Man. I’m sure everyone else is just as tired of hearing about the pandemic as I am but I’ve learned a lot in the last two years. Maybe someone had the same experience and it gives them comfort in knowing my struggles. I know that helps me.
This pandemic has hit me hard. I moved out of my childhood home in August 2020 and I learned how poor my mental health could be when left in solitude with nothing more than my thoughts and the occasional distraction. I found out how angry, how depressed, and how anxious I could be. Our minds truly try to deceive us, at times. For a good year and a half, I could barely breathe. “Covid must have ravaged my lungs”, I thought. With my nasal passages closed tight and struggling to fill my lungs with oxygen, I believed it was a matter of time before I suffocated and my time on this earth was up. Although my supportive girlfriend was by my side, I couldn’t help but feel alone. That’s what being in your head all day is like. Around many but still all alone. I was experiencing anxiety attacks on, what felt like, a near everyday basis. Eating to quiet the thoughts and ease the anxiety only put a pause on the struggles and ,as a result, I became the unhealthiest version of myself that I had ever been. In January 2021, while in the midst of my nightly 2 am eating session to help me forget about my thoughts of inadequacy and breathlessness, I finally thought my time was up. This was not a panic attack I had ever felt before. “This is it. My lungs are giving out. It’s over.” I woke up my girlfriend from her sleep and asked her to take me to the hospital. After x-rays and bloodwork that spanned four to five hours and the anticipation of horrible news throughout that entire time, it was revealed to me by the doctor that my lungs were COMPLETELY and UTTERLY……fine. As was my bloodwork. I couldn’t believe it. Everything was in my mind. “How could you do this to me? How could I do this to me?” “Is there anyone else who has been feeling like this or am I still all alone!?” “This is anxiety? How do some people function with this s**t?” With the news that I was fine I could finally work to improve. And that’s where I’m at right now: Working to improve. I can’t help but feel that my mind betrayed me and I betrayed my body these last couple of years. If you’re in the same boat just know that all we can do now is work to improve.
Things are getting better. Maybe writing helps me. Maybe that’s why I finally got the cajones to start this blog. After the tremendous mental struggle I have had recently, I realize that struggles will always be present in life, but without having your head right, they become that much harder to tackle. Trouble with finances and trouble finding the “right career” are not as big of a deal as we make them out to be. If your mental health is right, good things will follow as long as you’re trying. Focus on you. Do what makes you happy. Don’t stop, no matter how often your mind tells you to do so. Show it who runs the show. It’s easy to give up. Trying is much more difficult. Challenge yourself. It’s more fun anyway.