We have been living in a Covid world for what has seemed forever. Do you remember Christmas of 2019? It was your LAST normal Christmas... just a few weeks later, Covid cases were being announced around the country and the world. Unfortunately, Covid isn't showing signs of slowing down, and we don't know when or if things will ever be the same, again. So how has Covid impacted you?
Back in March of 2020, I was moving locations, opening a group practice (albeit short lived), and thinking I was going to be the therapist I always dreamed of being. Then the world shut down. Remember, "Stay home for two weeks, to flatten the curve"? Yeah, I do too.. it didn't happen. Do you remember how awful and invasive it felt to wear masks in the beginning (and yeah, I still don't like to wear them)? We were told to isolate ourselves, schools shut down, businesses shut down their physical footprint, and the I-5 corridor here in WA was EMPTY. It was amazing to actually get from Chehalis to Kirkland in an hour and a half. It felt amazing (again, short lived). By the end of March, my internship also shut down it's physical location to entirely go online, and one of our colleagues had Covid. We were so scared. We didn't know what to do. In some ways I think we still don't know what to do. By the end of the year, my group practice that I was so excited for I had to shut down due to expenses, moved to another location, and I had Covid for Christmas 2020. Talk about devastating. There was no celebrating with my family that year as I whisked myself home and watched my family open their gifts via Zoom. It was awful, not going to lie.
What made it awful was not being with my family. I watched my sons and their significant others open the gifts I brought. I didn't get to physically be part of the joy and excitement. That was probably one of my most dark moments. I bet though, I'm not alone in that.
Covid has made us sacrifice so much, just to survive. The isolation, the masks, the fear has made people be at odds with not only themselves, but with others as well. What we do need are to have people around us. We weren't made to be in isolation, we were meant for community. Having someone to talk to has helped us to navigate the toughest things we've faced in the past and this is no exception.
People are showing more signs of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. It has become more and more prevalent for people. Couples that were doing alright having time apart during the day were struggling because both partners were made to stay home. Children who were able to get away from an abusive home and feel safe at school now lost that safety net. We have had to make drastic changes to how we see the world. So, how should we be looking at the world now?
Covid is here to stay, and that is probably an unfortunate fact. So we must lean more on each other. Ask others how they're doing. Really asking, and really listening. The mask we put on our face, can not be the mask we show the world. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, more substance use than in the past, other addictions, relationship abuse please reach out for help. Do not stay isolated.