Life during the Co-vid Crisis

New York City.
NYC I love you

Hello World! Hope you’re all doing well. It’s been months, since I’ve last blogged and boy has the world changed tremendously! It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride with everyone dealing with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, decline of the economy, heartbreaks, mental health, racism, controversial political issues and such. Now I’m not going to get into politics because right now….. I’m trying to survive day by day.

I’ve been sick with an off-set series of fever for 3 months. It all started towards the end of March. That was when I had experienced the worst part of my symptoms. My asthma, which was highly triggered in January and slight bronchial infections throughout the beginning of the year. Doctors gave me prednisone, cough medicine, z-packs etc. Despite it all, I literally thought there was something serious going on with lungs. I had trouble breathing most of the time during walks and when I laid in bed at night. The wheezing and coughing loads mucous was bothersome and draining. I was constantly using my asthma pump and nebulizer. It got to points where I had to go to the ER and Urgent Care. The two times I went to the ER, I had to walk out because it was the middle of a Frigid February, and I got frustrated at the jam packed scenery in the ER. I was there for 3 hours and was ignored by nurses in the Monti at the Bronx. While I unhooked the oxygen tank I felt I had enough oxygen to come home and decided to self-asses by using my nebulizer. This was before the lockdown happened and I started to improve. I went to concerts, museum and art galleries, karaoke outings, brunches, etc. I still some asthma but ignored thefact that my referral to see a lung specialist (a request I had stressed to the doctor about).

I thought I was getting better. I was. But something triggered it. I was still experiencing a slight breakup but with the help of friends and wonderful activities, I was constantly on the go and feeling great again. The last time I went out with my friends was end of February, our last karaoke bash, a few days later met with a friend for a late night Sunday dinner and then got my nails done in Williamsburg, Thursday (the last day I was out in the city). Then Friday of that week, it was announced that we were going to be on a lockdown and there was a deadly virus spreading all throughout NYC. I was scared. With my asthma condition and my series of infections, I knew I had to stay safe and I tried.

During the Month of March, I got lost in tv shows, comedy (because laughter is the best medicine) movies, music, zoom chats with friends and handy work. From watching and rooting for Joe Exotic, binging on Bates Motel, Ozark, building my white lovely Hemnes Ikea Dresser, to hanging my abstract art work, 🧘‍♀️ Mediations, Going out for lovely little neighborhood strolls and mini hikes isolated area ( of course two weeks after lockdown ). I started to get severely ill end of March, my fever had spiked to 100 plus. I had trouble breathing, nausea, 🤮 vomiting massive phlegm, severe joint pain, red toes, bruises on legs, upset stomach, etc. I thought I had co-vid. My symptoms became worse after plenty of self-loathing and social media lurking on my exe’s profile. I was hurt he moved on with someone else and was in quarantine with this new hoe. I wish I had’t lurked because I spent a week crying and suffering this heartbreak that I thought I was getting over. Apparently this was like opening Pandora’s Box, my symptoms reached an all time high and I am convinced I sabotage my own immunity through my mental health. Depression can bring the immune system down. However, with the help of friends and strong pep talks, I started to get back up mentally, the severe symptoms diminished. But I have been dealing this stupid low-grade fever since Mid-April. Thats a long time to be sick! but I did not get tested until the end of April/ beginning of May and the results were negative. I have also gotten blood work which appears as normal. I still have to see other specialists and still in the middle of figuring this out.

My issue right now are dizzy spells, a constant persistent on and off low grade fever which makes my eyes burn. It is bothersome and at time I feel like I am going to faint. I don’t have severe asthma anymore nor do I vomit or have loads of phlegm to discharge. I try to go out for exercise, walking and mini hikes have been helping me loose the prednisone weight I’ve gained two months ago. I was 153 and now 142, a vast improvement from the junk I was consuming whilst in complete isolation. It’s easy to turn to food for an emotional high. However last month I changed my eating habits and went on a strict candida/ vegan diet, cutting out yeasts, sugar, meat, dairy and starchy veggies. My biggest eliminator was bread. It was difficult to manage because I eat bagels every day. I also munch on chips after dinner so I dumped all the junk from my pantry. These are probably the foods that were most likely making me sick.

I stopped drinking sugary juices, stuck to water or lemon water. Ate oatmeal for breakfast, eliminated eggs, ate fresh veggies, salads, no pasta, etc. I was and still am convinced that if I keep this diet up I could diminish the health issues I am experiencing. So far, I haven’t had severe joint pain nor asthma. I think dairy was the culprit along with the other fatty inflammatory driven-foods. After watching, ” What the Health”, I became aware of the importance of dieting clean and eliminating the very foods that contribute to disease. Now I’m not saying that after this experimental diet I will be cured, but that is the goal. It is worth a try. Along with this, I have been reading (despite my lack of focus due to low grade fevers) and I’m happy to admit today’s the first day in a long time since I’ve blogged. I’m a creative person and I would love to get back to my hobbies such as art, playing my guitar, etc. Also, I need to finish redecorating my room, it really needs a fresh paint of coat.

Let’s talk about unemployment. Its been hard not working and I’ve always been one to work no matter what. I freelanced in fashion for a few years and was so used to making my own money however being sick and living at home has helped me gain so much gratitude. Money is a necessity but nothing is more important than health. As much as I would to like to work right now, I’m a bit on pause for self-recovery. I have been actively applying to multiple companies and haven’t heard back. I am aiming for a remote role at the moment as I’m sure most of you are. I was depressed because I was living in the past and anxious because I was thinking much about the future. Then I realized I needed to focus on the present. It hasn’t been easy everyday require positivity, courage and persistent. I was thinking about the worst case scenarios, but with self-reflection, mediation therapy, Prayer to God, virtual church meetings, hope, gratitude, I’ve been able to focus on the present and less on the past and future. The aim is recovery. It will take time. Baby steps. I wonder if any of my readers are going through this if so please post below and share. I wish you all the best during these unprecedented times.

Practice Mindfulness While Working On Your Passion

Life is not a race. This is the best thing I can tell someone who feels discouraged about not landing their dream job right away or their niche role. It may happen instantly or it may take years, however in the end, shouldn’t the journey be more exciting than the actual prize? That is how I felt about fashion business college. I loved it! However, there was frustration of not landing a permanent job after graduation.

I was told by various cut-throat freelance recruiters that I lacked sufficient experience which truly took a toll on me. I wish I could have told myself two years ago, not stress so much because nothing is ever permanent. Also, the tears and gray hair are to blame but sometimes has a large portion with how we handle the situation. Do we see the glass half full or empty? Some negative naive aspects of my past, have become life lessons and I can only move forward. Lamenting oneself will not help with progress but moving forward and living in the present will.

Mindfulness is a practice that we all need. Currently, I am riding the wave of uncertainty and working with my present situation. I’m not in the job I love but I am able to save my money and still work on my passion. This helps me stay positive and mindful. I’ve also decided to surround myself friends that genuinely care for me and that will stimulate me in a positive manner. This will influence decisions in life. Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation. Closing your eyes and breathing in and out helps center one’s thoughts. Eating a healthy meal and getting enough rest will also help with anxiety. Work on your hobbies, craft and experience. because you love it and you know that it’s your passion. Such relevant hobbies will keep you centered and grounded in terms of optimism.

Life doesn’t have to be all work. Work for a living yet follow your side passions. Who knows? Maybe this will open doors to a career which will feel more like a hobby and less like work. And when that day comes, you will never have to work a single day in your life. This expression will resonate well for those dreamers who want to make a career out of their passion and yes it is possible!

If you feel discouraged or not content with your current position. I’m here to remind you that it’s not ” a forever thing” as some idiot ex told me about dating. It’s best you write down what you feel regarding the job: it’s pros and it’s cons. Write down what you actually appreciate about it even if you despise it. I’m sure there are skillsets that have been learned. Everything you experience in life becomes a lesson. Experience the journey but do not get caught up on it. Stay positive by appreciating the growth during the process.

JUST A DREAM

Timing was never right we met at the wrong time,

If only we were to try again, maybe this time it will work,

Love is unpredictable and dating is uncertain,

However you became my comfort zone,

Your smile brightened up my day,

Your soul brought me warmth,

I can still taste your enticing lips and smell your scent,

Here we go again, crossing paths just like old times,

Will you become a part of my future or remain a part my past?

This emotional rollercoaster has consumed me,

Where are you now? No response.

You’re gone, I feared this day would come,

At night melancholy consumes my heart,

I pray to God for your return,

Closing my eyes as I wish for a future with you,

A ray of hope lies within the depths of my soul,

You were a beautiful oasis, a breath of fresh air,

And perhaps I will never experience you again,

Our love was unreal, you were unreal,

Just a figment of my imagination,

As if I’ve imagined you since the start.

But in the end you were just a dream.

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Original artwork: “Bleeding Heart” by MD

Breathe

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Today, I sat in the subway and felt a pang of stress. A wave of melancholy hit me as I sat with my eyes closed. Tears streaming down my face. I felt all eyes on me. Hoping no one can tell I was crying under my large cat-eye frames, I wiped a quickly wiped my tears. The train stopped and I wished I were home. I wanted to yell, scream and cry out loud. I felt muted. I couldn’t do so. Today started off as a great day and somehow one comment twisted my thoughts into negative ones.

I’ve been negative for quite sometime. This happened before work. The grass may alway seem greener on the other side except for myself at the moment.The social media obsession of lurking and not feeling fully content with myself, as I constantly compare myself to others such as family, etc. The thought of an ex-boyfriend thriving in a relationship with someone else. The thought of my best friend ignoring me because we got into a stupid argument. Or how one of my close male friend has been self-absorbent lately with his business. Everyone seems busy and I am feeling neglected. Graduate school rejections crossing my mind. Binge eaten my feelings out and I’ve gained a few pounds. My self-esteem has dropped. I haven’t gone on a single date since the summer. I’ve chosen not to I guess. Trying to focus on my goals and dreams. However, I’ve given up on myself today. These are my negative thoughts. Once, I get into this vicious cycle it can be an emotional rollercoaster. This is anxiety and depression. 

Image result for breathe in breathe outI know that perhaps this is just a feeling that will pass. However, right now it feels eternal. Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and my thoughts will be positive. It’s time to let these feelings be feelings. I admit I am angry and I am certain it will pass. I will stop making assumptions. My comparisons never took me anywhere. I despise my job at times because it was never the dream career. Yet, it pays off the bills. There is more to life than this daily routine. I’m relieved to be home at the comfort of my own small room, writing out my deepest personal feelings. Writing is my therapy. I’m here to let you know its okay to cry.  If you can relate to me at some point in time. I’m here to let you know, you will persevere. Vent away. It’s okay to experience dark moments, as long as you get back up after sulking.

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It’s time to focus on your hobbies, ideas, and blessings. For instance, shower, eat , drink water ,write, draw, play music,  sing, dance, work out, clean, launder etc. or read an interesting book to destress. Whatever cheers you up. Breathe, because tomorrow is a new day. All those people or tragic events that have hurt you are no longer relevant in your life. Your life will head towards a new direction once you start to value yourself. Let go. Just breathe in and out.