I notice how my goal has been to get back to my old life, to connect to the world I used to be a part of before I broke down. But what I forgot, is that my breakdown is not the only thing keeping me from this world, the COVID-19 virus has damaged our world, the lockdown has made this world disappear and turned it into an illusion for all of us. I blame myself for not being part of something that no longer exists and the time has come to start redefining my goals. I can not go back, back doesn’t exist anymore, and in order to get better, to get through my breakdown, I have to figure out what better means in times of Corona, what the new normal will look like for me.
Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 4
My process of healing has started. My days are no longer covered in a complete darkness and the slowly returning brightness provides me with new energy. I no longer cry without a reason and I no longer hide from my feelings. Instead, I’m trying to find a balance between facing myself and bringing some joy back into my life. A balance between therapy and fun. But last night it hit me. No matter what I do, I will not go back to normal anytime soon.
I choose the wrong time to break down. I’m not only suffering from a burn-out, I’m also tortured by the COVID-19 virus. Recovering from my burn-out means for me that I’ll be able to re-enter my normal life, however, the Corona virus has changed this normal and I have no idea where to return to anymore.
Last night, I was feeling good. I had done enough during the day and I was watching a series while feeling completely relaxed. My mind wasn’t filled with chaos and the darkness had disappeared completely. I felt light, relieved about the returning calmness. I was even laughing. I felt good, a good that has been extremely rare in the past months.
But then I looked at my walls, and anger overwhelmed me. I have been trapped inside these fucking walls for almost 3 months now and suddenly I realized that I’ll not be able to break out anytime soon. The lockdown, the Corona crisis, has trapped me in here more than my breakdown did, and this stupid virus will keep me in here for much longer, much longer than what is good for me.
Corona broke my connection
I tried to think about the months of my breakdown, the month before COVID-19 put my world in lockdown. The first month, in which I cried every day, in which there was not even the smallest sign of brightness and when I lacked any sign of energy. But in this dark first month, I went out regularly, I visited my office, I saw doctors, I went to the bar around the corner and I planned to start boxing again.
My old life still existed and this made it easy for me to keep spending some time in it, to stay connected. But then, on the morning I wanted to go for boxing, the training was cancelled. This day, the gym closed, my office closed, the bars closed and my whole world stopped existing. The places that formed the connection between me and my goal disappeared and I got isolated from the life I once had.
When I look at where I am today, I do notice that I’m getting better. However, not everything got better. Right now, I’m afraid of interacting with other people, I haven’t been able to start exercising according to a fixed schedule and my return to the office has never felt further away. Mentally I am improving, I am decreasing the chaos and the darkness inside me, but this lockdown has created new problems for me.
COVID-19 has taken away my goal. The lockdown makes it impossible for me to use my returning energy in the way I want to use it, to spend more time in the life I once had. It has simply become impossible to spend time in my normal world because this world no longer exists. I want to return, but there is nothing to return to, everything has changed and right now, I wouldn’t even know what I would do once I get better, what a normal life would look like.
Trapped inside my breakdown
Instead of being able to use my energy to get out, I have to spend all my energy on figuring out how I can get out. I’m overthinking all the possibilities for me to get outside and reconnect, however, this overthinking drains the energy I need to actually get out.
The Corona virus is not only trapping me between the walls of my apartment, the lockdown traps me inside my breakdown. The easy way out, the things I’m familiar with, have disappeared and coming up with new things takes too much energy. I no longer have a goal, my goal no longer exists, and I have to start redefining a new goal before I’ll be able to reach anything.
I am 100% sure that if the world would have been normal, I would have been able to spend at least a couple of hours a week inside this world. I would visit colleagues and friends, I would swim and box, I would go out and I would communicate. I would see how every week, I would be able to spend more time in my normal life, I would see the steps I take towards recovery.
Last night, I realized how long it will take until I’ll be able to spend time inside this now imaginary world. No matter how much I heal, no matter how much I’ll get better, it will take months until I’ll be able to do the things I used to do and this made me feel extremely hopeless. How can I get better when my idea of better doesn’t exist anymore?
What I realized in this moments, is that no matter how good of a day I have, I’ll feel bad about it because I didn’t connect to my old life. I notice how I can have a great day but still feel miserable at the end because I compare the day with the days I used to have before Corona took away our world. I believe I don’t progress, that I’m not getting better, because I spend less time outside than I did in the beginning of my breakdown, because I am less part of the world than I used to be in the first month.
I have to stop measuring my mental state with the connection I have with the world because this world has become an illusion, it no longer exists. It is unfair to beat myself up over failing at something that has become impossible, to want things that simply aren’t here anymore and to expect a life that only exists in my imagination. The life I want to get back to doesn’t exist for anyone anymore, the loneliness and feelings of worthlessness that come from the lockdown are there for everyone and even when I get better, these feelings will remain, like they do for all humans, all overt he world.
Resetting my goals
I have to admit that my goal will not be the re-entry to my old life, it will be something else, the start of a different life, the creation of a new world. Even when I’m better, I’ll not be able to leave my house for hours a day, I will not go to the office, I will not go to the gym, I’ll not take a train to take care of my parents and grandma and I will not enjoy beer and sun with friends or colleagues. I will not get back to this, no one will get back to this for now, so I have to stop aiming for that.
In the next couple of days I’ll have to reshape my goals, I’ll have to determine what a healthy life looks like in times of Corona, what my version of a new balanced life will be in these difficult times. I have to let go of the old, I can not go back, and I deserve to stop comparing the steps I take with the world that no longer exists. I have to let go of everything that was, I have to admit that normal will be different for a while and that it’s ok to do less than before, to connect less. I have to find the boundary between my own struggles, and our global struggles due to Corona. I am not alone in everything and I have to let go of the part that COVID-19 created and focus on the good things I do, the progress I make, despite the world being in lockdown.