I couldn’t think of a better-suited title than this for penning down my personal experience because apart from its literal relevance, there’s much more to the metaphorical context hidden within. I might sound quite relatable to some for what I’m going to write next.
The breaking out of this pandemic has been the most unanticipated and definitely not prepared for, by people across the globe. Little did I or for that matter, presumably all of us, imagine that stepping into the year 2020 was going to change our lives in ways we never thought we’d have to. Talking about a change as big as this, I cannot help remembering Heraclitus’ famous saying, which also happens to be one of my favourites:
These times have been trying and challenging like no other in the history of mankind. Highlighting a crucial aspect of this pandemic, I’d like to address an issue which of course is not considered important enough to address; the effect of the pandemic on our mental health. Being a teen myself, trying really hard to scrape through this pandemic has proved to be a rather rigorous task.
It has been all the more difficult for me, being a board examinee this year, and seemingly I was to undertake the examinations which anyhow got deferred and finally cancelled given the virulent strain was at its peak. Well, the disappointment, the news of the exam cancellation brought along, let’s keep that for another time to discuss.
Isn’t it ridiculous how a microscopic creature has been wreaking havoc all around, making us all handicapped and prisoners to our minds in ways more than one? This whole time, staying at home, I have changed in several ways; some of which I do detest but at the same time feel grateful for that I did. There have been times where I found myself extremely detached from my friends and near and dear ones.
Sometimes, I did long for the warmth of social exchange which had been long missing since we all had been shut down at our homes. The darkness at times dawned on me and scared me to the core, threatening to deluge me into its abyss.
There were a lot of ‘what ifs’ whenever I felt apprehensive of the safety of my family members. With heartbreaking and pitiful news being reported and written every day in the newspapers, it was not always easy to keep my calm and mental sanity intact.
Pessimistic thoughts crossed my mind now and then on days when my spirits were low. Well, that’s a word I was looking for to describe one of my newly acquired traits. Pessimistic. I have become such a pessimistic creature that at times, over the telephone, my otherwise stoic and optimistic friends even started feeling dispirited listening to my incessant self- dubious thoughts.
Depression would be too strong a word to describe any of the mood swings I’ve had so far. A constant frustration and anxiety, however, have been the two feelings I’ve been feeling of late. The fact that I don’t have a place to vent my buried emotions is not helping atop that. Petty family squabbles, not getting enough personal space teens my age desire to, and having to put up with hectic academic online schedules had proven to be a rather fierce combination.
Until the pandemic, I usually prided myself for having that one virtue called ‘patience’ which, however, I lately find myself stripped off, owing to the prolonged period of time I am having to stay at home. I’ve been running out of patience for quite some time now and am not being able to focus on anything fruitful for more than a few minutes.
Self-doubt, low spirits, self-demeaning thoughts, and inferiority complex have also found a way back to me in these times. The lack of motivation I feel at times becomes too pathetic to bear. That’s exactly what has got into me.
I don’t feel motivated to do something new or look forward to something meaningful in life. I no longer feel the urge nor the energy to keep going. I just feel so drained out which I know a boy my age, shouldn’t.
Notwithstanding, since the pandemic times have been the very epitome of negation to all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’ of life, this has to be accepted no matter how off-beat it sounds. Change is one such thing that I have always found very difficult to accept and dreaded to get used to. Before the pandemic, life seemed just fine and simple but now certain things no longer do.
Feature image is for representational purposes only.