Demons of Pandemic and beyond.
Will I ever get to see the people I love, one more time ?
TW: Sexual Abuse, Covid, Mental Health Conditions, Death
I remember the last time I asked this question to myself. It was 4 years ago in a far away land where I was forcefully confined to a house during an abusive relationship. Getting physically and mentally abused by someone you trusted is an excruciating pain and to wake up the next day, to prepare food for the same person and pretend like nothing happened until it happens all over again the same evening, is just every description of hell in reality.
Every single day the torture only increased and over the days, the question turned to a belief that, "I will not get to see anyone else, ever again". Infact if not for a universal intervention and my sister, I wouldn't have been alive to tell the tale.
I got a second chance at life then in the form of my sister who helped me escape, get help and restart from scratch. Yet, that incident left long lasting impact in the form of multiple severe mental health conditions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and mild OCD.
After changing multiple jobs, places and medications, things were finally taking a positive turn when I landed a job that I really liked, a super supportive team, psychotherapy and also found alternate effective cure for my condition in Ayurveda. I tried to convince myself that may be just maybe, things might change. While medications and psychotherapy helped, I was supposed to stay away from triggers that would set off panic / anxiety attacks, which if gets worse could end up in me collapsing completely. While there were many minor triggers, few major ones were good enough to start off major panic attacks, like being in confined spaces, bound to home for prolonged periods without physically interacting with others, sounds of nadaswaram (musical instruments used in the south Indian weddings), sudden power cuts in the night and so on. I tried my best to stay away from triggers and things were actually getting better.
Then Covid happened, I was confined to my home in the city, isolated into one of my worst triggers. With the help of some very generous friends, I survived last lockdown, where I had multiple panic attacks and hospitalizations since I lost consciousness as a consequence.
This year lockdown is even worse, cases are rising like hell and people I know or people in general are dying on a daily basis. Amidst all this asking friends to come over for even emergency makes me feel guilty, can't visit hospitals as they are over occupied already with Covid cases and so on.
Nights and darkness come along with horrible memories of the past, nightmares brings back vivid details of the trauma that happened, time crawls by in the night, where I stay awake counting seconds till the morning rays strike through my window, assuring some level of safety and may be just may be few minutes of uninterrupted sleep.
Along with all that, I haven't seen my mother or grandparents since February 2020, my sister or my brother since before that and by the way things are going on, I don't know if we will ever get to see each other in person anymore. I live in constant anxiety of something happening to my mother who is yet waiting to getting to get her slot for vaccination, my grandparents who can't be vaccinated due to co-morbidities, because of which, me travelling all the way to them without getting vaccinated can be risky too. I have no freaking clue what will happen if I go down with Covid despite every possible precautions taken.
The anxiety of all these uncertainties and constant triggers are literally disabling, physically and mentally.
Everyday I hope that all of us sail through this and live to tell the tale but as the days pass by, the hopes are hammered and lights at the end of the tunnel seems like a mirage. Each day getting out of bed, doing things that a normal person could do without actually even thinking is a battle for me within myself.
Yet I try my best to breathe through, one second to another, determined to fight back as far as I can.
I acknowledge the privilege I have of having a home to sleep, or not being currently in an abusive household, and am grateful for all that. I am writing this to just let out that despite the privileges, the outward appearances, the shield of projections, many people hold onto, they might be fighting unimaginably deadly demons.
If you are one who is fighting these battles for whatsoever reasons, your pain is valid as much as all the collective grief around. Do not feel guilty for feeling pain.
Breathe. Hold On. One second to another.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about"