Personal Narratives

The pandemic led me to a dark place, and I’m glad I got help

Feb. 17, 2022

By Hannah Opalinski
Staff Writer

As it has for many people, the pandemic changed my life drastically. Soon after the pandemic hit in March 2020, I reacted by falling into a deep depression that continues through today, though I have made a lot of progress. 

In my darkest hours, I pushed away friends and family, and to this day, I still feel guilty for it. I know they care about me and wanted to help, but it is hard not to push people away when you feel so alone. I just felt so numb, so I had no emotion towards anything or anyone. 

I distanced myself from friends by being unresponsive to their calls and texts. There were times when I wouldn’t talk to my friends for a couple of days because I lacked the energy. When I finally did communicate with them, they showed me that they understood what I was going through, but I felt guilty about putting my problems on them.

My relationship with my family wasn’t the best either. I wouldn’t be able to see my dad often like I usually did before the pandemic. This impacted our relationship at the time because we felt emotionally distant from each other as we stopped creating new memories and sharing stories from daily life. 

My experiences during the course of the pandemic made me realize that It takes time to pull oneself out of depression, but once you do it, it feels great. 

Nowadays, I’m back to visiting him, but it isn’t the same. Having fallen into a new routine, I don’t go over his house as much as I did before, and our only real form of bonding is working out together. Before the pandemic, we’d eat together, watch movies or just sit around and talk, but that rarely happens anymore.

Last year, my poor mental health led to poor physical health. In the fall of 2020, I became so weak that I couldn’t even get out of bed. I slept all day because I was exhausted, but that caused me to stay up all night, and the terrible cycle continued. 

I had no energy or concentration to do my school work, and before I knew it, I was failing every class. It was very hard to get out of this cycle. It took a lot of time and effort to get out of my funk, but eventually, I got better. 

Now, I have the help of a therapist whom I meet with every two weeks. Knowing that what I say to her is confidential, I am able to open up and have honest conversations about my feelings, which makes me feel comforted. 

I’m glad to have a therapist to talk to. It was not easy at first, but once I started to feel a connection, our interactions were more natural, and I am able to look at the world more positively.

My experiences during the course of the pandemic made me realize that It takes time to pull oneself out of depression, but once you do it, it feels great. 

Now that I’m feeling a lot healthier, my grades have improved, my friends and I are doing well and my interactions with my family are much better. Nonetheless, living through a pandemic still doesn’t feel real. 

We are almost two years into this “new normal” and we still have to wear masks, social distance and worry about bringing Covid-19 home to our loved ones. Having seen my mom get very sick with Covid-19 in 2020 was scary, and although she has fully recovered, I don’t want to watch her or anyone else I care about go through that type of fear or pain.

I also worry that the stress of what feels like an endless cycle will cause me to fall back into depression. I have to work especially hard just to keep my mind off of it and not overthink the challenges of this era.

I don’t feel the way I did at this time last year, and for that, I’m very grateful. So many people are afraid to talk about depression, but I have learned that the only way to overcome it is to confront it. 

Therefore, I encourage those who feel depressed or anxious to share their feelings with someone they trust. We are living through unprecedented times, but with the support of family, friends and trusted health professionals, we can get through whatever challenges we face.

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