking for something better. This pandemic birthed something that was meant to be my way out. Something that I hoped would either give me emotional reprieve or even a ticket onto a new journey.
But to you all, I never truly admitted any of it.
My whys are many, and some of them are no longer. And yet, I am still here, typing some cryptic messages that only a few will understand. So did I throw in the towel? Yes, and no. I threw in the towel on throwing in the towel. And I gave up on making my dream a reality. Talk about failing to kill one bird with two stones!
I was happy with the bare minimum
Life made the most sense when it didn’t make sense at all. Read that again if you need to, because it is true. When we were locked up, unable to go anywhere or do anything, I was finally able to be true to myself.
You see, living with depression isn’t just ocasional lows. It’s a mindset that leaves you immobile while the world whirls around you.
I found true happiness in lockdown. Being completely isolated with my two people and being forced to lay on the couch all day… Yes, I worked out. Yes, I played with my daughter. But the majority of my time was filled with idle nothingness. And it is that life I’ve always fantasized about.
Living on a desert island with my husband and kids, with the waves complementing my thoughts… I got that dream – minus the waves and the extra kid. And I was happy.
But alas, life had to go on.
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What now? Are these pandemic fears gone?
That’s a question I’m finding out more about every day. It’s interesting to see that while there is this dark side to my personality, this post-pandemic life is also bringing joy. And I have come to realize that in the strangest way, things always end up how they are meant to be. I may not have gotten rid of my pandemic fears, but I have accepted that we can’t control the future.
Do you also have some pandemic fears that you’ve never said out loud?
Psst! Let’s hang on social media!