Last Sunday I woke up very excited to go visit a new church for one of my class projects. It was sunny and beautiful outside. I kept telling my friend how I could not believe that I finally got to wear my light dress after a long period of time. We went to New Covenant Evangelical Church in Logan square. That day, the preaching was about forgiveness. It was powerful! I went to bed that night thinking to myself, “I will have to go back to church next week to finish that sermon.” What I am trying to say is, it was a perfect day!
Fast forward, a week later, the entire world has taken a complete turn. All of a sudden, I can’t go to church, I can’t go to the gym, classes have been suspended and I have to practice self-isolation. It’s been three days now and I am writing this with all honesty, I do not like it all.
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with acute PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I then started to fight my way back to a healthy mental state. The gym then became my sanctuary, a place where for an hour, I can at least get out of my head. After coming to McCormick, it became my second sanctuary. McCormick became a place where I can find distraction, people to talk to and a lot of papers to think about.
Right now, with everything cancelled, I can already feel the tension within. I feel like it is going to be so hard for some people like me, who struggle with mental illness and rely on distractions and/or daily routines to avoid relapse.
For those with depression, hearing so much talk of death is difficult and may increase thoughts of suicide.
For those with OCD, seeing the actions on different precautions may increase the intrusive thoughts and fear.
For those with eating disorder, seeing many people stock up on food may trigger them to slip back into old behaviors.
For those with anxiety, to see so many people getting very tense can make their anxiety a lot worse.
For those like me with PTSD, getting sick can be extremely scary because it might cause us to feel a loss of control over our own bodies.
I am really sending love and light to everyone with mental illness that this is going to affect, know that you are not alone. I am still trying to figure out some ways that might help to make me go through this in a healthy way. Because, I do understand how important self-isolation is in this period and time. If I figure it out, I will definitely share the tips with you all. In the meantime, remember to take regular breaks from social media / news, and just breathe. We will be okay.