Finding Things to be Grateful For in a Panicked World
2020 sure has been a bit of a shit show in many ways, hasn't it? There's a reason that I haven't updated this blog in several months, and that's because I have had a hard time finding this right things to say in written form. At the beginning of quarantine I tried to focus my time on getting things done that I had been putting off for a long time, thinking maybe it would pass quickly and I'd feel so much more accomplished when it was all over. But then quickly I was exposed to some very frightening situations that some people were caught in because of the pandemic - there were so many people laid off, unable to pay for housing or food, seeking help from local food banks, unable to access medical care when they did contract the virus, unable to have regular medical conditions tended to, single parents going crazy because they couldn't get a break from their now stir-crazy kids, battered women having to stay at home with their abuser and having literally no escape, the list went on and on...
And suddenly, quarantined at home with my loving spouse, lovely children who yes, were driving me a bit crazy, and still able to work my part-time job because I worked in an essential service, I didn't see this is a rosy opportunity to get things done, I saw this as potential torture for others, and I strove to find outlets for this fear, and ways to help. I gave to local charities that helped out people who were in dire or dangerous situations, and I made sure that we cleaned out our cupboards of any leftover foods, ensuring we wasted nothing now that some items were hard to get ahold of. I kept relatively quiet about how I was feeling on any given day because I knew that somewhere, someone had it way worse than I did, and I didn't want to be called out for having a "bad day" when someone else's bad day could be so much worse than mine ever were.
I look back at this way of approaching life for several months now and I wonder why I subjected myself to it. I am one person, and I can't possibly fix everyone's problems for them, not on my income, and with my own family and bills to tend to. I was literally making my anxiety so much worse, worrying about people I hadn't met, in situations I couldn't do anything about, except by supporting charities that helped them, and ignoring my own mental health. I will definitely admit that for awhile, my own mental state with myself was a bit questionable, and I probably should have talked to someone about it. Eventually I woke up from this anxiety-riddled life and took better care of myself, but it was a difficult time for me to be sure.