Home, Relationships

Living in a state of quarantine

Quarantine has been hard. I haven’t seen any friends — in person or via Zoom/Houseparty/Skype/Facetime or whatever else the cool kids are using to communicate today. My job became completely remote, in March, when NYC shut down so I have been working, and until two months ago, I was in graduate school. Busy, busy, busy.

112 days – that’s how long I have been without anyone who isn’t my immediate family member. It’s nice to be stuck at home with the people you love, but I miss my friends so much. I became so accustomed to spending time with them more regularly than I had been, and it feels like a death sentence to, now, be completely deprived of them. I won’t sit here and say that this is the first time that I have been without my longtime chums; however, because this disease has said that I can’t be around them, all I think about is seeing them again. We always want the thing we can’t have.

Though, I suppose that I am never as alone as I’d like to believe that I am. Reading books and watching television have always been my patch for loneliness and I have done PLENTY of that. I must have re-watched Once Upon a Time (Captain Killian “Hook” Jones…need I say any more?) at least a dozen times, backwards and forwards; I finally sat down and watched Tangled: the series on Disney+; and I had time to view that new Netflix original series, Sweet Magnolias (sooooo cute! I can’t wait for season 2, if it happens. Even if it doesn’t it’s totally worth the binge hours). But lately, I can’t help but wonder if the loneliness is from a lack of movement rather than a lack of people. I really don’t love crowds or having anyone in my space for long periods of time and avoiding Manhattan indefinitely has been a pleasure cruise. But, at a certain point, when do I find my new purpose while trapped at home?

In quarantine, I have become more accustomed to working out more frequently, eating healthier, not ordering take-out as often as I was in the city, and doing things over video chat is now second nature. Generally, I am really shy and self-conscious when it comes to interacting on camera, but now I do it 2-3 times a week for various exercise classes. It’s something that, hopefully, will no longer cause anxiety when I return to the “real” world. My favorite class has been HIIT Boxing with Bradley (click the link to DM him for info) from Rumble Boxing in NYC. He’s super awesome — high energy, funny, encouraging, but most importantly, he challenges me to keep moving. His classes are no cake walk and you have to come in ready to work hard. Yes, there are days when I wake up and I feel like telling him I can’t do the class, but then I remind myself how much better I’ll feel once I throw the first jab. Right now, he offers group classes twice weekly, on Tuesday and Thursday. It’s only $10 to join so why not take the plunge and try something new?

For the last two years, I have turned to boxing as a way of supporting my declining mental health. It’s been important that I keep up with it in quarantine because the days only seem to get harder rather than easier. The loneliness has crept up inside of me, the fear and anxiety about ever leaving home has me trapped within my suburban property lines, and the burning desire to go outside and live normally has me feeling super sad all the time. At the same time, I’m dealing with a sick grandparent and a best friend moving far away. I’m not dealing with all of this as well as I could be because when I say that I am not dealing with it, I mean it. I can’t let myself think about it too much because when I do, I lose it. I completely fall apart and I can’t fall to pieces right now. The last time I let myself think about my best friend leaving for Florida, I cried for a week. Every day. Every night. Luckily, I have been working remotely since March because I cried as I was emailing customers. It was messy and I didn’t want to leave my bed.

Some might say that I am being really silly, but with the world the way it is right now…I don’t know when or if I will ever see him again because nothing is guaranteed and Florida is a god damn mess right now. So, I’m doing what I do best – distancing myself to avoid the pain of saying goodbye again. I’ve had to face a lot of demons while trapped at home with nothing but my thoughts and a cat in my bedroom at my parents house. I’ve been working through some relationship issues…not the kind that involve having a significant other, but my relationship with myself. Lately, I have been questioning whether or not the feelings I have had for someone were out of loneliness or true desire. Do I want the person or the excitement of having someone? I still don’t know how to answer this question. It’s been a struggle, for me, letting go of how my ex treated me at the end. When I really let myself feel, it hurts more than I can handle and I end up needing to push it away again. I can’t deal with it and get past it, but I know that someday I need to if I want to have any kind of meaningful relationship with anyone…including myself.

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