Author’s note: It’s been a while since I’ve used this website as a personal blog. But given the situation that’s happening all around the world with COVID-19, I thought now’s the perfect time to start penning my thoughts down and/or letting my imagination run free.
This is not the first time I’ve been “isolated” for a prolonged duration.
In December of 2018, I spent the entire month locked in my room. Not because I was sick, but because I was broke. I was a newly independent student in a foreign country. Naturally, I ran myself into the ground with poor financial decisions. I didn’t even have a lot of money to begin with, given that I was still tethered to my parents’ purse strings.
How broke was I?
I was down to 10 pounds per week, and I had minimal life experience to know how to make that work in my favour.
It was not pretty. I lived off pasta, tomato sauce and eggs every day for a month. I didn’t leave the room unless it was to buy the aforementioned staple pantry items. By then I had begun to see food less like a meal and more as fuel. The taste didn’t matter.
But the worst part wasn’t the food. Being isolated started chipping away at my mental wellbeing. It was not drastic. There were no manic bouts of energy, looking for an outlet. It was the exact opposite. I no longer had the energy or the willpower to do anything. I’d lie in bed, dazed, staring blankly at my phone as time flies by.
I had no concept of time. There was nothing to separate morning from the evening, day from night, breakfast from dinner. I would sleep and wake up at random times.
Once the New year rolled around, my parents finally topped me up. I put myself together and started hunting for a job, while also trying my best to budget myself.
Looking back, I know exactly what came over me. Every holiday, at least for a short time, this feeling rears its head.
Every so often, I’ll spend the entire day staring at my phone, with my eyes glazed over. Not paying attention to anything, and then hating myself for doing nothing the entire day. All because of this feeling.
That feeling? It’s the feeling of relinquishing control.
Every other time in my life, I go hard at everything. I try to bully my way through life and give my 100%. It doesn’t even have to be work. I need to constantly do something and focus on it. I love the grind. I like being up on my feet. I hate being idle unless it’s on purpose while I’m meditating.
But when that stops, you feel empty. It’s like you’re driving a car, but someone took the wheels out from under it. That leaves you sitting on the side of the road, feeling incomplete. I could walk the journey, but the shock of losing my wheels had left me shaken up.
Which is why I can’t stop. What I’m doing doesn’t matter. The situation doesn’t matter. I cannot slow down. Stagnation is my kryptonite.
One method I’ve employed is changing my surroundings. This past week I’ve used all my self-control to not sit on the bed for any reason that isn’t sleeping. It’s been pretty successful.
It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, reading, working out, or watching a movie, I need to be doing something. Even if I’m meditating, it has to be purposeful. When I slow down, I spiral. I need to have complete control over my body and my mind. My brain cells cannot function without rules set by myself. My diet needs to be under control to a certain. If not, I will end up snacking all day and drinking milk straight out of the pack like a caveman.
This probably isn’t the same case for a lot of people, but it probably is for a lot of others. Today was a productive day. I went for a walk, cooked, read, watched tv, played video games, and wrote. I felt better today than I have ever felt locked in my own room. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up this level of energy for these dark times that are coming up.