It’s been about five months since the world turned upside down. Five months of quarantine, social distancing, and isolation. Five months of masks, hand sanitizer, and Zoom calls. Five months of learning how to adapt to survive in an entirely new environment.
For folks living with mental illness, survival means something different right now. It means learning how to let go of routines, how to let go of worries concerning the future, how to live in at least partial isolation.
I can’t speak to everyone’s experience, nor do I want to because everyone has their own path and their own journey. I do know, though, that these have been the most difficult parts of quarantine for me, and I’ve heard these same concerns about uncertainty echoed throughout the community.
I’ve always found that finding someone or something to lean on in times of uncertainty has been beneficial. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing partner and family to love and support me, but I also know I need someone in my life to rely on me as much as I rely on them. That someone is my puppy, Barry. I’ve had him for almost three months, and he has helped me so much in such a short period of time.
He knows when I’m having a bad day and just need someone to be there for me. Even as I write this, he’s sitting on my lap. And knowing that he needs me just as much as I need him is so important. I can’t just lay in bed all day because I know he has to eat and go outside.
I love him so much, and he loves me, and I’m so grateful to have a little being that can keep me grounded in times of uncertainty.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.