Depression is a difficult thing to live with under normal circumstances, but in particularly challenging times like what we're now facing with the Coronavirus, maintaining our mental health can be horrifically more difficult than what we're used to.
I began this quarantine two weeks ago with an open mind. I had plans to post daily videos for an online fantasy convention, get tons of writing done, and catch up on the backlogs of bookmarks I wanted to make for my Etsy Shop. That optimism and motivation lasted about 4 days.
Aside from this post, I haven't written a single word. I made and uploaded three videos to my YouTube channel, then lost the motivation to continue. Something about my idea suddenly seemed...wrong. I cut some rainbow unicorn fabric to make some bookmarks, but I didn't do anything with them. The rectangles are still sitting untouched on my sewing table.
In normal times, I teach adult ballet classes at one of the studios in my area. I'm also the social media coordinator, and when this all began, the artistic directors let me know that they were creating classes to put on the website so the students could take class at home. I thought it was a great idea and asked if I could record a class for my adult students. I thought it would be good for both them and me.
I was told no.
Then, when I pushed further, insisting that I didn't want my adult ballet students to be left out or forgotten, I was told I could record a class to put on the YouTube channel. I was thrilled! For the first time in over a week, I felt like I had a purpose. I felt like I was finally able to return to a bit of normalcy.
The next day, I recorded an hour-long class, and I told one of the artistic directors when I finished. She told me to wait to post it on YouTube until hers was up. Then, when I asked the next day if I could post mine, she told me no. When I asked why, because she'd said I could, she basically said, "I never said that."
I let the matter drop, and my depression worsened.
Today, I lost it.
Sitting here at 2 in the afternoon, it's the first time I've had dry eyes all day. I've barely been able to function. I sat at my desk all morning, wondering why I didn't just say "fuck it" and log in to LOTRO. But I didn't even have the motivation to play a game that I love.
I'm not telling you all of this to make you feel sorry for me. I'm telling you to let you know that you aren't alone.
These are difficult times. We're all experiencing frustrations in magnitudes that are difficult to comprehend. Everything seems hopeless and dark. Many of us are at our limits.
Many are wondering, like I did, why we don't just give up. What's the point in carrying on?
But in spite of all the darkness, and no matter how alone we might feel, as we sit in our homes, we're not alone.
This afternoon, I sat down at my computer to write this post. I didn't do it for me. I did it for all of you. I did it to help those of you who are experiencing the same difficulties as myself.
To let you know that I understand. To let you know that you aren't alone in your feelings. To let you know that I'm here for you. To let you know that you'll get through this, and that yes, it's worth it.
Do what you need to do for your mental health. Cry, scream, pour yourself a drink and get a long bubble bath, ask for help. Whatever you need to do for you, do it. Don't be ashamed.
I, and many others are here for you. Reach out, and I'll listen. We are in this together. Together, we'll pull through.
Sending you light and love. <3
How are you coping during these times? What are some things that you're doing to help your mental health? Have you started any new projects? Share with me!
If you feel uncomfortable sharing in the comments, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form on the Contact Page.
If you're feeling suicidal and don't feel you have anyone to turn to, please, please, please, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.