The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Making It Hard to Be Hopeful About My Future
I can’t remember the last time I cried myself to sleep this many nights in a row. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I cried this much, in general (and that’s saying something).
I don’t know if anyone can relate, but ever since news about the coronavirus outbreak began spreading, my suicidal thoughts have intensified drastically. This pandemic latched onto my already severe depression and ever-so-present hopelessness so quickly and so strongly. And now, I find myself more hopeless than ever, praying every night as tears soak my pillow. I hear myself whisper, “I don’t want to live anymore,” between cries. I put an arm across my chest and let the tears fall, feeling the weight of the world on top of me. And each time my phone buzzes with a new update about COVID-19, I find myself in tears, whispering how this is not a world I want to live in.
This pandemic has left me feeling trapped. You see, when there’s a virus killing millions of people, forcing self-isolation, rationing of food, causing mass unemployment — it gives way to hopelessness. And when it’s happening globally, when no country is not feeling the effects of this, it gives way to helplessness and feeling trapped. To know no matter where I go, I can’t escape this — my heart sinks to the bottom of my chest. And for someone who already has severe depression and struggles with suicidal ideation, this is a nightmare. Suicidal thoughts feed on hopelessness, loneliness, fear and depression. Those feelings fuel thoughts of suicide like no other. And when an outbreak like this causes your entire life to flip around, many coping skills are lost or unable to be used in the same way. That change and feeling of defeat can just add even more weight to suicidal thoughts.
Because of this, I found myself frustrated in therapy, repeating to my therapist over and over, “I just can’t see past this. I feel like this can’t get better. I feel trapped and all I see is hopelessness ahead.”
She said, “There’s a lot of unknown right now. And when there’s a lot of unknown, we tend to fill in the gaps and predict a lot.”
And she’s right. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and it’s not fair of me to convince my brain the future will only be filled with negative things. I know I need to stay focused in the present. It’s just so, so hard to do, especially when quarantine means being alone with my thoughts more than ever. That’s the most dangerous situation you can put me in when I am my own worst enemy.
So, for now, I am trying my best to cling tight to hope and trust all will return to normalcy in time. I am staying connected as best I can with friends through technology and counting my blessings. But this is tough. It weighs heavy on my soul and I know I can’t be the only one experiencing this. So, if you can relate at all, let me know in the comments! I think knowing we’re not alone and coming together as a community is our biggest asset right now. We need each other more than ever.
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Getty image via Jorm Sangsorn