Friday, August 14, 2020

Cog In the Wheel

Everyone has a cross to bear or some kind of issue that may not be visible at first glance. I know many people who prefer not to share their problems or physical ailments with the world, and I happen to be one of them. Of course, my blog is literally an open book, but in a general conversation, I tend to keep a lot of personal things to myself. Nobody wants to hear a whiner or someone possibly seeking a pity party. I remember when I was a young girl around four or five years old, we had these older next-door neighbors, a husband a wife who seemed to be very nice. When the wife got to know my mom, she stopped by more often, usually with a homemade baked pie or something she cooked herself. It was either feast or famine with her---either she came too much or she wasn't to be seen at all. Sometimes, my mom would worry and call her up to see if she was okay. As time went on and mom figured that her friend wasn't up to socializing anymore, but then she received a phone call from her husband. She was found dead in her home---literally had her head in the oven and gassed herself. It was a tragic incident nobody saw coming, because nobody knew anything. The stigma of mental illness was much worse than it was today. If someone found out you were seeing a psychiatrist, you'd be automatically listed as "crazy." 


Fast forward 2020, mental health is still an issue, even more so with our world in completely chaos. Social distancing and isolation doesn't help the already existing sufferers of anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, etc. It has now attacked those who never truly experienced mental health problems before. People who never experienced anxiety are now feeling the horrible affects of what our minds can do to our physical bodies. And I'm not talking about "fear of speaking in front of large crowds"---that's a very common thing---in fact, I'm even going to say that it's safe to say that it shouldn't be on the list of "phobias." That's just the norm. I'm not being insensitive---I'm just trying to say, the fear of walking out of your own house as opposed to the fear of speaking in front of a large crowd does not compare at all. 

Other silent ailments, that I personally experience besides anxiety is fibromyalgia. It comes and goes, and when it hits me, it hits me hard to where I can barely get out of bed, or even walk down the stairs. The pain radiates from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. Every bone 'crackles' and many nights, I can only sleep on only one side. So besides my periodic episodes of agoraphobia, which is mainly walking into a large supermarket or being around a lot of people, if I have a flare up, you probably won't see me very often. I've gotten a lot of "unsolicited advice" from various people. "You should get out more, it's not healthy to stay inside all day." And there are days where I will go to the park with my dog or take a drive to the store to pick up something---but especially during the pandemic, this has made a huge impact on how I live. Even just to sit outside can be unbearable, and I don't want anyone to think I don't want to talk or socialize with them, because the pain makes me literally cringe in one spot, making it hard to have a decent conversation with whoever stops by my porch. Sometimes, you have to let people know what you go through. And other times, there's no need to tell anyone. So if you notice the absence of somebody who used to trek out more often than not, be kind and less judgmental. Maybe call and see how they're doing, instead of gossiping about how they've become a "shut-in." 

Sometimes I look at this world we're living in now and wonder if I ever want to get back into it. I've set up my home to where I can do everything and anything at any given time. I have my office all set up for work which I love. In the morning, I make time to sit, pray, and meditate. I write out a list of things I am grateful for. I have about 5 books/journals filled to the brim with more waiting to be filled. I always think to myself, if I were to ever leave this world, my family would have something to read with all my little sketches and basically, my heart written out on paper. I also have many entries in this blog, as well as posts on social media. Since I don't rely on technology to be there forever, I write in composition notebooks with more rawness. So if someone was trying to get to know me for real, it's all there uninhibited. Many of my journals include my relationship with God and how He has helped me through the death of my parents and now this pandemic. I see the world killing one another and then think to myself, "I kinda like my isolated world." But people insist that isolation will kill me. I'm not sure about that. The last time I went out, I was thinking one thing: I cannot wait to get back home. To see the world covering their faces and people fighting because someone wasn't wearing a mask---it was ugly. I don't like this world anymore and if I choose to limit how much I see, through shopping or even through the mainstream media, then let me have my peace. 

Never make apologies for how you want to live, or how you have to live. If they're not paying your bills---they have no say whatsoever. I'm lucky enough to have an essential job working in the mental health field, helping those suffering with anxiety and depression, because I've been there and still struggle from time to time. And that's okay. It's okay not to be okay sometimes. This world has forever changed, and I have a feeling that there's something coming down the pike...something that'll make it even worse. They're predicting the worst health crisis this fall, and I can only imagine how much stress and anxiety that's going to put upon everyone. My only saving grace is staying close to God and making sure that even before my feet hit the ground in the morning, to say "Thank you for another day!" Because another day means an opportunity to either help somebody else, or learn something new, so that you can teach somebody else. Everything has a purpose. We're an important cog in the wheel. 

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”― Mahatma Gandhi

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com
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