My COVID-19 Struggle

How many of you had feelings about COVID-19 that frightened you? I know at the beginning of this frightening pandemic, I saw myself slowly shutting down day after day.

When reality began to set in

When the state I lived in started to shut things down, the only mental relief I had was walking a trail by the lake close to where I lived. It was outside, so I felt somewhat safe from contracting an unknown virus.

Losing loved ones to COVID-19

Then, suddenly, I started to see family and friends lose their lives because of it. It was like something from a movie, but this was not a shocking blockbuster; this was real life and it started to affect me emotionally and mentally.

The beautiful walks on the trail by the lake stopped and reality started to sink in. That reality was the likeliness that I could ultimately be someone who catches it and lose my life as well.

Anxiety and loneliness

I saw myself not coming out of my room, not wanting my family to enter since they were not taking it serious enough and saying I was paranoid. But then, feelings of loneliness started to hit me.

I stopped going to the grocery store and let others who lived with me do the shopping. I was always wiping off door handles and anything that I knew could have germs on them.

I was not about to let COVID-19 take my life

I realized I had to do something to get out of the house, so I took daily drives on the highway from 30 minutes to an hour with the music blasting.

Eventually, the drives turned into tears of hurt, fear, and panic in my head about living with HIV and how I have survived so long with something I thought I would die from. I was not about to let COVID-19 take my life. This was psychological, emotions unconsciously pulling me in a direction that I could not see.

Steps I took to feel better

Then came the big move back to where most of my family lived and it was something I could not cancel. Now, I am in another state in a new apartment alone with no one to run errands for me. I decided it’s time to get out.

Hiking and getting outside

I started hiking and it was the best thing that I ever did. To be in the open air, feeling the sun on my face as I moved vigorously up and down the dirt hills, climbing one step at a time higher and higher. You see, sometimes it could be one thing that can make a difference in our minds.

Getting vaccinated

I knew my next step was to get the vaccine, something I said I would never do. But, if I wanted to feel safe living with a compromised immune system, I thought it was best especially so I can show the people that I love that it’s okay to take.

Things have opened back up. I still wear my mask where I feel it is needed, but because of the decision I made to get the vaccine, I feel a bit freer from my COVID panics.

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