My Mini Breakdown

Here we are a little over a year after Covid-19 first began; we might be seeing a small flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. The two vaccines circulating has offered hope to the American people and strengthens the idea that there can possibly be an end this pandemic soon. Still, this entire year has taken a toll on many of us and our mental a d physical health. And I’m not ashamed to admit these past few weeks, my mental health has suffered.

Mental illness is such a broad spectrum that includes many illnesses. For me, anxiety and depression are those I have trouble with. Depression doesn’t let you know when it will creep up. It just appears out of nowhere and takes over your life. At least that’s how it is for me. In recent time, well, before Covid, when it reared it’s ugly head, I was able to stay busy and shake it off. But these days, unable to travel, act, or do much outside my home, I’m unable to distract myself and depression takes over. I’m blessed to have a good support system; and to be able to put my experiences into words helps a lot.

I used to suffer from bad panic attacks. It feels just like it’s depicted in movies on TV. The room seems to narrow, people get bigger and/or closer, you feel like your choking as your heart races. Thankfully I do not have panic attacks that severe any more and hadn’t had an anxiety attack in years until Covid. The fear of contracting and dying from Covid caused so much anxiety all of a sudden that I could not control it. Toppled with depression and pain from fibromyalgia flares, I began to feel so overwhelmed.

I didn’t want to worry my loved ones so I kept how I was feeling to myself until it was too late. I was in a fibro flare, panicked, and in a state of fear all at the same time. Sound familiar? I thought about death so much basically, feeling it coming for me. I began having night terrors which made me afraid to go to sleep. My pain made it impossible to cope. I had to push with every ounce of me to take care of my mom, my brother, and myself.

I tried explaining how I was feeling but at the time, I thought they could never understand. That frustrated me even more. I got to the point where I knew I had to do something. So, I took some me time, distanced myself a little, did some writing, and decided to wait it out. I stayed in prayer and read daily devotionals. I took long showers and bubble baths, talked to my mom and eventually after about three weeks, I began to feel the spirit of depression release.

It sounds simple, but it was not. All I know is that this is what worked for me. It took three weeks or more before I felt better but I knew it was only temporary. I had to work through it on my own. When I emerged, family and friends I was met with so much love. I thank God that after each storm, when the clouds lift, my life is still full of hope, love, and joy.

I hope this helps some one know they are not alone.

Love, Valerie Collins

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