As of late, I usually share my thoughts on my personal blog which is to be read by a select few – or those who eventually click on the links to the posts if and when I sometimes share them on my rather inactive Facebook pages. However, I think this kind of topic will benefit a wider audience, hence, I’ve decided to post about it here on Pinoy Teens instead.

Bear with me. I do love to chit chat while trying to get my point across!

At any rate, this COVID-19 situation, in particular the Enhanced Community Quarantine in place in the Davao Region has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety. It has reached a point that I became sick. Actually, I still am sick. I understand that I didn’t lead the healthiest of lifestyles and perhaps my body is starting to ask me to pay up for it, but I am almost certain of it that my psychological state of being has had a huge impact on my illnesses of today.

Mid March, Davao City started the Community Quarantine and eventually the ECQ version of it. All of Region 11 is on locked down. It just so happens that my girlfriend is stuck at her place in Mati now and can’t find a way over just yet. This alone has caused me a lot of psychological anxiety and stress. I worry sometimes for her wellbeing, I worry sometimes that if I get more sick, I might not be able to see her again, so on and so on…. Nothing pretty to see here!

See, I am highly dependent on her presence because in my life, there just so many people that truly mean anything to me. A few select friends, her, my mom and my daughter. My father passed away July of last year.

Speaking of my dad, I’ve been having dreams of him as of late. Dreams that my pessimistic mind just loves to twist in its favor. There are times I see him working on something, not really him, but his silhouette – but I know it’s him. And when I open it, there’s nothing, just a polished room. I sometimes interpret it as him preparing a place for me. (damn, just typing this made me gasp for some air)

Now, back to mid March… I used to have breathing difficulties, god forbid it was COVID… Probably it was me just stressing out about my cousin leaving late at night to visit his girlfriend and then returning back home here, worried about the possibility of him bringing the virus into our home and eventually, it slowly went away. This, however, returned about a week and a half ago. It got worse to the point that I decided to have myself checked up at Davao Doctors. Nothing wrong with my longs, all my tests including Thyroid tests (as they suspected thyroid dysfunction) are within normal range.

I’ve talked to KonsultaMD for a few times, consulted a number of medical friends… and slowly but surely they are pointing fingers on less severe reasons or medical conditions. Sure, I will need to have an ECG and 2D Echo still to rule out heart problems, but to a certain extent, I do think that all this pain and suffering that I am experiencing is because of my mental state and wellbeing.

The dreams of my dad, the worrying thought that my elderly mom might contract the virus, my girlfriend being away, scenarios of how Yannah would take the loss of any of us… All these slowly piled up and broke down my mind bit by bit.

After one of my 911 Calls where I received telemedicine from a certain Dr. Dilangalen (I hope I got that right), she was quite assertive on her diagnosis that what I have been experiencing is most likely caused by my stress and mental state.

I tried to change my mindset, sure, I faltered occasionally maintaining a positive outlook, but I did feel a change in me. My breathing got better, I felt ever so slightly more healthier… and even if I can’t take a full deep breath without difficulty yet, I am on the way to recovery. I should add that aside from the suspected Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, I have also been diagnosed with GERD. GERD again, along with acid reflux, can be caused by immense stress.

Oh what was this post all about again?

Right. How to cope with the current Coronavirus situation!

  • If you feel like you can’t take the bad news that you are seeing all over the place on Social Media, on the TV or the stuff you’re hearing on the radio, turn it all off. You don’t need that in your life. Listening to bad news and your negative thoughts that fuel the fire is a sure-fire way for your symptoms of difficulty of breathing and all to snowball.
  • If you can read this, then most likely you have either a computer or a mobile device with decent internet connectivity. Focus on something positive. Try to do something fun! Watch funny videos, open your mind to some silly fun on YouTube, or a comedy show. You need this positivity in your life. Especially right now.
  • Call a friend. Talk to your parents or to your child. Make use of your time to be in the moment with the people around you. Just because you have all the time in the world right now to spend with them, doesn’t mean that you should just let the moment pass by with every one of you doing their own thing. Do things together. Spend time together.
  • Don’t be afraid to call for medical help. May that be calling 911 or one of the many Mental Health hotlines that are available at your disposal. Don’t be shy. As per the good doctor, there are hundreds who are experiencing the same problems that I did. Meaning to say: we’re all on the same boat.
  • No matter what, no matter how silly it sounds: Think positively. Write down an essay as to why you are blessed, why you are happy, what good is there in your life. Get your mind rolling on all the positivity in the world. No matter how selfish it sounds, you are an important part of this world and the world of your loved ones.
  • And again, avoid stressors. Trust me, unless you have conducted laboratory tests, most of your gibati right now are because of your mindset.

I hope we call get through this together. I hope that there will be minimal mortalities after the virus is done wrecking havoc. Stay at home. Stay healthy physically and psychologically. Because of you are not fit in the latter, it can definitely affect everything else.Addendum:My friend shared with me a story he got from another close acquaintance of ours and it goes like this:

When your mind is scattered and you feel like you’re drowning in it all, remember to think of these thoughts as open doors in the house of our mind. What you have now is almost all doors open.What I was thought a common friend was to learn to focus on one door at a time, the first door.The first door should symbolise your room. Your mental safe space and thinking areaFrom there you can intentionally visit each of the other rooms. One by one, being able to open and close the door eventually on command.When another door gets too overwhelming and won’t close, you can always go to your safe spaces and close that door.It’s a process that oftentimes requires you to endeavour to really know how big the house is and what’s behind each door. And which ones to keep locked, which ones to keep closed but open up occasionally, and which doors to have always opened or have no doors to the room at all.