Real talk for a minute. This virus shit blows, and I’m not doing well because of it. There I said it. Yours truly. The almighty Caring Counselor. My mental health feels beaten to a bloody pulp. Between dealing with my own bullshit and my loved ones’ bullshit, the ends of my internal rubber band are nearing their demise.
I am not shy about my personal struggle with mental health (long history of depression/anxiety). The coronavirus amplified it times ten. Like many, I cannot tap into my usual coping skills like going to the gym, watching sports, or hanging out with friends. Even the individuals I stayed in touch with share my disdain. Misery loves company, right?
However, my biggest mistake thus far easily has been not reaching out sooner. As much as I am struggling, my friends and family are as well. Thankfully, a few close friends reached out when they noticed me pulling back into isolation. They talked me through my inner turmoil from a a deep, dark place to a slightly brighter, but still dim, place.
I say these words as a mental health counselor with a mental illness. We counselors are meant to exemplify the best self-care practices and show you how to make it through the COVID-19 outbreak in one piece. Sadly, counselors are not super heroes, nor are your loved ones. If the poster child of self-care and optimal mental health is struggling, imagine how the average layperson or someone with mental illness is taking this. They are taking it pretty damn hard.
Who knows what is going through their mind being couped in their house all day? Who knows what dark thoughts they might be having? What they could be stressing out about? What toxic people are they stuck with in quarantine?
Please check in on your loved ones during these trying times. We need to be there for and support one another now now than ever.
-The Caring Counselor