I am still learning to live with major depressive disorder.
Now I am also learning to live surrounded by the coronavirus. I am troubled more than a little by the double whammy. Yet, my plight, if it is a plight, seems increasingly minor, compared to others.
Obviously, dying is not the desired outcome for anyone. Short of that, being hooked to a ventilator is a close second for bad outcomes.
This would require a major change in attitude.
I have trouble sitting through a 30-minute TV show. How could I lay, motionless, in a hospital bed, attached to a breathing machine? And do that for days until the virus has run its course? The resolve and courage of those going through that should be applauded.
Short of medical consequences of Covid19, millions of Americans applied for unemployment benefits last month.
That is many times more than during the 2008 market crash. And once again, people who need to work the most, are the ones being hurt by this. Yes, Congress has passed a stimulus package and will be sending money to those in need. And people will receive $$ above their normal rate, to help offset the sudden loss of employment. But what of the long-term effects?
When will we be back to normal?
The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to NormalThe coronavirus outbreak may last for a year or two, but some elements of pre-pandemic life will likely be won back in the meantime
I read this article in the Atlantic today.
Each possible scenario has consequences and impacts on our daily lives. And the timeline is much different than saying we should get back to normal, for the sake of the economy, by Easter. Global, big picture ideas are felt very differently by the individuals who are forced to be the front lines of any policy implementation.
Politics aside, I am seeing that many of the tools I have learned to use in dealing with my depression are the same tools I can use to deal with the coronavirus.
Catching myself in unhelpful thinking styles is a big one.
Knowing that I cannot control what happens, but I can control my attitude towards it has been remarkably effective. I confess the first few weeks of this were more than a little unsettling. And my attitude was challenged, and I found myself carrying around anger not attached to anything.
Well, I discovered my anger was attached to the unfairness of how the virus is impacting my life and the lives of those I love.
The loss of civil liberties for the common good was a struggle. Especially because in my day job, I am enforcing those “greater good” rules. And I do see how they will save lives. That doesn’t mean that I like it, only that I accept the need to protect ourselves and our fellow citizens from this pandemic. Other tools I am using are avoiding time travel, cost-benefit analysis worksheets and deciding what my daily self-care will look like.
The article I read gave four lengths of time before we are “back to normal.”
Somehow, just like my finally facing depression, I do not see us returning to pre-apocalypse normal Our lives will be forever changed, just as my life was changed a year ago when I walked into the emergency room and said, “I need to see a professional about my mental health problem.”
Much of what will come out of this event will make us stronger.
I have seen so many of my employees are rising to the occasion and exhibiting great compassion and caring for those we serve. And as important, they understand what is going on in each of our personal lives as a result of the coronavirus. I am so proud of them and their actions.
They inspire me to continue my quest to learn all I can about living with depression.
And while I have no belief that this coronavirus pandemic will be over in a month or two, I am forever hopeful.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.