Leslie Shares Mental Health Struggles With Returning to Anything Normal During COVID-19
I recently ventured out of my house and had my first day back in studio since I began working from home at the end of March. I must admit, I had mixed emotions about returning to the building I work in and the studio. The COVID-19 pandemic born fears mixed with returning back into the world, have put my fear and anxiety in overdrive.
During the last couple of months, I had made a safe space for me and my family, my immune compromised son, in particular. A space I controlled. I had been nowhere, except one trip to a nearby greenhouse. The thought of venturing out of the very rural and isolated valley where I live, going back to the studio, or anywhere, paralyzed me. But, I knew I had to do it. So, reluctantly, I did. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I was just scared to death to be out in the world and around people.
It’s hard for others to understand how incredibly debilitating anxiety/panic disorder and can be. I’ve struggled with it my entire life. My earliest memories of feeling crippled by fear was around six years old. Twice, in my adult life, it was so bad I thought about ending my life. I experienced about 20 hours of extreme anxiety a day. And, twice I almost became a prisoner in my own house, in my own mind. THIS is one of those times. The pandemic and my fear surrounding what might happen if I leave my house, my yard, my safe place, have my mind spinning out of control.
Through many years of therapy, the love and support of my family and lifelong friends, I have learned that I can overcome the demon of fear that lies within me. I have overcome and conquered my mental illness in the past and I will do it again.
I just ask for patience from those who may feel I’m not myself or acting strangely. It will pass. It just takes time. I don’t mean to appear rude or distracted, I can’t help it. For now, this is the best that I have.
On my first day back in the studio, my bosses gave me these gifts and they were greatly appreciated. LaDonne gave my these journals to write down my thoughts and clear my head. Ryan got me lemon goodies to help make the day a little easier. Thank you both very much.
If you can relate to anything I have written and you are struggling during these very difficult times, talk to someone, get help. You are not alone. You CAN overcome your fear.
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