This Pandemic Has Taken a Toll On My Psoriatic Disease

2020 has felt like a 20-year stint of prison.

Back in March, when the pandemic first began, my job quickly decided that we would be working from home indefinitely. In my mind, I had this false perception that being at home more would allow me to now have additional time to complete my goals, work, do advocacy, focus more on my self-care, and enjoy a break from society.

Since starting a full-time job two years ago, my advocacy took a back seat, and I wasn't writing and engaged in the community as much as I had been in the past. I thought more time at home would mean more time to do the things I had placed on the backburner. Oddly, it was the exact opposite.

Feeling lost in isolation

Surprisedly, I haven't felt the gutwrenching feelings of depression, the kind that have you sitting in the room unable to move due to the deep overwhelming sadness you feel. So, for the most part, emotionally, I have been okay. However, it's been tough to feel motivated to do anything "extra," the extra being anything outside of work.

I feel like a part of me was lost during this pandemic. The fire I once had was, in some way, extinguished. The thrill I once had to go over and beyond was lost in the 6 months of being confined to my 1,200 square foot apartment, where I stayed in my room most of the time, staring at the same four walls, hardly ever having a change of scenery unless it was the grocery store. I recently moved into a new home, which has helped alleviate some of my feelings from being cramped in my apartment.

Psoriasis self-compassion

For a while, I was beating myself up over it. I felt bad that the drive I once had seemed to have stalled. But then I showed myself self-compassion. These are unique and challenging times we are living in. Then I remember something I read from The Four Agreements, a book about personal freedom.

One of the agreements is "Always Do Your Best." The author discusses how "your best" will look different depending on your current state in life in the book. For example, when I'm healthy, I can work out with no issues. However, if I'm having a psoriasis flare or joint pain, my ability to exercises changes, I might have to modify my workout or not do it at all.

I've had to remember to apply that same concept to myself during this pandemic. I've had to show myself self-compassion when I desired to do something but didn't have the energy to do so because, under these current circumstances, we are all just trying to make it.

What we need from the world around us

Psoriasis can already be an isolating disease, and although I've been able to break the shell of confinement in recent years, this moment in time brought back those old memories of sometimes feeling alone and secluded from the world. It brought back memories of the need to connect but being unable to do so.

This pandemic has been a tangible experience of what goes on for many of us living with psoriasis. That desire to not be alone, but unable to gain what we need from the world around us.

Finding a new normal

Some would say social media or zoom has eliminated some of the sufferings of not connecting with others. Although online relationships are better than nothing, it doesn't replace that in-person connection I had before the pandemic. I'm not sure if anyone else has experienced these sentiments. This isn't a post that has 12 tips or a silver lining.

I think my purpose in writing this is to tell you that you are not alone if you are feeling the same way. Honestly, writing this has given me a small burst of serotonin that I needed and reminds me of the "Alisha" I was before the pandemic. Although my current feelings aren't as bad as March-June, I'm finding a new normal, and slowing finding the motivation to get back to my regular life.

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