I know this may not be the appropriate time to talk about mental health, but I can’t think of a better time than when the entire world is being asked to self isolate.
Isolation can bring a host of issues and problems revolving around depression, stress and anxiety and while I can’t tell you how to deal with it, I can tell you that I understand, because this is my normal.
I’m used to being alone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s lonely as hell and there are a lot of things that happen in a day that I won’t write about much less talk about with another human being.
I live with Depression, Anxiety, Stress and all the symptoms of PTSD disorder, and so do millions of other people who are finding themselves feeling oddly calm in these chaotic times.
Every day of my life is a learning curve because the wave of anxiety, depression and other PTSD symptoms is constantly changing, and so thus every day I have to find new ways to navigate past the desire to become a slump.
As I write this I am battling the flu, and I have to tell you, it’s hard to imagine that I can feel worse than I do right now, even though I know I’ve been way more sick in the past…I am uncomfortable, unsure of what to do with myself and frankly y’all I am fucking bored.
Even though I’ve been self isolating for the last two years or so I am not used to being alone so much. I am a natural extrovert, and I used to enjoy being around people…the less I am around them the more I find I get frustrated with all the things they do that irritate me.
Adding to the overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression and stress comes frustration with those who are refusing to do the one thing that could literally save the planet…stay the fuck home.
Human’s do what comes natural to them, and what comes natural to them is disobeying rules and regulations that would keep them safe, and it’s not cute, it’s not adorable, it’s dangerous selfish and fucking stupid.
But what do I know? I’m just a keyboard warrior.
The Olympics are inevitably going to be cancelled as Canada has already pulled out, I am sure others will too. There is a sense of fear in the air that I haven’t felt before, it’s different than being afraid men are going to come back and murder you, ( a fear I live with daily. ) it’s global, it’s an energy in the air that is collective rather than singular.
For some of you this is a terrifying time in your life, for most of us however it’s our normal. We’re used to this, which is why so many of us are sitting back comfortably as you complain about how difficult it is to keep your distance from those you claim to love.
I guess what I am saying is that I want you to remember this when we survive. I want you to remember the fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness, I want you to remember it because when your self isolation is over, ours is just continuing.
We don’t get to go back to work or reenter the world the same way you do when this is over. We still have to deal with the same issues that have been holding us back in some cases for years, from having a healthy productive life.
So when this is over for you, please remember those of us who struggle every day, those of us you call lazy, and selfish for not just going and getting any job we can take.
Remember those of us on disability who struggle each month with paying bills while simultaneously trying to carve out some kind of a life for ourselves.
Remember the single parents who right now are separated from their children because of the need to socially distance themselves, remember the victims of rape who are using social isolation as a security blanket to hide out from a world that chewed us up and spat us out.
While you’re complaining about how standing six feet away from someone “looks weird” (direct quote from a Vancouverite) remember that there are those of us who are immune compromised that could die if infected with this disease.
Spend this time thinking about those other than yourself, because now more than ever consideration for your fellow human beings is absolutely perimount.
Spend this time thinking about the Doctors, Nurses and Hospital staff that have to go to work every day and bring that work home with them each night in order to literally try to save the planet.
Or at least, the mortals who inhabit the planet.
Because right now the last thing we need is people being selfish. I heard about a family in Port Co, that decided to sell masks at a public park. One mask for 20 dollars and a box for up to $70.00, are you fucking kidding me? There are Doctors and Nurses who could desperately use that equipment.
One man said as his excuse, “it’s not just me….I’m not the only one,” that doesn’t make it okay.
We all learned that two wrongs don’t make a right in third grade, if you missed out on that day, it’s a really easy lesson to learn.
If you think it’s bad now I got news for you…it’s only going to get worse, because although I hate to dash your dreams, when this is over there is going to be a fucking depression coming.
Millions of people around the world are not getting paid for their time off, and even though Governments have pledged money toward their income, it’s not going to make up for the huge chunk they are losing, and so before this is over we’re going to be in a depression.
I know people are expecting that we’re going to go back to business as usual, but how can we? How can we possibly forget the sheer volume of humans we lost due to our own inability to listen to those who know better for ten minutes?
When is it a good time to suggest that humans need to put aside their arrogance and realize that the very science they deny when it comes to climate is the same science that is trying to save lives now?
At what point do we get honest with ourselves and remember that the situation that we find ourselves in now was completely avoidable, and that if we’d had anyone other than Donald Trump leading the fucking charge…we wouldn’t be here today.
I personally can go days without saying one verbal word to another human being other than my mother or my aunt. There are entire weeks where I don’t see other human beings at all, unless I absolutely have to…I’m used to the isolation.
But what about those who aren’t? How are they going to fare during this rough time? How many more are going to turn to drugs and booze in their off time because they have the time off and nothing better to do? How many of you are going to be released into the wild with newly formed mental health issues due to issues from your past that you haven’t dealt with yet?
It’s going to be hard for a very long time, for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Now is the time to be having conversations about anxiety, depression, abuse, confusion, all of the things that come with feelings.
Now more than ever is the time when we should be connecting to each other and checking in with each other through friends, family and even social media. Now is the time when human beings have the chance to become more connected as a collective than ever, but if we’re not careful we’re going to blow this amazing opportunity for emotional and spiritual growth.
Right now we have an opportunity to change the way we communicate with each other and the things that we communicate about. Now is the time to be more honest than ever about how fucking hard it is to be alone in the middle of an international emergency.
I encourage you to talk to strangers over social media, share your experiences and your stories and be open to listening to the experiences of others. Make friends with your neighbours over the balcony, communication is going to be the next great wonder of the world.
If we learn now how to use it properly.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall