It’s been one year . . . and I’m still in quarantine.
I’m still isolating myself and my children.
I’m still ordering groceries online and having them delivered to my house and dropped off on my porch so I don’t have to interact with anyone.
I’m still wiping down anything that comes from outside of this house or I’m quarantining it and not touching it right away.
I’m still not going anywhere. I have not set foot in a grocery store, restaurant, or a hair salon in over a year (and yes, my hair is half-way down my back and a mess). The only place I have been to is the pediatrician’s office so the baby could get her well-check visits.
I’m still not letting family near and with the cold weather, that’s meant no lawn visits and only Facetime videos to let them see the grandkids.
I’m still quarantining and it’s been a year.
And you’re probably passing judgment as you read this. Some of you may go to the comments and tell me it’s no big deal and to get over it but before you do, let me tell you what you don’t know: I have anxiety.
Anyone who suffers from anxiety knows that we have triggers that set our anxiety off. For me, it’s the fear of something bad happening to my child and lack of control. I can’t control something that I can’t see and the threat beyond these four walls is something I can’t see.
It’s crippling me.
And yes, I am medicated. It wasn’t until September that I decided this was unbearable and I got back on my medication but I’ve still been playing it safe. And as we’re slowly approaching the year mark of all this, I’m SO over it!
I’m over how this is tearing apart my relationships with others who disagree with my decisions.
I’m over how this is affecting my children and my own mental health.
I’m over the fear of something I can’t control when only God knows how this all ends.
I’m over the isolation and anxiety.
So for Lent, I’m giving up the fear. (Not a traditional sacrifice for Lent but let’s be honest, I’ve given up everything for a year now!) I’m scheduling that hair appointment. I’m going to get to the dentist and to the doctor for my annual exam. I’m going to step foot inside of Target and get myself a Starbucks and the mom break that I so desperately need. I’m going to step out in faith and make a move towards the outside world again because I am over it.
And I’m not saying this hoping to get some understanding from those who don’t get it. For a lot of you, you’ve moved on and life has continued for you for quite some time. I’m saying this because maybe, just maybe, there’s someone else out there like me who’s still isolating. I’ve felt like I’m the only one who’s still living like this but on the off chance that I’m not, here’s my message to you: If you suffer from a mental illness and you don’t know how to get back out to the world, you are not alone.
You are not the only one still in quarantine.
You are not the only one whose mental illness has taken over for the better part of a year and ruled your life.
You CAN take a step—even if small at first—toward getting back to the rest of the world. Baby steps are all it takes because your mental health needs it.
And I’m praying for you, friend, and for all those whose mental health has been affected by this pandemic.
Because it’s been a year and some of us don’t know how to get back to the rest of the world.
Some of us are still in quarantine.