For some reason, I am having a hard time processing all that is going on in today’s world. When we were going through the beginning stages of COVID and all the changes that came with this pandemic, it was really hard for me to mentally adjust. Going into stores that I would normally just go into with no problem, had now presented a problem because, life as we knew it, was no longer that way. I think the hardest part for me was how my mind perceived and processed this experience I was going through for the first time in my life.
Being black while shopping already presented its own set of problems, but being black during this epidemic while shopping wasn't particularly easy either. I already had to deal with feeling like I was being watched as I shopped in stores, now I'm feeling like I can't sneeze, cough or show any signs of sickness out of fear that people would think I was infected. Having to be extra cautious when navigating the world, left me feeling like I was this tainted person that needed to be approached with extra care because people who looked like me seemed to be the most affected by COVID.
Every time I would have to encounter the world to do my essential shopping or attend doctors appointments, it like I felt I was being judged or looked down on like something was wrong with me or like I was this nasty person needing to be avoided at all cost. Even though, I was aware that this was a pandemic that not only affected me but every living, breathing being on earth, I still seemed to process this experience differently because my race seemed to be at the forefront of the pandemic.
Not being able to just go into a store or make contact with other people because the fear of being infected compromised our normal way of living, did something to me. Of course, I understood how serious this matter was and how important it was to function in this manner, but mentally it was hard to truly process this new way of living.
I didn't really mind the downtime, nor did I mind, staying at home because I truly am an introvert who enjoys time at home and to myself. I had a problem with my choice being taken away from me. Not having the privilege to just go out and have a drink at the bar or dinner at a restaurant when I wanted to was what I was struggling with and I found myself experiencing some major frustration every time I was reminded of this reality. I went through a moment where I was in denial that this was real, then the anger started to set in, which made abiding to this new normal presented challenging on a mental level.
My problems, like everyone else, didn't just stop at dealing with COVID. I was dealing with so many other things in conjunction with dealing with COVID and trying to stay mentally sane was the biggest concern with all of this. I was pregnant, I was going through a bad break up from a 16-yr relationship, I was experiencing major anxiety and depression and I was forced to stay at home in my room and in my feelings. Day in and day out, it was just me, my phone, and my four walls because I was also without a tv due to the breakup. I was lonely, confused, and confined to not only my home but my feelings as well. I not only had to make some changes with the way I had to function due to COVID. I also had to adjust to the changes of pregnancy and boy was that challenging. I was losing weight due to horrible morning sickness and emotionally I was going through it because I just didn't feel like myself any more.
Once I got through that experience, which ended with me losing the baby, I was now trying to heal and move on with coping during the pandemic. Then we were presented with yet another challenge, which again, had another effect on my life due to the color of my skin and that was the murders of unarmed African Americans at the hand of white cops that sparked riots, protests and just an all out race war.
I have to say with everything that has transpired from the personal things in my life to the pandemic and the murders of unarmed black people, 2020 ain't so clear after all, the vision has been lost and shit looks real blurry right now. I am experiencing a lot of uncertainty, doubt and frustration as I strive to maintain my sanity and the little peace I have, but being reminded of these traumas and unprecedent events around me on the daily basis, doesn't help.
If you can relate to just feeling uncertain about the future and experiencing some issues with your mental health, I urge you to give yourself a mental break from all the news and social media exposure. Please speak with a mental health professional because not only are we dealing with shit in our own personal lives, we are dealing with shit on a national level as well. No one cares about your mental health and how everything around you might be affecting you because again we are all going through this together, so it is important that you care.