A Really Hard Week
It’s amazing how a few days can change everything. Just last week, I wrote in my blog post how I was handling the pandemic better than I’d expected. Sure, it wasn’t easy, but I was using my coping skills to get through tough times and even learning a few things about myself along the way. I was in a good place in my recovery, quite possibly the best I’d been in in quite some time. Once gloomy and pessimistic, I was slowly embracing a more optimistic attitude on life.
Lately, however, all that optimism has been slowly slipping away. It started on Wednesday when, thanks to Tropical Storm Isaias, we lost our power. Four days later, we still haven’t gotten it back, which is why I’m currently spending my Sunday afternoon in a freezing-cold office at UConn Health Center. Having no power for an extended period of time in the middle of the summer in the middle of a pandemic is already bad enough, but to make matters worse, I was scheduled to get my wisdom teeth removed the morning after it went out.
Anyone who’s been a part of my recovery knows that I’m not good at drinking calories. Too many liquids make my stomach achy and bloated, which in turn triggers my body dysmorphia. That said, we had prepared for my post-surgery liquid diet by stocking our refrigerator and freezer with drinks and soft foods I could tolerate. But when the power went out, most of it spoiled or melted, leaving me with way fewer options than I’d anticipated.
After the removal—which was a bit of a disaster in of itself—I spent the rest of the day in a hospital room so I wouldn’t have to return home to my dark and stuffy house. But even though it was nice to have Wi-Fi to watch shows and promote the new recipe that had uploaded to Nourish while I was in surgery, I was in a lot of discomfort. My mouth hurt like hell, and I couldn’t extend my arms due to bruising from the IV (I have bad veins). That, and simply being in a hospital, eating hospital foods again, was bringing back some pretty dark memories.
It wasn’t until the next day when I was back home when it all sort of hit me at once: the pandemic, the power outage, my wisdom teeth, my wavering mental health. I felt so overwhelmed and started to cry, which really only made my mouth hurt more. With my parents looking on in concern, I let all the frustration I’d been repressing for months come spilling out.
Since then, I’ve been on Survival Mode. I haven’t been sleeping well, and my mood has been low, so not letting myself get too depressed has become a full-time job. This means eating enough despite my swollen jaw and disordered thoughts, talking to my parents when I need support, and doing whatever I can to distract myself and bring some joy into my life.
So, how have I been doing that? One word: entertainment. I’ve taken to rewatching some favorite TV shows and funny YouTubers to keep my mind off of everything else. As someone who’s super ambitious and always has to be productive, kicking back and relaxing with mindless pastimes goes against my instincts. But it’s been making me feel comforted, and with so much discomfort in my life, I need it. After all, it’s damn hard to be productive when I’m depressed.
I’m genuinely trying to stay positive, but with all that’s happened, it’s easy to get discouraged and defeated. Still, I’ll keep plugging along and doing what I can to maintain my sanity. I have no idea what obstacles the universe will throw at me next, but I do know that these experiences, while hell now, will ultimately make me a stronger person. And, as my mom jokingly pointed out earlier, I’ll have plenty of writing material for my future projects, so I guess it’s not all for nothing.
Update: It’s mid-day Monday, and things are looking a little brighter—literally. The power came on last night, forty-eight hours earlier than projected. I’m feeling better (although my mouth is still sore), but I’ve decided to upload this post anyway to show how recovery is full of ups-and-downs. It’s important to know this and to prepare for this, so that when a “down” inevitably presents itself, it won’t completely derail you and you can get through it.
I’ll end this post with a quote from Skam (which I’m currently rewatching for the 4th time): “When everything seems hopeless, just take one day at a time. And if one day becomes too much, just take one hour at a time. And if one hour becomes too much, then just take one minute at a time.”