Updated: Jun 27, 2020
With the whole world going into turmoil over the Coronavirus, my mental health has been suffering, but not for the reasons you may assume. It’s the relative normalcy that has continued despite so much changing. Yes; university has been cancelled, I can’t meet the number of groups I have fostered for the purpose such as writing, poetry nights, photography groups, and more. However the great amounts of stress largely comes from how this ‘isolation’ hasn’t been isolating for me, it’s been the norm. While others emphasise the change and how they’re unable to socialise in person and hence have to revert to it online, I’m only further reminded of what’s wrong with me. How unprecedented isolation that others see as novel, abnormal, annoying, I have gotten used to for so very long, even while studying at university apart from the odd moments seeing someone I knew and chatting for a couple minutes before going our separate ways.
It’s hard to come to terms with this unprecedented way of life where you’re there like ‘oh, did something change?’, even my birthday was probably better due to the isolation because I knew there was no alternative, and that anyone else celebrating that day alongside me was doing the same. For the last week I would have foregone eating if it wasn’t for my birthday, wasn’t for the excuse where I could say “oh fuck it, I can treat myself, it’s my birthday” which is no excuse at all, but is the only one I have.
I know this loneliness isn’t new, since I was 11 years old or whatever age I got Facebook I would screenshot all the birthday wishes to remind myself I wasn’t alone, or at least try to convince myself. Prior to that, it just occurred to me, prior to Facebook, I kept every birthday card I have ever gotten, only throwing them out in the house a few months ago having had some dating 10 years prior. It’s funny even, in a terribly depressing way, that if all humanity got wiped out, I still probably wouldn’t be any more lonely (apart from the physical access to food via human logistical resources etc. May be depressing to admit, may be depressing to live, and trust me, it’s even more depressing to live this thought. I hope everyone remains safe and sound during these tense and unprecedented times, but I cannot wish for myself the same, which is probably a causal factor for my lack of anxiety about the virus and my own health, because the worst-case isn’t a problem for me. But the only thing that is, is who I can spread it to, and hence the only reason I’m taking any precautions in this world.
But I’ll try to continue doing art, all I can really do or think of doing really. Trying to continue, raise money for charitable causes, try to raise awareness to many mental health issues, especially as I live them among many others. Even writing this, it’s to defy the side of me that tries to hide it, even from myself. Hiding does no one any good. Which is why I continue to write poetry, do photography and express.
So for everyone who wished me well on my birthday, thanks, I appreciate it. I hope this doesn't make it seem like I didn't, it's just my predisposition, my life. But it is as it is.