Feeling connected to the outside world has been hard during this pandemic. Consider this, my first Moodscope post, a little flare sent up into the dark, as I attempt to make contact!
One of the hurdles which have made it difficult to feel part of the world has been lockdowns and social distancing (of course). Plus, my Depression and Anxiety usually cause me to isolate myself and push others away. Long Covid is another one; it has prevented me from being physically able to visit friends and family in other cities or countries, and the rarity of my condition has put another barrier between myself and others.
Yes, it certainly has been a lonely year and a half, and for some of it, I felt completely lost. I was desperate for human contact, to socialise or go out dancing; but at the same time, connecting to other felt risky, pointless, tiring, confusing. I wanted to run away from other humans, feeling ‘not good enough’, but I also craved relationships – kind of like a scared little animal trying to approach people for treats and attention, but then running away when they got too close for comfort!
I tried to create a sense of togetherness by writing to a few close friends and family, but as the novelty wore off for them and the rate of replies decreased, this started to be less helpful. Eventually, I decided to seek support through the internet, as you do. I began to post on a couple of mental health forums, and respond to other people’s questions and tales of woe. Then, although I loathe social media, I created an anonymous, bare-bones Facebook account so I could join a few groups for people with Long Covid, to swap stories. I managed to contribute a little, and realised it wasn’t so scary, and people aren’t as nasty or judgemental as my depressive brain had insisted they were! I branched out a bit more as Depression loosened its grip on me, and as my prior passions came back into focus, I joined groups on and off Facebook related to those things as well. I was able to share more of my real self using a generic avatar instead of my own face, and in return, people were welcoming, interesting and…not so bad!
I hope to find more ways to connect to others IRL soon, as things open up and my physical capabilities slowly improve. I’ve done a lot of work on my self-esteem lately, and the next stage is to come out from behind the profile picture and show up as myself, in front of real people. I’ve just started volunteering at a local community garden, and I hope to put myself out there more, bit by bit, I until I finally find my people again.
Where do you find community? Maybe it’s here on Moodscope! Remember to cherish them.
A Moodscope member.