My Journey Living in Quarantine With My Mental Illness

Spring break felt like it was just last week. I was dreading returning to Orlando and had begun feeling annoyed about finishing the spring semester. Soon, however, I was slapped with reality like most of the people on Planet Earth, when the coronavirus took a turn for the worst. At first, I found it to be a minor bump in the road for my progression in this world, a slight halt to make sure the rest of the world turns out alright, until we learned that everyone is truly at risk. As time goes on I find the days mixing into each other. The thrill to take my dog for three walks a day is soothing me from a worse reaction to being stuck in quarantine. 

In the past, and during my journey through college, I have suffered from severe mental illnesses, stemming from depression to chronic anxiety. I've been learning to live and function through my mind during my twenty years on this earth, but recently I've been trying to improve my mental health. I've been seeing doctors and trying therapeutic methods to get me on the right path to health, but this pandemic has caused me to lack a positive balance. Before medication and talking out my feelings, I spent my days distracting my mind and keeping busy. This kept the thoughts and emotions on pause, but never truly ended them. This was just a good way for me to get through the day without feeling my life burdens pausing my goals from becoming real. 

signs outsideNow that we're confined to our homes, for not only the two weeks that have already passed but also for another thirty days to come, I find whatever sanity I had before slipping right from my fingertips as I type this. I know there's something that I could be doing, but as a college student who is set to a certain strict school schedule due to their major, you begin to go crazy when you have nothing to do but online classes. Zoom University was not what I signed up for, nor am I doing well in the courses now that they're not face-to-face. Being an art major, I not only learn from hands-on experiences, but my classes are training-based, not study-based. As I continue down the journey of being a full-time online student, it's only causing more chaos in my brain. 

What's been helping me during this time has been trying to find a new routine to fall into. I make sure I wake up at an appropriate time and have certain things every day that I do, like washing dishes, walking my dog and checking to make sure my online classes and emails are up to date for the day. These things work the mind in some way, but keep the days from turning into each other. Mind games, discovering new things or even growing your garden on your balcony (which is what I have been doing) has caused my serotonin to not completely deplete before my eyes. I did, however, become ordained online during this time, so if you'd like to get married, let me know. I would love to host a Zoom wedding. 

Overall, the thought of knowing we're all struggling to get past this boulder in the road brings me comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one going through this change. I leave you with a picture of the beautiful outside world we will one day get to enjoy again. 

out doors beautiful