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Quarantine Comics: A Day in the Life of Someone With Mental Illness

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Last semester, I took a class titled “Teaching Creative Writing” at my local university and learned about professor and cartoonist, Lynda Barry. As a visual learner, I absolutely fell in love with her visual syllabi. They’re full of color. They’re funny. And it actually made me want to read the syllabus.

And so, I started creating cartoons for my own classes. And then just because it was fun. It felt like a meditation. Since the start of COVID-19 social distancing and self-quarantine, I started creating comics for my blog, Stereotype Life to break up the routine. After that, I started creating comics on The Mighty for #CheckInWithMe. To see my work on The Mighty, check out my page.

Below is a series I created called: “A Day in #QuarantineLife” with me, your friendly host, Amanda! I created these comics to share what my life with mental illness looks like while in quarantine. If you can relate, let me know in the comments!

A Day in #Quarantine Life with amanda (image of cartoon amanda waving)

9:00 a.m. — Wake Up! 

I’m hard of hearing and instead of the alarm clock making sound, it shakes the bed. Despite knowing this, it still catches me by surprise. Why do I do this to myself?

9:00 Am wake up! (image of a woman struggling to wake up)

Morning Coffee. Seriously, don’t talk to me.

During quarantine, I’m staying with my parents because I don’t want to stay in my apartment alone. Plus, I have bipolar disorder and we’re still trying to figure out the right combination of medication. This way my parents can help keep me in check. Feeling some serious #gratitude for them.

9:30 a.m. — Seize the Day!

Sure seize the day panel (shows image of woman getting frustrated with having too much time on hands)

10:00 a.m. — Emails and School Work

As an introvert, I actually love being home. During quarantine, you can catch me emailing, tweeting, blogging and working on school work.

Image of a woman emailing. Text: "Email, email email. Tweet. Sputter. Email. kick"

12:00 p.m. — Figure Out How to Teach Online Courses

However, the last few days have been difficult. I’m a Ph.D. student studying creative writing and also teach undergraduate courses. Due to COVID-19, all of my classes are going online.

Unfortunately, I am not an online learner and have never taught an online class, so my anxiety is a bit of a roller coaster. When my anxiety is high, I have trouble processing information. As a perfectionist, this is a problem.

Comic of a woman understanding how to teach online classes

1:00 p.m. — Time to Eat 

Remember how I said I was staying with my parents? Well, they feed me. Yup, more #gratitude.

1pm- time to eat (image of a woman eating spaghetti)

3:00 p.m. — Think About Leaving the House

Even introverts need to get out and about. 

woman talking to parents about TV shows

3:01 p.m. — But…

Then I remember I can’t go to a coffee shop, I can’t teach or attend my classes in person, restaurants and bars are closed — I can’t even go to Mars!

Woman remembering everything is closed

3:02 …Then I Remember the World Is Closed

Squeak. Ee-erh. Squeak. Ee-erh. Squeak. Ee-erh. Squeak.

Welcome to Quarantine Life. The world is closed (image of world with coronavirus images superimposed over it)

Honestly, I’m a worrywart. I worry for my family, my friends, my colleagues, my students…. Every time someone coughs or sneezes or blows their nose, my nervous system shakes like my alarm clock.

So, I try not to spend too much time reading or watching the news. Instead, I imagine a version of “Wall-E” cleaning up our germs while we stay cooped up inside.

Thank goodness for The Mighty community. I only joined a couple weeks ago and I’m so glad I did. If you want to connect with other Mighties in this difficult time, head over to #CheckInWithMe where you can give and get support. For anyone who is struggling right now, I hope you’ll stop by to say hello. The Mighty community cares about how you’re doing.

Thank goodness for The Mighty.

Concerned about coronavirus? Stay safe using the tips from these articles:

Originally published: March 31, 2020
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