I can’t help but be afraid.
When the Covid-19 outbreak began, I thought it would all blow over, that it would somehow fizzle out. However, with each passing day, things just continued to get worse. With each passing day, my fear began to grow. It has gotten so loud that it is now a small voice in the back of my head constantly whispering to me.
It says: “You are already compromised. You already have a weakened immune system, you shouldn’t go outside, you should remain shut away,” and other such lovely phrases. I have to be careful every day but now even more so.
I do not do well with fear. I don’t like it at all and normally have no trouble pushing it away. I have always been strong and have had to do a lot of things for myself when no one else would do it, even if it caused me pain or discomfort. I always charge forward, always try to conquer. It is the only way I know how to do things.
With Covid-19, I can’t just conquer it. I can’t wipe it away.
All around me, well meaning friends and family have been afraid for my safety. Having multiple sclerosis means that I live with a compromised immune system and am therefore more susceptible to the disease. However, I’ve let myself become more susceptible to fear as well. I have hidden inside, afraid to go out and I feel like Rapunzel in her tower, looking down at the world around her.
There is a disassociation with the world has been taking place. I feel like we’re all driven apart from each other but we are trying to hold on so tightly to each other at the same time. We are being told to self-isolate, but we are human, we yearn for the company of others. I’ve been keeping myself safe inside, but try to go out for quick walks every day. I see people, but we only wave hello and separate from each other, our feet taking us in other directions and away to safety.
This dissociation has been taking place within me as well. It’s a separation from within. I yearn for human company, but at the same time fear it. I watch the news and with each speech by the Prime Minister, I feel myself pull gently away from everything, the voice of fear speaking to me, “You can never go outside again, you shouldn’t talk to others, you can live online now, the internet is your only friend, you can’t trust anyone, everyone has the virus…”
The world has become an unknowable place to me. People are hoarding food, toilet paper, sanitary supplies. People are losing their jobs and businesses. People are getting desperate. I have been trying to fill the world with kindness. It is the only thing I can think of doing. It helps keep the fear voice quiet.
I am also thankful I have creative outlets. I can write and paint. I have even started reading poems from my new poetry book on Instagram. I just want to counterbalance the darkness in the world with a bit of love and light, as much as I can put out there.
I know that people are afraid. I know that friends and family are worried, that the whole world is in disarray, but I can’t let that happen to me. I know that my super power during any negative situation is my stubbornness and my positivity. Both of these things have gotten me through situations that I didn’t think I would survive.
I’ve been trying very hard to walk away from the fear and the panic, the upset and the darkness. I need to walk away from the negative emotions within myself, knowing that they can’t possibly do me any good. I have come to realize this week that living with a little bit of fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can keep me focused and keep me alert.
What I need to do is embrace positivity and love. I need to look at the small world around me while we are at home and know that it is full of abundance and joy because I made this home with my husband. It is not a prison; it is only my mind telling myself that. I need to embrace love and walk away from the feeling that life as I know it is over.
Yes, I live with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. Yes, I have to be careful and keep an eye on my health during this time. Yes, I have to practice social distancing and keep myself away from others. That doesn’t mean I’m alone. That doesn’t mean I have to be afraid all the time or fear other people or myself.
Fear won’t move mountains. Love will.