Angst thrives on uncertainty and the brain is an anxious organ. In it’s desperate attempt to navigate some certainty, it fills with unease and theatrical play outs of worst-case scenarios based on feeble information. While we are all on high alert to the imminent dangers our minds advance on us, as well as those lurking outside (quite literally right now), we inevitably lead ourselves down a path of panic, animosity and anguish.
If you’re like me, the latter may be applicable. My life, like that of so many others, has been completely turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak. My career has been essentially put on hold. My income is at a standstill. Any social life has come to a complete halt. “Quarantine” is a word now heard on the daily. Anxiety and skepticism are present and growing.
We’ve all adapted and become accustomed to a fairly stable if not predictable lifestyle. But now, our rapidly changing world ensures us nothing short of waking up to new developments, limitations and projections everyday. The whirlwind we are living in can make hope seem like a distant voice, beckoning you forward, but uncertainly holds you back still.
Remaining positive for yourself during tough times can be equally as draining as the destructive situation itself. Sometimes the optimistic voice of others can feel more credible than our own, but still seems few and far in between. We inherently seek out others for comfort and comradeship, and perhaps that should be the sole focus now.
This is a time of fear among the majority of us, and though the circumstances are unfavorable, there is a unity in that notion. We are all affected by this in one way or another. We are all uncertain of how the future will unfold, both near and far. We are all worried, but we are all in this together.
There is a divide among humans, Americans in particular, whether it’s racially motivated, politically based, religiously centered or financially dictated. But now, more than ever, is our time to find and revel in our new-found unity. No one is immune to COVID-19 or anxiety. But we are capable of banding together, getting through this hand-in-hand (not literally, yay social distancing), and coming out a stronger, real community in the end.
Since angst thrives on uncertainty, and we are all unfortunately susceptible, take comfort in knowing you are not at all alone. Though our lives have been uprooted and in many cases changed forever, let us not forget that desperate times too come and go. The power of unified human spirit is undeniable while the power of your anxious brain, and my own, is beatable. Alone physically, but never more together.
April, 13, 2020. Day 30 in quarantine.