Prior to COVID-19, I was going through a lot of mental difficulties which placed me hanging on the edge of a cliff, nearing to fall. The death of my dog was one big factor of many others which contributed to my mental hardship. Consequently, I began to feel life wasn’t worth living and surviving anymore.
As a Type 1 diabetic, hearing from the news that I was ‘high-risk’ for COVID-19 exacerbated my anxiety levels even more. However, there was also a part of me which was glad that I was vulnerable towards this newly rapidly evolving disease because it meant I would no longer go through such pain and hardship anymore if I fell victim.
This mental approach I had was not the way to live. It was not the way to fight the disease along with the rest of the world. This message was not for solidarity. In a way, this hope I had to come victim of this disease was selfish for my close family and friends who appreciate and value my company and existence- whereas I did not for a prolonged period of time.
However selfish this may sound to some, it is also important to understand that it is really difficult to come outside this mental bloc when your trapped inside of thinking such things. When you have gone through such devastating lows in your life and you don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, it is in a way natural to feel this way. You think about yourself and only you and what you want. You don’t think about any family members or any friends when your so focused on wanting to not be around because you feel this low. This is the way I felt at one point. However, I thankfully never followed through entirely- which I am eternally grateful for because I now am in the light, as I escaped the once, trapped dark gloomy tunnel I was in.
I was in a negative spiral which got worse and worse at one point, as each day passed. As the time went, I thought I was losing my battle against my demons and as time went by, I once told my life coach, ‘’ I don’t know how long I have left’’.
My routine was rigid. I was going to sleep most nights at 3am waking up at 1pm, feeling groggy. Then I would feel depressed about private external factors when I woke up. I hadn’t exercised for around five months, which is significant when I have always been addicted to sport. I fell out of love with the things I loved the most. I thought everyone was out to get me. I didn’t know who to trust.
However, I managed to get through this stage with resilience and strength. It was not easy, but with the guidance of an incredible life coach, I managed to see the light in my time of most need.
I started implementing a routine, day by day, baby step by baby step, I was embedding more rules and structure to my life. I would time manage myself better so that I wasn’t spending my time skimming through social media and spending my time more effectively and efficiently- doing the things I loved to find that motivation I once had.
I went off social media for a week. This was significant for me as I spent my time reflecting and thinking how I could change the way I was living.
Alongside seeing a life coach regularly, I have become myself again. After 5 months of pure darkness, I am now where I want to be working towards. I am never going to be the finished article as I always want to learn, work and improve myself. But being content with myself in my own skin is so satisfying and mind-relieving. In a way, lockdown was a blessing in disguise for myself as it taught me to be comfortable in your own company- one of the most challenging tasks I had yet to feel in my life. Prior to COVID-19, I was always excited to get out of my house, see friends and be sociable. Now, I feel I can spend time in my own company, as long as I want. This has proven to myself I have grown up and matured, but also overcome my social anxious fears of missing out, albeit, there is nothing really to miss these days.
I nearly lost the battle. I nearly lost my personal war. I very nearly stayed in a tunnel of darkness for eternity, where I would lose my own existence. However, I won this great battle against my greatest enemies, my own demons.
By setting myself a routine, strategies, target setting and goals, I feel I have got my life back. I appreciate my closest friends so much who helped me a lot in my darkest moments, alongside my life coach who I see regularly too and my family- who I love a lot, especially my two dogs.
Once, I was on a downward slope, rolling down a hill into a pit of pure pain and agony. Now, I feel I am on an upward curve, working towards a life filled with unknown great experiences to fulfil.
I now exercise regularly again. I love cycling, a newfound hobby through COVID-19. I can now cycle 80km in a day and am targeting 100km in one day then I want to enter competitions. I love fundraising for charity so I would like to represent Mental Health Foundation one day for cycling tasks. I am now working towards becoming a commercial lawyer or barrister, completing virtual programs and vacation schemes as I find through research. I am building my CV. I am working out at the gym. Exercise has helped me so much, even today, when I have bad days, everyone does and I still do, but instead of the ‘badness’ prolonging into a negative spiral, I exercise to make myself feel better, so the curve doesn’t spiral downwards but rather recovers back to equilibrium.
I have also kept myself busy by reading several books, ranging from crime stories to Chinese history.
What do I want to see change?