I’m not normally a quitter, but I’ve recently thrown in the towel when it comes to strict social distancing.
When the pandemic first hit Warren County, people were asked to social distance in order to protect themselves and the people they love. That was March and the month thrown out was August – five months.
I thought, “I can do this. I can cut myself off from family and friends in order to protect myself and them. I can do this for five months.” I set August as the goal.
Being unmarried during a pandemic has been one of the most mentally trying situations I’ve ever had to endure. It was extreme isolation and loneliness.
In the first two weeks I realized that I needed something to occupy my mind. That’s when the plethora of do-it-yourself projects began at my house. All the painting, trim replacement, organizing, drywall patching, etc., seemed to work. As long as I kept myself busy, I was able to avoid thinking about the missing those I loved.
There were moments of weakness.
One of those: I had a friend message me in July that they were going out. Wanted to know if I wanted to go. Yes! I was getting ready when the voice of reason reminded me that I had established a goal and needed to adhere to it. I settled back down and found a movie to watch.
My focus on projects helped for about three months. Then, like flipping a light switch, it was over. I couldn’t even pick up a paintbrush. That was 4-5 weeks ago. Literally, like flipping a light switch, my motivation was gone. One day I’m moving from one project to the next and the next day I just couldn’t.
As the days passed, the depression-like feelings increased. I’ve tried all the suggestions on ways to ease depression, and I continued my July walking challenge into August.
We’re nearing the end of August – the original month thrown out there – and the pandemic has showed no signs of slowing. As I contemplate extending my strict social distancing efforts, the thought sent me into a deeper depression. By the third week of August, I was almost bed-ridden when not working.
I still love myself and everyone else, but the decision is thus: my mental health or my physical health?
There’s no guarantee that I’ll catch COVID-19, but there were strong indications I might not rebound mentally if I don’t stop my strict social distancing efforts.
I had my first date night with the BF on Aug. 22. We had another on Aug. 26. The depression eased almost instantly, so no more strict social distancing.
I do not know how difficult it is to be married during a pandemic, but I can tell you, without a doubt, that being unmarried during one is absolutely heartbreaking and undeniably miserable.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.