I woke up yesterday morning and had to go up to my city department to pay our electric and water bill. I get in my son’s truck and I turn down Main Street in my small city and there is nobody out. This is about 9:00 a.m. It is a weird feeling to see that. I park and go up to the doors where there is a sign about how they are not open and all payments may be left in the dropbox they have inside. All papers such as extensions to pay later in the month are sitting on the table as well. I get my payment ready and my extension sheet because right now things are so uncertain. It is such a wake up call. Working from home already I often do not get that reality check until I go out somewhere or see talk about it all online. I often wake up and feel like it is just a normal day because for me that part has not changed much. Seeing all of this sends me into both my anxiety and depression. The world is not normal right now. Things are not as they used to be and that is just scary. I decided I would talk about what a day in the life of someone like me with anxiety and depression is like right now during this pandemic.
Today we had decided that we would make the 20 minute drive to Sherman to get supplies we needed. My husband would drive and I would be the one to go in at Sams for shopping for supplies and McAllister’s Deli for lunch to go. We know to limit who goes inside at times like this. My husband already is at enough risk since he is an essential worker at a food manufacturing plant. I woke up and again it feels like a normal day at first. We often make trips on Thursday and go have lunch together. I pick up my phone and scroll through Facebook and I am quickly reminded of what is going on outside my doors right now. The world is just not normal right now. It is not only the talk of the coronavirus that makes my anxiety start to well up inside me but the way I see peopling “talking” to each other online. Everyone is so on edge and stressed that they are lashing out at each other at alarming rates. The negativity online is very real right now. I am anxious and have put it off as long as I can so I get ready for our short trip for necessities.
Lately I have only been shopping in our small town and in and out as quickly as possible so much of the craziness I have been a bit sheltered from lately. I had and have experienced empty shelves and all of that madness but not people still being on when we have all been asked to limit who goes out and practice social distancing. I have been in Family Dollar and seen the marks on the floor to help everyone stay 6 feet apart.
I enter Sams and it is pretty crowded but not a giant amount more than normal. I was shocked at the amount of people I saw with multiple people in their party and the whole family shopping. I get being a single parent and maybe you have to take your children or two grown people who are family living separately and go together for supplies. All of that makes total sense and those are not who I am about to talk about. I am talking about whole families that should have limited it to one person in and one person only. As an example, I witnessed two women, two men, a teenager, a toddler and a baby. Why in the world were they all in there? How can they risk their children being exposed? There should have been a maximum of two of them assuming that it was two separate families. The men should have stayed home or at the very least waited in the car with the children. I cannot wrap my head around this. My anxiety is in full gear and I am very angry and frustrated by this. Yes, my anxiety often manifests as aggravation and frustration. What do people not get about this idea of social distancing and staying home and keeping kids home?
Just trying to walk around and find what you need and think of things you can buy to cook over the next few weeks is enough to make any of us anxious right now. For me with an anxiety disorder it is elevated. I could not even think straight. I did not want to be there. I did not want to be in this situation. I worry about spending the money with my job so up in the air right now. I don’t know for sure if and when unemployment payments will hit or when the stimulus package will hit our bank accounts. I have filed my unemployment but until I know a payment request was accepted or a definite approval has been made I will not feel secure and they anxiety around that will continue. I am filing based on partial lack of work. I have gotten 3.5 hours so far this week with only tomorrow scheduled for 5 hours. Last week I worked 30 minutes on Friday. What if my job for some reason denies my claim? All of this and so much more is running rampant in my mind as I walk around trying to figure out what to buy for our household. I stop by to grab a pair of capri pants I had previously purchased and really liked. I know it is not the time to shop for clothing but I have a hard time finding things I like so while I was already there I decided I would grab another pair. I am looking around judging myself and waiting to be judged. I have seen people talking about people shopping for unnecessary items and I certainly don’t want anyone talking about me later because I purchased a pair of capris. Do they see my cart with food items in it? I hope they know I did not come in here just to get these pants. Everyone online is being so judgy of others and I do not want to be the focus of any of that.
I usually get an Icee while I am at Sams but not today. The counter area for food and drinks is all wrapped up and closed. I am not surprised but it is yet another reminder that life is not as usual. There are no boxes up front to put your items in because they have been so busy they cannot keep up. My stomach decides to kick in and I am walking quickly to the bathroom. My stomach does not do well with stress and anxiety. My IBS does not do well during times like this. I got checked out with no issues so that was certainly nice because I am already feeling the anxiety and I am in a very bad mood and my breathing is labored.
We head over to McAllister’s to pick up the food that I had ordered via their app. Our order is ready. There is only me and one other person in there and we are careful to keep those 6 feet away from each other. In my mind I am thinking that even though we need to support businesses we are also taking extra risks by picking up food and things of that nature. It is a balance of trying to stimulate the economy and trying to stay safe from this virus.
We get gas on the way home at the gas pumps next to Walmart. I see that they only have the grocery side doors open and they have a line of carts keeping people going in one door and out the other. There is a worker standing outside to speak to people and guide them. This is just all so weird. I then worry that Dave just got gas and gas pumps are one of the places they warn us about being very likely to carry this virus. I am just ready to be home. I want to be home where I do not have to see all of this.
I stop in Dollar General on the way home because we still need paper towels and lemonade. There are no paper towels and no lemonade. We drive by our grocery store in town and there are so many cars there. I just could not go in there with it like that. I had more than enough people and realization today. I feel so depressed because we cannot do the things we want to right now. I feel so anxious because dealing with it all is just too much sometimes.
I took a nap as I often do after a day out. My anxiety and especially the social anxiety aspect of it often has me exhausted after a day out. It just sucks all of my energy out of my body it seems. I woke up to the need to steam clean the only two rooms with carpet in our home. Our dog has had diarrhea and he chose those rooms to be in when it occurred rather than the hardwood floor which is much easier to clean. My brother needs to also borrow it so I am trying to quickly get this done. I feel so bad for him and I do not know whether I should be worried or not. Dogs can feel our stress and our whole house is under stress right now. I already have had the same issue myself and they can pick up on things from their owner so I will just monitor it. My anxious mind is now trying to get all of this done while also wondering if I am a shitty dog mom for not trying to take him to the vet. My mind worries about him but also about the money for a visit right now. What if something is bad wrong with him? How in the world would I make it through that?
Lately I have cried more than I want to. I have had to take my anxiety pill more than I wanted to. I have felt like not doing a damn thing more than I wish I had. I preach to people that it is okay to just do nothing sometimes yet my own anxiety tells me I need to get up and stop being a bum. My depression tells me I need to lay down and not doing anything because the world sucks right now. I am fighting them both on a daily basis and they each have their own agendas. It is not easy having so many thoughts swirling around in your head all the time. I have trouble sleeping at night and find myself in tears because I cannot make all of the thoughts go away or even just slow down. I worry about family. I worry about the world. I worry about my job. I worry about everyone’s jobs and businesses. I think about all of the cruel things I have seen people saying online. I worry about the things that I think and judge myself for those thoughts. I get sad about not being able to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday with her. I get sad about the possibility that none of us will be able to be around when our fourth grandchild is born due to all of this. I am sad that we are all having to social distance. It is necessary but it does not stop me from being sad about it. I am home a lot but once you lost the ability to get out of the house it is a very different feeling. Knowing that I cannot get out and do some browsing if I feel alone and confined is a crappy feeling. Knowing I cannot just go visit a family member right now is hard.
I battle my mental illnesses daily already and this whole pandemic just has me fighting even harder some days. I want to wake up and this all have been a dream or a nightmare rather. I want to live in my work at home bubble and think that the world is still the same but it isn’t. I know so many can relate to how I feel right now. I have sought out online counseling myself and I hope that anyone else having these issues will do the same if you are at all able to. We all need that support system right now. We all must use the internet and social media for good. There is good in all of that you just have to make a big effort right now to limit your time on social media or try to avoid things that are triggers to what is going on the world right now. I am trying to balance it all and I am taking it day by day.