So some of you may know this and some may not. I live alone in Italy and I’ve been pursuing my masters here for a little longer that half a year. While every person I know decided to leave the country before things went down with corona, I decided to stay. I’m not saying either of us was right or wrong. This is just what happened and now it’s close to 60 days since I’ve interacted with another human. I know there are people who have it worse than me or don’t have a roof over their head and food to eat and I’m blessed with both. I’m grateful but loneliness can be just as painful sometimes.
Apart from this university and classes have been going on as usual online and keeping me busy. As an Architecture student there are many sleepless nights we have to deal with. I work 48 hours at a stretch sometimes and there’s no exaggeration. Trust me. On these days all I need is some emotional boost or a pep talk which I would get when I was around family and friends. But I’ve not been getting it now because I live alone and I can’t find the time to make calls. It is exhausting. Whoever said “Only an Architect will understand another Architect” was really not kidding.
So everything else is normal but not being able to have a physical human interaction, like a hug or maybe even conversation with a cup of tea for this long really sucks. No friends and no family here. So the loneliness really gets to you sometimes. I find myself joking about it and posting pictures with captions saying “Directing all the loneliness into cooking, haha” But I’m only kidding myself. This black cloud is here again and I’m dealing with it. People do text and call to check up on me but there’s only so much you can discuss in a check-in text right?
“How are you?”
“I’m doing good”
I send replies like this at least 10 times a day to different people. My folks check on me to make sure I’m safe in all this madness. Even teachers from school text me sometimes. I’m grateful for them but is there really a better answer than “I’m doing good, thanks” to that question?
Those of you who have seen me not being myself, I only wish you would take the time to think and understand why I’m not. Just repeatedly telling a person dealing with anxiety that they’re wrong or doing things wrong (even if they are) is not going to help them in any way. This is not something that happens everyday so would it kill you to step back and let things slide? I don’t think so. What I need desperately right now is for my mind to settle down. I need peace. I need things to be okay when I sleep at night. If it’s not, I just don’t sleep and this just makes me more anxious. It then becomes a never ending cycle.
My Anxiety is hitting the roof at the moment. I accidentally mention this sometimes as a joke when I’m replying to those texts and I can actually see them getting uncomfortable immediately or avoiding that topic all together. I don’t blame them. I mean it’s my problem not theirs and I was one of them too some years ago.
When I say my anxiety is hitting the roof, I mean my jaws are always clenched or I’m always grinding my teeth. So every few minutes I find myself consciously unclenching my jaw. This happens about 20-30 times an hour. I have panic dreams every second or third day, I overthink about everything and my hands are almost always ice cold.
I’m only writing about this because I know for sure there are so many people out there dealing with this and aren’t even aware of the problem. I’m working really hard on my mental health at the moment but what about those that don’t even know what they’re going through? I really hope we get to point when no one feels uncomfortable discussing these issues anymore. We need each other to get stronger. We’re in this together. We got this.
Excuse me if some things don’t make sense. I’m just pouring out the thoughts in my mind.
Update 1 It’s been three days since I wrote this. “How are you holding up?” Someone asked me. Just seeing that question brought me to uncontrollable tears. Why is this happening to me? I’m emotionally drained. I can physically feel the dehydration from all the crying and I can’t even explain why it’s happening. I’m not able to convince myself to cook and it’s been days since I had an actual meal. I had to get to the grocery store today to stock up for the next week. “It’s a simple task you can do it.” I repeatedly told myself till I finally left the house. There was a minor confusion with my cards at the billing counter which just brought another episode on to me. I panicked so much, I left everything at the counter and hurried home from the store. I became breathless. My heart felt like it would rip my chest open from beating too fast. I felt disappointment. A simple task as grocery shopping was so difficult. So another hour of self pep talking later, I left again to visit another store. This time I succeeded. I feel okay now. One task accomplished.