a pandemic that’s made me numb

I’m really worried about the Coronavirus. And yes, I know the majority of the planet is worried.

Here’s the thing: I am worried all the time. There are probably people who are less worried about this pandemic than I am about my everyday life. I have an anxiety disorder, so my day-to-day experiences bring me stress, regardless of if my worries are rational or not.

This pandemic is making me completely numb. When your life is already comprised of worrying about the worst case scenario, this is almost expected. It’s just a confirmation that your worst nightmares can and will happen.

My anxiety has always been exacerbated by the fear of illness. And I have been through worst-case-scenario experiences. My grandma had cancer. My grandpa and dad had heart attacks. My mom has had very bad, lifelong asthma and emergency surgeries. My sister had times in her life where she was sick for months on end with no diagnosis.

But then things got better and my anxiety lessened again.

COVID-19 doesn’t have an end date. It doesn’t have anything solid I can count on to make everything okay. It’s basically the manifestation of what I worry will happen all the time. And in my mind, it’s literally the end of the world.

Don’t even try commenting saying that “everything is going to be okay,” because anxiety is not at all based on rationality and honestly, that’s not too helpful at a time like this. I will still continue to believe that this virus will kill my parents, grandparents, in-laws and every other immunocompromized person I care about.

I know I’m also not the only one feeling the squeeze on their mental state right now, either due to an anxiety disorder or just the worry of a trying time. And I have faith, I really do- in the researchers and doctors working tirelessly and especially in God to work things out for His plan. But that doesn’t give me comfort, and I can’t help it.

There are lots of other reasons for worry right now, too. Of course I’m worried about people getting sick and dying, but I’m also terrified about the financial issues. One of my jobs is wedding photography, and weddings aren’t exactly happening right now. I also really feel for a lot of the small businesses! There was a restaurant in my neighborhood that had a grand opening on Monday but then immediately had to shut down. I know many people whose lives depend on paychecks from stores, restaurants or other service jobs that literally don’t exist right now. I worry about them.

Not to mention self quarantining doesn’t allow for much distraction from these intrusive thoughts.

Please check up on those who struggle with mental health issues. Some of us are dealing with your same worries, but magnified. Others just feel numb. This is how we feel every day, but with extra problems. And some of us want to lock ourselves inside and never, ever leave. We’re all handling it differently, but everyone on this planet could use some encouragement and thoughtfulness right now.

Stay healthy, everyone!

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