Quarantine Coping

5 months. I can’t tell if it’s gone by fast or slow. Maybe a mix of both. When this all started back in March (lock down I mean, not COVID) I, like everyone, didn’t know how long it would last. I didn’t know how serious it was, just that it was serious. I didn’t know what else I would face this year. And yet, I cried. We had just came back from a cruise and magically got off the boat no problem. While sailing, we were completely in the dark for five days. Urgency was at about a 3 when we left and moved to a 10 by the time we were back. There was nothing gradual about it. We came home. Knowing we’d be working from home for who knows how long. I unpacked my bag. I sat on the couch and I cried. I didn’t even know what I was crying for or about. I was healthy and so was my family and all of my friends. But still I cried. It was instinct. If you’re reading this, I know you know what I mean.

Now it’s August, almost September . Friends, it has been a journey of major highs and major lows. I’ve had 3 panic attacks which, are the first I’ve had in 2 years. I’ve had pet health scares, family health scares and doubts about where I was going in my life. I’ve eaten too much and eaten too little. I’ve run out the door like a post-haste and I’ve fallen to the floor in sadness. I’ve watched friends move away while I grew closer to this city I call home.

I’ve stayed in therapy. Twice a week a zoom session with my therapist where I either unravel or stare off into space babbling blankly about my woes. It’s helped. Therapy helps even when it feels like it doesn’t help. I’ve journaled, meditated, cooked and most importantly I’ve run. Some things have helped and some things happened. Or they helped one day and didn’t the next.

I’m a planner by nature and not knowing an end date to something is seriously my worst nightmare. That means I am forced to be in the moment. I can’t really even think beyond tomorrow. I’m trying to see that as a good thing. I’ve always been kind of flighty with my thoughts. I worried about the future so much and my goals and being “stuck.” Well, now I am kind of stuck, yet it’s set my thoughts free – because I literally cannot plan for anything. I just have to take it day by day. Weirdly, it turns out being “stuck”, isn’t so bad.

And so we take it all in stride. Count our blessings. Pray we stay healthy and that a vaccine is just around the corner. In the meantime, I don’t want to take this moment in our lives for granted. It’s made me pause and reflect. It’s shown me what I’m mentally capable of and what’s beyond my reach – and how to cope with that. At least there is one thing I know to be true. None of us are in it alone.

I hope you’re finding some kind of solace in this confusing and scary time as well.

As my Grandma loved to say “it is what it is” and “this too shall pass.”

Self care, self flare.



Published by Kelly Tietjen

Chicago gal offering my own take on self development, creativity, mental health and more.

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