Coming into quarantine, I was so excited for a break to just relax at home for a couple weeks to get my head in the right space then return to school. Well, it’s going on three months later and that was obviously not the case. I’ve had so much time to and by myself which has given me a lot of time to think. Too much time. I’m a Virgo and I’m not really into all that astronomical sun and moon stuff, but if there’s one thing I know and can prove from personal experience: Virgos overthink everything.
It started off well, I felt like I was glowing up. I focused a lot on myself, stayed on top of my work, communicated with friends on a regular basis, got air, and exercised daily. Life was good, my family was healthy, I was at a high. Then they started to extend the time. Two weeks became three, then three weeks became a month, then six weeks, and now there’s a five-step plan in place that might allow us to be back to normal by the next school year. This is ludicrous. As much as I love and adore my crazy family. I’d rather eat denim fabric than be isolated with them another month.
I’d been seeing a moderate amount of social media posts mentioning “isolation depression.” I won’t lie, I initially thought “that’s some Caucasian activity.” LOL, boy was I wrong! Isolation depression is pretty self-explanatory. Within isolation, the chances of feeling loneliness and detachment increase and it’s very easy to fall into bad habits and a bad mental state. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I definitely fell into a more than undesirable slump. School became more demanding once they figured out how they were going to approach the last quarter, my screen time went up an unhealthy amount and not much of it was being used to stay in touch with my friends, classmates, or even teachers. I was MIA. Off the maps. Stopped doing work, stopped answering calls, texted back at the annoying rate of a school laptop. It was bad.
I ended up getting an email from the school social worker titled “WY (Whitney Young) Is Concerned About You!” And just like that, not a single thing changed. I was still down and out. They emailed my mom about all my missing assignments and so I did a few to let my teachers know I was still alive, but not much after that. I was somehow getting less sleep and all I did was dance yet my grade in dance had dropped to a cute percentage of 77.
You’ve probably read this far to see about what helped me escape this dark little place, get my grades back up, and reconnect with friends. Honestly, I want to know too. But truthfully, I haven’t entirely gotten there yet. I’m still working on it, but it’s a steady come up. I’ve been pushing myself to do work and communicate but never to a point where I feel drained. I’m allowing myself to find a balance that works for me and my mentality.
So, if you don’t remember anything else, remember this: I know it looks like you’re alone and it’s so easy to feel alone when words like isolation, distance, and quarantine are all we hear on a regular basis, but I promise you are not. In a weird, contradictory way, we’re all alone together. We all have this something that’s holding us together. We understand, it gets hard and finding motivation to do anything is like trying to remember the name of the person you just met. Do what’s healthy for you. Communicate even when you don’t feel like it because you know deep down it’s what you need. When I finally took the time to email my teachers about all of my unreasonably undone work, they were more than understanding about it.
If you’re feeling the way that I was, unmotivated and out of touch, reach out. Don’t be inactive. You know yourself, you know what brings you joy. But also don’t be so hard on yourself about feeling the need to be productive, active, and super healthy one hundred percent of the time. Everybody needs a break.
By Kelbe Nails, Sophomore, Whitney M. Young
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