Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

As someone who has dealt with homeless twice before already, the very thought of unemployment has always been a major anxiety trigger for me. So I’ve become the kind of person that needs to have some sense of financial stability and control in order to hold my fears and anxiety in check. Financially, I am in a better place than how things were with my family back when I was a kid, however, like most people I know living in NYC, I still live paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t the most stress-reducing situation. Just missing one paycheck results in a financial setback that will take months to recover from.

So when I got the news in April that I was furloughed, I broke down and had one of the worst panic attacks ever. My mother, who is getting through lockdown along with me, didn’t know how to help but she tried her best to calm me down, embracing me until I stopped crying, shaking and hyperventilating. (My mother has never experienced me having a panic or anxiety attack firsthand and I know this scared her but I appreciate that this is how she chose to handle the situation in that moment because I managed to recover much faster than I would have otherwise.) I was unconsolable for days. I was angry at all those “we’re in this together” messages circulating everywhere. Yes, we’re facing the same storm that is COVID-19, BUT we’re all experiencing different journeys because we’re on different ships. Some of us aren’t even on ships at all, just doing the best with our inflatable life raft, if that.

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The Roaring ’20s (and 30s)

Like most people (I like to think that I’m not the only one that does this) I make grandiose goals for myself. Its not even something I do at the start of a new year as a resolution, but just in general as a way to motivate me. So I struggle whenever I don’t meet the expectations I set for myself.  It is very unlikely that I will stop this habit any time soon, yet even with the challenges thrown my way and my disappointments (of which there were MANY in 2019), I took the time to celebrate the small victories I had in the decade that was my twenties.

Given my history with anxiety, depression and suicidal idealization (all of which are topics that I hope to cover on here soon), I never expected to even make it to my current age, let alone enter another decade of life. And that’s what makes 2020 and turning thirty so frightening to me.

Even so, I have a whole new set of goals in mind for this year and the rest of this new decade. I figure sharing some of them will help keep me honest and maybe motivate anyone that may be starting the year off on a bit of a low point to look at what comes next as chance for self-growth and greater adventures. Continue reading