my mental health, a week into quarantine

I’ve officially been in Scotland for a week. and it’s been a rollercoaster when it comes to emotions. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it here, but I had planned on moving to Scotland today, August 29th. I was supposed to leave with a friend and spend a week with her visiting the city. the UK putting France back on its 14-day quarantine list said, ‘fuck your plans’ and so I had to adapt. I cancelled my previous airbnb, got a new one so I could do my 2 weeks long quarantine before starting university (big joke since I’ve since learned I’m starting on the 14th and not 7th as planned + it’s been decided my classes will be online), and changed my plane ticket. and so I arrived in Edinburgh on August 22nd.

I’m not going to lie. the first few days were not good. it’d been a long time since I’d cried this much. there aren’t many places I feel 100% safe and comfortable in, but my room is one of those places. leaving this safe space, my cat, my friends, my family behind? it was hard. I couldn’t seem to stop crying even though I’d been talking about moving to Scotland for more than half a year at this point. but saying goodbye is always something you never really think about and push aside until it’s actually time to say goodbye. I sobbed while hugging my cat goodbye, I sobbed in the car, and guess what? I sobbed at the airport. both my parents accompanied me, and I truly thought I would be able to stop myself from crying, but nope, I cried. a lot. so much I had to change my mask because it was too wet.

getting to my airbnb wasn’t too hard, but emotionally challenging since, you know, I have social anxiety and anxiety. nice time. but I got to my airbnb, had to climb the stairs to the third floor with three suitcases. nice time again. anyway, imagine me sweating and tired, all alone in my airbnb. honestly I was high on adrenaline at this point. I think I truly realised this was it when I lied in bed. I brought my pillow with me as well as my stuffed elephant I’ve had since I was born, and because my mom had washed them both before I left, they smelled so much like home. and you know when you feel like something is keeping you from breathing and is squeezing your heart at the same time? that’s how I felt. I don’t recommend it. yeah, I ugly sobbed. you can repeat the ugly sobbing for the two days that followed.

I think many people don’t understand that there’s a difference between being an introvert and needing some me time, and having to spend 14 days on your own, not allowed to go outside. yes, I love to spend time alone, I thrive on that shit, but I have my cat, I have the possibility to take a walk, speak to my mom if I want to. lockdown was hard because it happened suddenly, my classes were moved online, I couldn’t see my friends and I graduated without truly feeling like the year was over, but quarantine is different. I don’t do well when I’m all alone. I lived once on my own for 6 months, all alone without seeing my friends or family, and that’s when my depression was at its worst. so yeah, I wasn’t looking forward to these 14 days.

but these 7 days of quarantine haven’t been all bad. I’ve had good days, not because I felt particularly happy when I woke up, but because I tried my hardest to keep myself busy and organised. I tried to create a routine. but I also allowed myself to feel sad and happy at the same time. I’m allowed to have this duality of feelings inside of me, coexisting at the same time. I’m allowed to be sad because I’m alone, but I’m also allowed to be happy because I’m excited for the time I can go out and visit Edinburgh. I’m happy I moved. I truly am. but moving wasn’t as easy as I had imagined it would be. and I know it would’ve been different if everything had gone as planned, if I’d been able to leave with my friend a week later and take time to visit. but I cannot keep thinking about what should have been, because nothing good will come of it. it won’t change the fact that I’m doing this quarantine alone, and it won’t make it end faster.

I’m allowed to be sad, but I cannot only be that. there is more to me than sadness. I cannot stop myself from being happy because I’m sad. as I said, these two feelings can coexist. I’m allowed to feel everything I’m feeling all at once in the same day. it’s fine. I know there are good things about this quarantine, and I try to focus on them as much as possible, so the sad doesn’t overtake the happiness. during this first week, I was able to get some much needed sleep, but also some well deserved reading time. I was also able to take care of the last few things that needed to be taken care of before I move in my flat or start my master’s degree. there are good aspects.

I know some days will be harder than others, but that’s how it goes all year long honestly. quarantine ‘just’ amplifies the sadness, so it’s important for me to take as much care of myself as I possibly can. my mom usually facetimes me when she’s walking my dog and cat, but also during the afternoon, this way I feel like I’m with them. my dad facetimes me during his lunch break and before going to bed. my friends send me videos and gifs of cats, but they message me every single day to get updates on how I’m feeling, or ask me if I want to facetime with them. I know I’m lucky to have so many people who care about me, all of you included, and I’m grateful.

that’s it for today, I’ll see you soon, have a nice day 🌿

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