What a strange past couple of weeks it has been! Stores, schools, churches have been closed. Activities and events have been canceled. It has been a little nerve-wracking, figuring out how to home school. However, I am oddly not feeling the intense anxiety the accompanies me for far lesser circumstances. Truth be told, I have felt anxiety concerning the coronavirus. I felt it as it raged through China and then Italy. I watched the news and the social media accounts of people I am connected to who live in those areas. My anxiety drove me to the store weeks ago when I filled my cart to make sure we have enough food if we go into lockdown. The cashier rolled her eyes at me. And no, I didn’t get 50 cases or even 5 cases of toilet paper. But the weirdest thing happened. When the coronavirus hit my country and then state and now we are all home for the foreseeable future, I have felt calm. I don’t share this to demean anyone who is feeling anxious, because I know the feeling of anxiety all too well.
I’ve reached out to other friends with anxiety and many are feeling similar to me, we are doing ok. It is like being thrown in some weird alternate universe where everyone else is feeling the throes of anxiety and I’m not. The whole world struggling with the coronavirus feels like an alternate universe anyway.
One of my friends told me they were listening to a mental health podcast (which I apologize, I don’t have the title of) where the specialist was saying that many of their anxiety patients were actually doing surprisingly well for the current state of the world for two reasons. 1 – Anxiety is future focused. Tangible, difficult things in the present are easier to handle than the looming future. And 2 – With the rest of the population feeling anxious, it has been validating for those who normally feel anxious. Is that all of us with anxiety have needed, validation? Hmmm.
I posted the other day on my social media account that if anyone is feeling anxious, I’ve had it all my life and have some tips/skills I’ve learned in counseling that can help. It was interesting what friends came out of the woodworks asking for advice.
The same goes for here. If you are struggling, you aren’t alone in this. There are many of us that have walked this road of anxiety before. And most importantly, professional help can do wonders. We are in this together.