Personal: what quarantine told me about people's mental health


written 2020-04-08 02:06:20

Shit sucks. But it feels almost exactly like every summer I've ever had. Other than going to school, it even feels like my whole life, most times.

I'm not saying I never, ever went out. I did. But not as much as the average person did. And I had no fucking idea how much the average person went out.

Waves of confusion and even anger filled me when I now see all these resources for taking care of yourself when stuck at home. Suddenly all these accounts of how going out very regularly is important for people is being shared. All these resources on how not to despair when stuck at home are booming. People give sensitivity and support more than ever because they're considering how people are affected by not going out and/or socializing much.

All I thought was, where the fuck was all this before? Was this basic knowledge to everyone? Nobody cared to mention it to me? It all felt so unfair. Where were all these resources when I needed them?

Growing up an only child with, at one point, both working parents got me a lot of time cooped up alone at home. Hyperfixation on grades got me to stay at home most days. Going home immediately after school. Barely meeting any friend outside of class. Maybe once a month. Thrice or less times a school year. During the weekends all the interaction I ever got was with parents and the online world.

A lot of the times, generally, I just felt stuck at home because there's nobody to drive me and hanging out with friends always needed some sort of elaborate planning for my parents. And being kids of course this naturally never happened.

"I don't need to go out, I'm happy myself," my parents say to me. So I should strive to find happiness myself at home, I thought.

At some point I just decided I needed to go out to be happy. On the weekends I would ask my parents to take me out and we'd go out. Things just don't feel right. I still felt empty. The world was like something seen through a window to me. I didn't really feel like I was connected to the world in any way at all.

Then I hear that fucking normal behavior is people seeing friends and coworkers through work all the time. Meeting up for boba and shit or whatever. Accounts of people missing regularly going out and doing shit. What the fuck? Was this obvious to everybody? All this time I thought I was this brat who didn't appreciate time with her parents enough. Now everyone is getting this care for being cooped up and stuck. It feels great.

I remember those summers where I would barely move for days. Where I would just lie down for hours every night. Those school years where I would spend hours in bed, scrolling away through social media, procrastinating until the night to cram assignments, and then falling asleep in the AMs to social media for some semblance of human connection. I remember those summer and fall and winter and spring breaks where I would sometimes just not bathe for long lenghts of time, skip to only one measly meal a day, and just not fucking move at all. For days. Weeks. Months.

Holy fucking shit. Being stuck at home isn't normal?