Modern Women
Published in

Modern Women

My Pandemic Story: I Don’t Recognize Myself

Looking at myself now is complicated…

A girl holding a mirror over her face in a field of flowers
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

I am not going to lie, I started this article about three weeks ago. Then I just kept putting it off, exhaustion getting the better of me. Which seems like a theme for this entire pandemic.

When I saw this prompt, I immediately got inspiration. The last two years have completely transformed me. I grapple with whether it has been for the better or worse. There are aspects of my life now that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but also aspects that I wish would disappear for good. What has definitely become apparent is that the pandemic resurfaced my clinical depression.

I turned 24 a week before the shut downs. At the time, I was working at a marketing startup for little pay, working out constantly, hanging out with friends all of the time, and overall feeling pretty okay about my life. It wasn’t perfect but I felt happy. Then, it all changed.

In April of 2020 I got laid off from that marketing job. My confidence was absolutely shot. It was my first job out of college and I was already grappling with imposter syndrome as it took me a while to even get that position. Then I spent seven months unemployed and unsure of who I was.

In those seven months I got out of one relationship and in to another. I applied to probably hundreds of jobs. I explored various interests. Took a lot of time to myself — which was great as I really learned what I am passionate about. However, I also changed up my birth control which led to a bunch of hormonal issues that I still deal with, and I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It seemed like my mind was growing but my body was giving up on me.

The pandemic for me, like with everybody most likely, has offered a ton of perspective.

photo of ocean meeting trees
Photo by Ivan Sanford on Unsplash

What I have gained since the pandemic:

I got a dream job during the pandemic. After seven months of being unemployed, I got a job offer that was almost double my old salary and at a huge company. This job was something I always dreamed of. Maybe not the exact company but the type of job. Part of my confidence came back when I landed it.

I moved to a new state with my boyfriend. This has led to one of the most difficult times in my life, but also some of the best. Moving in with someone is a huge step and I am not sure I was 100% ready to do it. I outlined more of this in, “Moving In Together Is A Bigger Deal Than Society Tells Us.”

Also, I have gained a ton of new friendships, rekindled old ones, and just downright cut off people that didn’t serve my life anymore. This is a huge step, I think, towards maturing and growing. You need to decide who in your life is going to help you be the best version of you. Don’t hang out with those who drag you down.

What difficulties I have faced:

Now, I mentioned earlier that I took a break from writing this for about three weeks and that my clinical depression has resurfaced. This is something I have been really dealing with most recently. I started going back to therapy and through that I have discovered that this pandemic has forced me to isolate myself.

Even though I moved to a new state for my job, I still work from home 99% of the time. I am lucky that I can pick and choose when I want to go into the office. That is a blessing and a curse. Also, I have stopped going to the gym. I did this at first because I was diagnosed with endometriosis and I needed to take a step back. But now, I am just too exhausted to do it. I feel like I am in a constant battle with my body and it wears me down. As someone who used to work out all the time and was gaining confidence in my body — the changes the last couple of years have really messed with my head.

Who am I?

Basically, I am just home all of the time. For some people that might sound like a dream, but for me it feels like a nightmare. I didnt realize how much I hated it or how much it has affected me until recently. I am an extrovert. I have always thrived on being around people, going out, and doing things. Adventure is something I always craved.

Homebody is never something I would use to describe myself. Thanks to the pandemic, I was forced into becoming a homebody. It is so much easier to stay home and work then go to the office. But it has destroyed my mental health.

I dont recognize myself. I look at photos of me during 2018–2020 and I look so happy, confident…hell i’d even say glowing. I look at photos of me now and I don’t like them. I don’t like who I see in the mirror now.

Yes, I gained a lot. I got a great job, new relationship, new friendships, and I grew up. However, I also feel like part of me is gone and I want to try to get her back.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Corie D'Haene

Corie D'Haene

79 Followers

Content Specialist with a dash of writer. Always moving forward. Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/coriewankenobi