Tonight feels like fall. Like the type of weather that makes you imagine sweaters and sweatshirts comfortably, and makes me want to pull out a book and drink something hot. Mosquitoes are still biting me, but other than that this is my perfect climate. I'm so in tune with the weather right now because I’m sitting outside (in the dark) on the back deck of my mom’s house, the only area besides the basement that I am allowed to exist in — thanks to my positive test result for COVID-19.
As someone who flew through their first year of college without feeling homesick in the least, the difficulty of my transition to school this year really shocked me.
What a week it has been. Let me preface this by explaining that the last two weeks have been really rough. I moved into my apartment in Charlottesville a little over three weeks ago, and I was so excited to be back in my college town with my friends and roommates, all of whom I love with all of my heart. My townhouse is cute, and I spent way too much time this summer thinking about how to make my bedroom aesthetically pleasing, so honestly my room is pretty cool. I live with my roommate from last year, my highschool best friend, her roommate from last year, and an illegal dog. We can’t go to bars or to parties, but we can have endless wine nights, and we no longer have to eat dining hall “food.” Life should be good. But if these past few weeks have shown me anything, it's that the “should haves” and the “could’ves” don’t mean shit, to be sweet and light about it.
As someone who flew through their first year of college without feeling homesick in the least, the difficulty of my transition to school this year really shocked me. And by “shocked me,” I mean it pissed me off. I didn’t want to feel apathetic, or miss my boyfriend, or miss my mom. I did not have time to deal with that mess. But I had to make time. If “sad” could describe the way I’ve felt the past few weeks, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. You think you understand the premise behind mental health until you start to feel your own deteriorate, and then literally nothing makes sense anymore.
I’m the girl that gets up and goes for a run every day, takes pleasure in the creation and demolition of “to-do” lists, and is prideful of her status as the go-to friend for advice. So when what I would label as a depressive episode hit me out of nowhere, I was really annoyed. Annoyed that I no longer was dancing around in my room by myself, annoyed that school seemed so unimportant, and annoyed that I was forced to ask those around me for help (vulnerability is so not my forte). In those really dark moments when it felt like I would be stuck in hell within my own head forever, I really missed myself. Most moments I still do. But luckily, I have friends that drive me around at midnight with no destination just so that I don’t have to be alone. I have friends who leave me gifts, clean my room for me, and text me every day. I have friends that cry when I cry, invite me over constantly, and really and truly listen. My mom is also a psychologist, so that resource has been helpful. Each and every day over the past few weeks, my village of people have pulled me up for air, most of the times not even realizing that they were doing so.
I’m the girl that gets up and goes for a run every day, takes pleasure in the creation and demolition of "to-do" lists, and is prideful of her status as the go-to friend for advice. So when what I would label as a depressive episode hit me out of nowhere, I was really annoyed.
Oh yeah, and now I have COVID. Last night I was supposed to drive down to Blacksburg to see my boyfriend, but instead I drove home to go live in the basement of my childhood home. Yes, I always wear a mask. Yes, I restrained myself from partying. Yes, I got tested solely as a precaution and was flabbergasted by the results. But that, my friends, is life. I’m not scared of the physical illness as much as I am scared of being alone. In case you haven’t already gathered, I depend heavily on the people around me. (Don’t tell them that though, they can’t know I have feelings). So anyways, being alone sounds really freaking scary right now, but it also sounds kind of like a test that I’d like to win. The universe wants to fight me? Square up then, world. I can fight a mental illness and a virus at the same time.
"The universe wants to fight me? Square up then, world. I can fight a mental illness and a virus at the same time."
And what I’ve noticed is that I’m never alone. I have two parents who leave food outside my door, and leave support in every way possible, in every place possible. My mom is literally making me muffins right now. Take my positive attitude with a grain of salt though, because this is the end of day one in isolation. We’ll see how nights 2-10 go.
But tonight feels like fall, and my fingers are getting cold typing. And while fall usually means sweaters, coffees, and pumpkins for me— tonight it means hope. I am a little sad, pretty sick, very loved, and strangely content. If that doesn’t describe the chaos of being human, I’m really not sure what does.