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  • Writer's pictureJ. M. Zuniga

Surviving the Pandemic: What does that even mean?

It's October 13, 2021, and some people here in the US are decorating and making plans for Halloween. They're trying to gain a sense of normalcy with an age old tradition of fall decorations, costumes, and candy. They're trying to resume a life that was put on pause by a global pandemic.

However, that is not the case for a lot of other people...people that are still grieving losses. For some, it is the loss of a loved one or several loved ones, the loss of a job, the loss of financial stability, the loss of a home, etc. There is another loss that needs to be addressed as well, though, the loss of self.

Although there were those who found their purpose, new hobbies, and even new businesses with the extra time they had on their hands, others drowned in depression and anxiety. At first, they didn't feel the same despair at the beginning of the pandemic. They simply thought, oh now people know what I go through on a daily basis. But then, as time went on the isolation and the fear dragged them into a deeper despair, a deeper hell if you will, than the one they already struggled with.

The long endless days dragged on, creating more chaos in their brains. Scenarios of what ifs played out in their heads and "normal" anxiety turned even more crippling than before. Sleep became coveted even though they'd had plenty of sleep already. Then there were the self-deprecating remarks in their heads (sometimes verbalized) telling them how they'd failed at life, failed at a time that everyone on social media seemed to be thriving. This only made for a never ending cycle of self-loathing, which in turn exasperated anxieties and sunk them deeper into depression.

Why are you writing such a downer of a post? you may ask. I'm writing to let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. So many of us went through this or continue to go through this. In a world where it's so easy to forget the struggles of others, I want you to know

I SEE YOU.

YOU MATTER.

Today is not your day to lie down and let go. No. Today is your day to say, I will take each minute, one by one, and find a tiny bit of light to help me reach that next minute. The only thing you need to do is make it through the minute you're living in. Take a few deep breaths. Feel the virtual warm hug I am sending out to you.

You have not failed at life! Although you may not see it, you have impacted so many lives and are meant to impact many more. Your time is not over. Whether it be for a few more days, months, years, or decades, you are where you need to be and your impact on others can be powerful.

Love one another. Cheer on those who've found success, but don't forget to cheer on those who are struggling. But most of all, don't forget to cheer yourself on. You deserve it.

All my love,

Jen

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