I couldn’t sleep last night. I stared into the darkness of the room. My eyes burning after crying for what felt like hours but was likely just thirty minutes. My mind was buzzing. I couldn’t turn it off no matter how hard I tried and though my eyelids were heavy with sleep, I couldn’t even force them closed. The attack came on fast and strong, building from anger and frustration of living in quarantine.
For me, as time wears on in this pandemic, the space between anxiety attacks shortens. In the beginning it was easier to look at this as a short term challenge but now, it’s not that easy. While I have a routine of daily work outs, free lance commissions and hobbies to keep me busy, I can’t occupy my mind 100% of the time. And with the silence comes the despair. It seeps into my bones until I’m angry and scared and sad all at once. Until I can’t concentrate on anything else but the hurt I’m feeling and there’s nothing else to do but cry.
I learned long ago I couldn’t hide my anxiety and wearing it as a badge of who I am was the best way for me to live. But not everyone can live like that and as open as I am about my anxiety, my attacks, and my down days, there are several others who aren’t. Maybe they don’t want to share, maybe they can’t share, or maybe they don’t even realize it’s anxiety they are suffering from. But whatever it is, it’s out there and many many people are suffering in silence.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. (Appropriate timing I think.) And while the stigma of mental health issues is slowing disappearing, it’s not gone completely. Along with the remaining stigma, a lack of mental health care opportunities for some can be frustrating. So this month, and every month really, I urge you to do what you can on your own. If you have friends or family who may be struggling, talk to them. Even if they don’t want to talk ABOUT their anxieties or depression, let them know you’re there if they change their mind. Let them know you care. If you have anxiety or depression and are powering through it, or maybe you’re floundering like me, share your stories if you can. You might just find you inspire someone and if you can save one person, that is worth it. There’s only so much one can do while in mandatory isolation, but we do have the blessing that is technology. So use it wisely. Share happy things, don’t spread fear mongering and fake news, and check on your friends.
Dum Spiro, Spero. While I breath, I hope.
All my love from the farm.