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Living Through a Pandemic with Mental Illness

This past year has been rough. After one year of COVID, I still cannot believe that life was once normal. At one point, we could gather with people, did not have to wear masks, went to concerts, partied, all of it. It freaks me out to watch TV that was filmed before the pandemic when people weren’t wearing masks or they were all in large groups.

As someone with pretty bad anxiety and can dissociate, depersonalize, and goes through derealization a lot, it has been crazy that I haven’t hit this COVID wall sooner. I’m tired of it. I am tired of my college experience being robbed, of my student teaching being robbed, and just all round just being so on edge that I am going to get it or spread it and the people around me are going to die.

In the beginning I had friends check in on me, them knowing that this was going to be a big trigger for me. I appreciated it more than I could ever put into words. But I was fine. I was home living it up with my family who I love more than anything else. It was nice even though the world was scary outside. But a year later it isn’t. I thought we would be in it for two weeks. And then only two months. Now it has been a whole year and I cannot handle it anymore.

It is so draining to be on edge about it all the time. Even though I see a few more people than I did in the beginning and am going out to eat sometimes, I can get back to my normal life. I thrive on being busy. Although I am busy now, it is moreso a “COVID busy,” as my housemate said. Mostly, it is a really busy semester. Zoom is getting annoying and I am tired of people saying everything will work out when people are still getting sick and dying.

This wasn’t a positive recount of this pandemic, but I think it is okay because nothing about this pandemic has been positive. It is affecting more people than we know and more than people are letting it show. You don’t have to be strong. It has been a year and I still can’t wrap my head around this. It has been a whirlwind of a time. Even though positive sparks are there, it is okay to be deeply annoyed and frustrated with the state of the world right now

Sarah Elizabeth

Monmouth '21

Sarah is currently a senior history/political science secondary education major with a minor in sociology. Her biggest dream in life is to be a middle or high school history teacher or to open up her own coffee shop. She loves dogs, strawberries, hiking and green tea.
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