Living Through a Pandemic When You Have Anxiety


I have had anxiety for the better part of a decade. I discovered it during my senior year of college when I thought that I was having a heart attack, only for my doctor to tell me that my heart wasn’t on the right side and that I was having a panic attack coupled with anxiety. Little did I know that my anxiety would follow me into adulthood and that even with prescribed medicine, it would only get a little better. For someone like me with extreme anxiety, anything can trigger it. Over the years, even exciting things made me anxious for example, prepping my children’s room and packing my hospital bag both sent me into a spiral of panic attacks.

Never in my life did I prepare for a pandemic. I never thought about them; of course, I knew they existed, read about them in history books, but never did I think it would happen. At the beginning of March, the news stations began to speak about a possible pandemic, or as we call it, the COVID-19. Like many people, I had no clue of the severity of this and automatically began to prepare for the worse. Two weeks later, my job had us working remotely, and my daughter was doing E-learning. What was happening? I thought I could adjust to this; it would be great. I had more time with my family to cook, to clean, play board games, listen to my children, seems perfect, right? Not for someone with anxiety, the days were long, and working from home with two small children was more difficult than I thought. When we were able to get out of the house, it was such a nerve-wracking experience (the germs, the mask, the gloves) that I just wanted to keep my family home. I was nervous and scared, and to be completely honest, I just wanted to isolate myself. However, I couldn’t I needed my family to feel loved, and completely safe, so I put my anxiety to the side.

I know that many mothers can relate to this because our lives regularly consist of various anxieties. However, we have never dealt with a pandemic, so it is unknown and ever-changing, you can’t help but feel out of control. I do not have all of the answers; to be honest, I don’t have any solutions that could be helpful right now. I have learned that it is okay just not to know. My Granny told me one crucial thing growing up “Everything comes to an end at some point, good things and bad things,” so keep the faith, keep your families safe and be kind to yourself and know, this too will end at some point.