Chronic Illness, Mental Health, Phase 3

Chronic Illness in the Face of Pandemic

It’s been a while since I was able to write. Immediately after rebooting my website my life fell apart. My girlfriend had moved in, and it felt like things were going to finally be ok. We joke that we had a normal life for 5 minutes. Due to certain plans falling through, we ended up homeless and couch surfing for a good month and a half before finding a friend to stay with short term. After that, we had to be separated, them living with a sister, and me living with my parents. This was torturous. My mental state began collapsing around me, and to top it all off, I had to stop going to therapy. Also in this time, I had a car accident, failed to appear in court and got arrested. That’s right, ya boi is an ex-con now. I was in the lockup for 2 whole hours.

Now, things are– ok. It’s not the best situation; I’d much rather be living in our own apartment, but at least we can be together. I’m still not in therapy, and it’s getting harder and harder to cope.

On Halloween I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, a complication of psoriasis. Having a name to put with my debilitating joint pain and fatigue was unbelievably relieving. I’m still in a great amount of pain, but at least with my medication it’s not getting worse. Psoriatic Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, and as such puts me at a higher risk of getting sick because my body has decided that attacking itself is a better idea than attacking microorganisms trying to make a home in my body. The most common medication, and the one I’m on, also suppresses the immune system. So needless to say, I’m effin’ terrified of getting sick.

Enter COVID-19.

As of writing this, I’ve been in isolation for 45 days. It had been ok; I prefer to stay home most of the time anyway. This week though– this week has been hard. Both my BPD and arthritis are acting up (I guess because they’re bored), making me a miserable, sore mess. I had an argument with my Love, and haven’t been able to clean at all. It’s not usually an issue, but one of my other conditions is agoraphobia. I’m usually ok with leaving home with only slight anxiety. I’m usually totally happy to drive my Love to work. But nothing is as usual right now. The world is upside down. All my fears are legitimate. Usually my fear that the world is trying to hurt me and those I hold dear is unwarranted. These are unusual times. The world could kill me. It’s killed nearly 200 people in my state alone.

The worst part of this pandemic, for me personally, is the mental toll. Not only the ramifications of being in isolation for over a month, but also seeing people’s reactions. When I go out for some essential reason and see people who aren’t wearing masks or aren’t wearing them properly, it is a visual example of how many people simply don’t care about folks like me. They don’t care that they are exposing themselves and everyone around them to this virus. They think that because a healthy person can fight it off, they are safe. When I read about people complaining about the shutdown, all I can see are people who care more about money and appearances than my life.

Don’t tell me I’m overreacting. Don’t tell me everything is going to be ok. Don’t tell me that my daily anxiety and panic attacks are unnecessary. Don’t tell me anything. Just let me sleep.

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