Parallels of the Pandemic
We are in Day #30 of social distancing, isolated in our home, tucked away from the rest of the world – as are millions of people across the globe.
The beginning days of the pandemic were unnerving. Events I never imagined happening in my lifetime were swiftly unfolding as the virus took hold of Canada. It created anxiety, fear, uncertainty, worry, and frustration in each of us. We questioned how long we would be in isolation; we questioned when our children would resume school; and for those of us who lost our job because of COVID-19, we questioned when we could resume work. Thirty days later there are no definitive answers. The numbers are grim. The reality is bleak. We continue to reside in uncertainty, fear, and worry.
What amazes me – stuns me to my very core – are the emotional parallels that this pandemic creates next to that of a cancer diagnosis. When diagnosed and being treated for cancer you live each and every day in fear, uncertainty, worry, and angst. There is a hurricane of emotion ripping through you, and it is overwhelming, almost unbearable at the best of times. Yet over time, and often with assistance, you learn to cope with those feelings; acknowledging their existence and setting them aside to give way to gratitude and gratefulness. But in these dark days of COVID-19 those deeply-rooted, personal feelings of angst and fear within me have been yanked to the surface as a direct result of this pandemic. It has hurled me backwards, and has brought up those not-quite forgotten feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and unease. It has brought up the memories of living each day of my life in absolute uncertainty.
How does one cope? Over the years I have written many posts offering insight and advice on practical coping skills – and I rely on those coping skills. The techniques work, which is why I’m happy to share them with others. However, lately my anxiety has been a little too overwhelming and real, and is creating a panic within. The reason for this, is what has kept me feeling safe over these past 4 years has been taken away from me due to the pandemic. I am physically and emotionally feeling the loss of my healing therapies that kept my pain tolerable, my mind at rest, and my body in strength. Now, without them, I am left feeling extremely vulnerable; and I am experiencing chronic pain/discomfort, which triggers a worry within. When I suffer this type of pain [a direct result of the mastectomy], I begin to think that something is very wrong. I begin to fret. I cannot rest my mind. I begin to question what have I done … and I question my personal choices. I question my everyday life habits – are they helpful or harmful? Questioning oneself in times of great stress is a dangerous path to traverse. I know this, yet cannot seem to stop myself from having dreaded thoughts – thoughts that lead to self-doubt and self-blame. I am coping, and am relying on the techniques I like to use; but lately I feel as though I am spiralling backwards from my hard-earned progress forwards. It is a vicious cycle.
Where am I going with this rhetoric? Nowhere. I am merely sharing my very personal anxieties with you – to reassure you that you are not alone. In this unique time of social distancing we are all feeling vulnerable and afraid. We are all living life in absolute uncertainty. This pandemic is either creating new fears or causing parallel emotions to rage within. These feelings, triggered by the global pandemic, are real. They bind us all together. Together we are facing this uncertainty. How we cope with it and how we learn from it, will be our own unique journey to take.
It is okay to not be okay; and somedays will be better than others. Let us acknowledge that, and then move forward from it – together.
Parallels of the Pandemic. Published by Crystal Joy Hall
Featured Image: Lina Kivaka