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.

MY DAILY MOTIVATION

Write down your plan and what is working for you!

I am skeptic about many things in my life right now. The uncertainty of money, this stupid job, useless advice from people, relatives, etc. However, this is normal, to fear the unknown, yet take the plunge into something that has become my safe haven. Writing is my therapy. There are so many things I need to write about and I’m afraid of spilling half of those things out in writing but it needs to happen. I’m starting to think that maybe I can experiment with Fiction. Writing about myself through another character, growing up in a strict religion, loosing people through illness and just growing apart from others and making new friends, but more importantly finding myself. I think I need to start building my portfolio asap! it needs more content and there is an unfinished book I’ve stopped working on. As skeptic and stressed out as I am, I had the best sleep ever! Today I feel energized and ready to work. Only motivator for me is the pay at this job!

Despite feeling secluded in a corporate fashion logistics role at a cool contemporary brand, I dislike my boss and this job. Crunching numbers makes me feel drained and there’s not an ounce of creativity in this role. However, I’ve made a list of things that make it worthwhile: #1 Great location and less people! (even thought it’s far) #2 Salary! (I have not received proper salary since forever and I am just on the cusp…. so, I’l work with what I have) #3 Temporary Assignment (This means that the position may close at any time. Therefore, I shall work with what I have and just keep in mind I will not be in that corporate jail forever.

As much as I wanted to leave, I keep reminding myself to be grateful because I have this advantage to save up for graduate school and pay ooff other debt. Socializing with friends that are in a similar situation as me is such a motivator, it has helped me cope with my situation. I think keeping certain factors in mind helps me stay centered! I’ve also been sleeping better thanks to meditation and mindfulness, a topic I’l discuss later on. What helps you wake up everyday? What are your motivators? When doo you find time to work on your craft? Please share and thanks for doing so. Have an awesome day!

BACK TO THE GRIND AND HUSTLE WITH POSITIVE VIBES!

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Hello world! quick update I just landed a job in retail. Not the best job in the world but I figured if I’m smart I will administer my money the proper way. My major goal is to save as much as I can. Knock more debt out of my life. And when I have done so, I will focus on my graduate school plans, getting an apartment and car. I’ve read so many articles online on people with minimum paying jobs that were able to pay off thousands of dollars. As dull of a frugal life may be, it may not be as bad as I think. There are tons of free events around the city. It’s nice to be able to think that I am getting closer to my goal. I just need to stay consistent. I can honestly say I haven’t spent a dime this week aside from my metro card for transportation to my doctor. But I’m happy because I am learning to control myself. I am learning the value of what it finally means to ADULT. I am trying to remain appreciative and not put too many expectations on others. It’s when the expectations are not met where I feel disappointment. I think being unemployed truly sucks!

The first week was relaxing but then I became anxious because I grew bored from all of my home activities. I also felt pressured from all the bills I was slammed with. But I’ve hit a pivot point and realized that it’s best to work with what I have. Besides, most successful people had to do engage in grunt odd jobs before landing their preferred job. I hate customer service, however at the moment the lack of jobs has forced me to find a solution. I can’t just wait until the perfect job falls out of the sky. As the saying goes: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Meaning sometimes it will take a while till one gets to their greatest reward. I’m not particularly thrilled about this new gig but Retail is about faking it till you make it. Smile, sell and provide great customer service for that commission.

I can think of a trillion reasons to complain but what is the point, it will not solve my current issues. Reading and writing has calmed me down the past couple of days. Exposing myself to new information and documentaries has helped me to not be so self-absorbed. I’ve also steered away from people who are detrimental to my mental health. False friends that only want to drink and act like complete idiots. False friends that will use you only when they are having a crisis but can’t return the favor. False friends that are not there…period. Staying busy is the most magnificent thing a person can do. I love learning because my brain goes 50 mph and I can’t stay still. It’s when I am learning that I can beat depression and anxiety. The thoughts go away and my brain is focused on processing new information. Lately, I’ve been able to focus on things that stimulate me in a positive way. What are you doing to stay centered? Please share your thoughts below. Have a fab fri-yay!

MENTAL HEALTH: STAY STRONG! LIVE A POSITIVE LIFE!

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Live life, learn, laugh, love and travel!

There are days that feel as if nothing is ever going to change. Days that feel, as if life is stagnant. That is how a person can feel after loosing a job, relationship, loved one, friendship, etc. It is always worse with a person who suffers mental turmoil, such as depression, anxiety, etc. The depressed can be overly critical of oneself.  One can even feel as if they’ve lost complete control of everything. An empty void is left and lifeless. How far will one go to treat it? There are an array of triggers that lead to mental turmoil, such as: genetics, dieting and life experiences. In the end, no one can save us but ourselves. There has to be a time where we get up and see the light at the end of the road. We can talk to a close friend, mentor or family but we are the only ones who can change. You only get one life and you live the life you want which is the life you were meant to live.

Therapy helps, however one must commit to the new change in therapy. The most important question to ask oneself is: Is my therapist right for me?  If not then you look for someone else you can talk to.  Do your research, look up clinics, try Zoc Doc or try your primary doctor. A good therapist may be someone who is going to teach you Cognitive Behavior Techniques to help you cope or the right medication. On the contrary, Medicine is always an option but psychiatric evaluation is a must. Medicine is only a necessity if one cannot function in society or becomes immobile to the point of harm. 

Mental stigma is a barrier that must be broken in this world. There are many people that have committed suicide. Talking about it and finding ways to cope can help save lives. There are many support groups or volunteering communities that partake in this. I don’t take medications for anxiety or depression because I hated the feeling of sedation. I prefer to engage in holistic activities and hobbies such as: exercise, dieting, hiking, friends, running, reading, concerts, etc. I’ve cut back on alcohol and any unhealthy habits that can trigger me.  I admit I’m not perfect and 100 percent happy, but I am grateful for many things in life.

Today I’ve had the guts to write about this shadow, I’ve dealt with for so many years. I have my high highs in life, where I absolutely enjoy my life and my low-lows, where my issues seem infinite with no solution. Sometimes I am invincible and other days I’d like to stay in my room and ignore the world, pretend I wasn’t feeling anymore. After my father passed away from cancer years ago, I felt like my world spiraled and I needed help. I graduated during a time where the market wasn’t so great. 2010-2012 was a difficult time in the economy, I stressed too much about finding permanent employment in my industry. At 24, I realized

I needed to get my thoughts together because I worried too much about the future or over-analyzed past situations. It was getting to me to the point where I could not breathe and realized these were anxiety attacks. I went through a few therapists to find the right one; one who can listen not judge and help me believe in me. I started to pursue my goals and enrolled back in school in 2014 and graduated in 2017. I accomplished many things and I am grateful for family, friends and joyful experiences. However the journey still continues. The journey to finding inner peace and stability. It’s hard for me to talk about this with friends and family, so I would rather write about it. I’m not fully there as of yet.

The point is to have a goal everyday and not let my mood affect my career or work.  To be able to manage the emotional intelligence I can possess or fake when I am placed in society. I am still a work-in-progress and still plan to pursue the career of my dreams. I also want to travel more and start a family someday (With the right man, that is). Love myself before I end up falling for someone else. My advice to others who suffer is that, sort out your issues before anyone comes into your world. Part of growing up is accepting who you are. Which means that if you’re suppressing yourself in a job, relationship, career, major, university, etc. that is stressing you out , then you need to find something you love. Don’t give up because of your age, it’s never too late for anything. Anxiety and Depression can be controlled. But it starts with you!

Talk to someone, if you feel you’re in danger because there will be someone who cares about you and YOU DO MATTER. Feel what you feel! but then get back up! stay busy with positive things, stay so busy, that you will forget what made you depressed in the first place. Yet, be grateful for each day because each day brings its own obstacles. Moreover what matters is how we deal and never take everything personal because then we will sulk misery; just know most personalities have nothing to do with you. In this people will let you down but you will let yourself down, when you expect so much in return from others. No one in life owes you anything. So owe yourself, and expect to be there for yourself when you’re not in the best of  moods. Never compare yourself to others or think that the grass is greener on the other side because no one is full happy. Surround yourself with positive friends and family. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. DON’T STRESS. LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, TRAVEL AND LEARN! You only get one life so make the best of it and feel alive. STAY ALIVE! STAY STRONG!