It took me a long time to realize just how much COVID has changed my world.
Yes, we wear masks and social distance. Stores are closed and plans are canceled. What once was a family party is now a family FaceTime call.
But it took a whole year of the pandemic to realize what it’s done to MY world. How it has affected me mentally.
It has changed me as a mother, as a wife, and as a friend. It has changed me as someone with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and Persistent Depressive Disorder. And it has changed me as a woman.
For a long time, I considered myself an introvert. And I still do. But, there’s this part of me that yearns to be with people. And it’s throwing me for a loop.
I recharge when I can be alone with my thoughts and emotions. But now I KNOW there is such a thing as being alone for too long.
Of course, I have Chase. I have my family. I now have Kaladin. But there’s something about being with strangers, acquaintances, new and old friends that makes me wish I could have that again.
I am emotionally drained. The constant worry of getting sick. Of my loved ones getting sick. I am exhausted, and I am just now realizing how far I let myself rot before I noticed what was happening.
I wish so dearly that I had just one day of pure joy. And I genuinely mean that. Of course, I’ve had unforgettably happy days. But they are all peppered with intense fear, frustration, confusion, anxiety, and depression.
And I hate it.
My main manifestation of anxiety now concerns my health. My main worry as a person with a chronic illness is of getting COVID and being unable to take care of myself and my family.
I am constantly frustrated by those who take advantage of their health. But now, it is coupled with the frustration towards those who want to get COVID just to “get it over with”. It breaks my heart for them because there is so much unknown. What if it changes your health forever?
As a mother, what does this mean for my child? There are millions of questions of health and safety on top of the worries I already have as a mother.
Now, how have I changed? More than I realize. More than I understand. And more than I wanted to.
This is NOT a pity party, but an open invitation to recognize how you have been affected. Truly, to see how YOUR world is different.
I encourage you to not push aside the effect that COVID has had on you. Instead, take a moment to really think about how you have changed. How have you been affected? How has YOUR world changed?