Covid-19: Disruption, Anxiety and Growth

Everyone has their stories and experiences of these times of COVID-19. Many are stories of difficulty and hardship. I have a story too, one I’d like to share. Not that I think it’s more interesting or displays more difficulty than others might be experiencing, but because I imagine it is likely relatable to many. To me there is some comfort in the fact that this is a shared experience. That everyone throughout the world is affected to some degree or another.

The early part of the pandemic actually felt stimulating to me at first. Before the pandemic I had been feeling pretty good, but restless and unsatisfied with many aspects of life. The pandemic brought something new, a chance for change, a new way to look upon the world, and I wanted to absorb it and experience it all. I was relishing the novelty and things felt pretty good, until all of a sudden they didn’t.

A few months into the lock downs and “new normal” I suddenly started to feel uneasy, and it quickly turned into experiences of panic. I would wake up in the middle of the night with the feeling that I had to get up and move around. I was having physical symptoms that I imagined felt like a heart attack, although deep down I knew it was anxiety driven panic. I’ve had one other experience that I recall in my life that felt somewhat like this, but severe anxiety hasn’t been a common factor throughout my life. It was very disconcerting, and was affecting my day to day life. I became very irritable at times and it was having a negative affect on our home life.

It made me wonder what had changed – what was causing this? I have worked from home for many years, so that hadn’t changed, but now there were two of us working from home, and our 5 year old was home as well. I found many days overwhelming, trying to balance work and other commitments, and despite having incredible support from family. It had been building up and suddenly I was feeling the effects in a very intense way.

Eventually I decided I needed something to change so I arranged to take a leave of absence from my primary work. They were very accommodating of my needs during discussions in August and by late September I was off work. I found that after making this decision and getting the details finalized a weight was lifted and I felt much less unsettled. Perhaps the pandemic was the final straw I needed to push me to making that change. It’s something I had been feeling needed to happen at an intuitive level for years, but there was never quite enough of a push to go through with it. And then suddenly there was.

I’m now into the fourth month of the leave from that job, and overall I feel much more balanced than I did. There are still difficult days – we all have difficult days – but the overall feel is one of positivity, of moving forward, exploring and living. I’ve tried many new things and reconnected with activities I love. I’m grooming cross-country ski trails a couple times a week, studying different topics of interest, including Reiki, architecture, art and music, and doing more hiking and exploring around the area. Throughout the past year I have continued work through the Distance Energy Club and have found that to be immensely important to me, for how it’s helped me directly and how it’s allowed me to help others, which adds to my feeling of purpose.

At this point I still don’t entirely know what the future holds for me personally for my work/career. I’m focusing on the little things each day, taking small steps and trying to always be thankful for what I have and the opportunities that come to me each and every day. I’ve had some pretty low days this year, but I’ve also had amazing moments of clarity and joy, the likes of which I don’t remember experiencing in years. This, I believe, is the value of disruption – it leads to healing. In other ways healing itself can cause temporary disruption, but they are often inextricably linked.

This past year has had major challenges for most of us, but many times we need to experience something disruptive in order to move forward and achieve growth. We’ve had that in spades and I have a feeling this monumental disruption is leading up to other giant positive changes in our societies around the world. I want to, I have to, believe that is true.

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