Admitting I need help has always been something I’ve struggled with. Typically, if something was wrong I would just work extra hard at the problem until it was completely gone. My coping mechanisms such as over working myself and simply being avoidant may not be the healthiest, but they worked pretty well up until last year. However, last year, I found myself unable to cope with the events going on around me between the pandemic, constant racial tension, political warfare and simply trying to survive. I realized I was way over my head.
I started going to therapy, hiking and doing things I genuinely enjoyed, and although I had great days I still couldn’t shake off an uneasy feeling. It felt like there was a grey cloud that was over my head and I had a constant fear that kept me up at night. “What are you even doing?” “What's the point?” I would lay awake and ask myself these questions knowing I had texts to respond to, assignments that were overdue and basic everyday human tasks that I had avoided for weeks.
I have always been overly optimistic so I thought for sure that I was just feeling the 2020 blues ┄ I wasn’t the problem, I just needed a reset. I thought that ringing in the new year, which has always been one of my favorite holidays, would bring me a plethora of joy! I believed I would fall in love with life again and I would do the things I enjoyed because I wanted to, and not just because my therapist assigned them as little “get-well” tasks. I was very wrong.
I am still exhausted. I am exhausted with the fact that we are pretending things are normal when they simply are not. I’m still exhausted over having to put on my customer service voice and serve coffee in a pandemic, and I’m exhausted from pretending to be engaged in lectures. I am exhausted from maintaining this polished image for the outside world that I am strong and everything is alright.
I try to keep my writing more on the optimistic side because that is who I am, I can genuinely say that I am one of the happiest and cheerful people I know, but I think that is why it was important to write an article with a more somber tone. I hope somebody else reads my article and feels a sense of comfort knowing they’re not alone in feeling helpless and exhausted, like they have lost themselves recently ┄ because I know I sure have.