I finally realized what this quarantine means for me.
( How I got a virus, my recovery and some updates…)
Staying home and locked down for a long period of time can alter people’s behavior. Some experts would call it “Cabin fever”. Adopting to a number of changes in an abrupt turn of time can really make some people sick, … if not acquiring a virus… can probably give people sickness – emotionally or mentally.
Sudden behavior changes, like shift in lifestyle – altering routine – to live in time of crisis; adapting new schedules to follow curfew protocols; staying home for longer periods from how you usually do; People need to adapt. It’s tough for some. Others may have tormenting memories – bad experiences that linger which can make them feel more unsafe staying home. If physical and verbal abuses (like me) is a common routine inside a house, being on a lock-down is a perilous time for the victims.
Some may find this current situation on a bright light. Family connection, rest or vacation has finally been checked on their to-do lists. Parents get the chance to recover lost times with their children and vice-versa.
This quarantine means differently for many.
Me, personally, finally at this third to fourth week of lock down, the change I need to undergo is recovery of my time with the Lord. More of this journey as I let you into some details.
Master in Social Isolation…
Isolation- social distancing, is not new for me. I am a recovering depression and anxiety patient. (And by recovery means it is a long process). This journey began at the end of year 2018. 2019, I begin to step into acceptance, when I also recovered from my brain infection (see my quicky-notes on this); and then the long process of recovery- then this year…(and this pandemic… ooh life – it is).
Going through depression in the past, I have been putting myself under “quarantine seasons.” If you also been through depression or anxiety, you know that type of situation where it’s just hard to leave home. You are paralyzed.
I myself love going out to some outdoor activities – like immersing in the community, nature photography and hiking. These give me life. When depression attacks, my anxiety level turns up and cripples me to think of those things I always enjoy.
How I went through “quarantine” when seasons of depression strikes, is somewhat different to a pandemic’s quarantine. No one imposes us to stay home. It was a battle for people like us.
Now, when the quarantine started … I didn’t feel like something with my routine had really changed…
A time to choose, to heal, to recover…
What it has been for me actually is time to catch up… Honestly, the feeling that i had was, as I told myself…, “So now people actually feels how having a mental illness feels like… ” When you really do not want to get stuck inside but you have no choice.
By force or by choice; It became a choice when we started to think of protecting other people – not to spread a virus on them. As a depression patient, I choose to stay home when I don’t want someone else to be affected by my “sad” virus. It was contagious. Loneliness is as contagious like a virus. It is an enemy no one sees. And the battle is solely left to be tread by the person, alone. To feel that I’m no longer alone in that type of “feeling” brings a relief.
This made me remember of a prayer I told God.
I am still in my last years in college. The early years has been obstructed by my depression. I tried at first not think it that way but I have to admit it and be honest. These are attitude crucial to recovery. I was not really aware of it.
Depression and low immune system complicate my health. I acquired an auto-immune disease – Rye’s Syndrome; not a serious illness once the patient has fully recovered. (You can research on Rye’s Syndrome and find other complications a patient could experience). But due to a virus infection, my brain swelled. The deadly part was not giving the immediate aid to it could have been fatal. I hope to tell my full story but for now I have to give you a short version.
My body refuses to fight sickness. My doctor that time found that I have Depression and anxiety. She lectured me… “Mental sickness is a factor for the physical body not responding to a fast recovery. (stay with me in this blog as I continue to discover my own “depression journey” – tune in for more stories to come) 🙂 .
I was prescribed to take a full-year rest. If I want to heal and recover I need to rest and stay away from things that brings me stress.
Emotional fatigue and mental stress were also my complications. I have this guilt – I shouldn’t even tried hard – I should have given time and recover. Completely. And then leading to more guilt I felt because of a need to rest and need for more time. I wished it never has to be like this.
I prayed this to God,
” Lord I hope time would just stop.”
Facing my depression, dealing with it , the impact of recovery- facing my delays… in life in general.. is tiring.. To face the chaos in you is discomforting. I went on …
“i need more time… I feel guilty and feel I don’t even deserve Your help…I want to slow down.. but catching up now is my only hope left to finish school and deal with the many other “stuff”…
I was hopeless, trying to be hopeful… Hope was what I had left in those times.
Self-quarantine – Self-help: Surrender your “self”
And now this happens… The lock-downs around the world made me feel like time had really stopped. It made millions of people panic. School and work cancelled – or just delayed, until the virus would stop spreading. People were forced to quarantines. People would just wait for the coming days.
I have the time to catch up.
Before the quarantine seasons.. I were no different from many who go on with their normal routines… I too, got busy… struggling also; finishing school works and looking for part-time jobs to sustain every needs and then managing my mental illness. These are all done full-time. Who said recovery is easy?
This is recovery. For me it is hard work.
Discipline is enforced with bravery (means crying the whole time) to fix your past failures (and I am still in the process… I haven’t even reached the half of this journey…). Just like everybody else things tend to be handled through a program called “on my own” – self-help strategies; self-development process.
It must work. But for me, really, it reduces strength. It reduces my focus on the Lord, as the One who truly helps. My self-effort of course diverted my attention away from God. I was busy. I have no time and focus to spend moments with His WORD. I have no time to meet Him on our one-on-one dates in prayer.
I have no consistent quiet time.
I was also healing my-self from depression by my own program- following the world’s advice– Books, YouTube videos, podcasts, Ted-Talks, IG stories – memes.. name it .. you know it.. we’ve used it…whatever.. Whatever accessible whenever available. I can get to choose. Nothing is imposed. The process is easy. But the path to true recovery gets more difficult. I’ve gone farther.
I realized my lack of God in my life. I need Him now more than ever. I need time; a huge amount of moment to talk to Him- catch up with Him again. And He… definitely has a lot of revelations to say to me… personally. This is my surrender.
In a rare moment God gave me this passage (it was even His grace still that led me to choose the Bible that certain day…) this is what He said:
“ Psalm 50 16-23
16 But to the wicked person, God says:
“What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and testify against your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
you thought I was exactly[a] like you.
But I now arraign you
and set my accusations before you.
22 “Consider this, you who forget God,NIV
or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
and to the blameless[b] I will show my salvation.”
When I read this… Immediately I felt the panic and a relief.
God does not fail to point out His offer of salvation.. But this time He is serious He must recover His place in people’s lives. (read my Quicky Notes on Psalm 50… next – stay tuned 🙂 )
Notes from God
This is what He taught me. My distance from Him.. a spiritual distance, made me indifferent to who He is. I lost who God is in my life trying to follow popular steps guided by wordly manuals. When God sees the works of the wicked did we really think He is just out there far way observing?
What if this is God in panic..? He is panicking for us to do right once and for all. Come back to Him and know Him. His word – His characters – His promises – His love.
This is God now speaking and telling His feelings of isolation. People forget about Him easily when things are smooth and in control… When everything goes in our normal routine. When we do our own way even if it breeds wickedness, we do not panic. We don’t isolate from what we know in nature is bad. As long as it is easy, accessible, available.. when it works for us. We do it we enjoy it.
The quarantine, the virus, the lockdown – is God’s way to get even. He panics. Spiritual distance is not normal with His relationship with His children.. God is angry. He may be sad…or even depressed for us. Let us come back to Him. Pay attention to Him again. His behavior towards forgiveness will never be altered (1 John 1:9). Let us recover our lost time and devotion with our Lord, Jesus Christ, He is our Savior.