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  • Writer's pictureSrishti Tehri

Pandemic PTSD

Of changes.

I often remember the time it was so easy to move on. From one place to the other, one person to the other, one friendship to the other. There was a certain sense of discomfort with the fact just how easy it is for me, to surrender to moments and forget about the rest of the world, but at the same time, it gave me peace like nothing else. I was young, so free spirited and in love with my life and the freedom I’d created for myself. This curious heart of mine didn’t understand how to stay in one place. True to its nature, it always wandered away to distant waterfalls and mountains, unknown valleys and forests. This wonderment became my identity.

Fast forward to today, there are parts of me I don’t recognise at all. I’m a 26 year old graduate in something I never pursued, with a broken family and an unfulfilled career, which led to creating an alternate job that at times, feels more like a liability than anything else. On top of that, I didn’t work hard enough to kick ass in something I was already good at and indulged in self-hatred all days of the week. And, I’m so afraid of changes. Time started functioning differently altogether. I began fearing movement yet yearned to be back in an unfamiliar place, so I can start from scratch.

I tried therapy and called it off after six sessions cuz why the fuck should one waste their time crying over their malignant father?!

As long as my imposter syndrome lives with me in the same room as I do, I’d keep looking at the world like I don’t deserve anything. But when I do choose to take off those spectacles made of guilt, on occasion, I feel I’m okay. If I do look at my circumstantial evolution that took place in the last one year, and look at it with all the optimism and hope I have, I think I can still make it.

These changes that played it rough with me, I feel, are the same changes I derive strength from. This regular life made up of some sort of settled chaos, has taught me a lot too. I no longer take my own pictures while travelling, I take pictures of products. I no longer live out of a back pack, I share a cupboard with my better half. I no longer cuddle with stray cows and dogs, because I live with two idiotic canines. Life’s different. Life’s good. I am privileged. There’s been growth. But it’s been painful, for if you don’t have that freedom you love so dearly, everything else is put to shame.

Torn, is what I am and how I feel most of the day, my better half says. It’s difficult for him to watch me struggle between who I was, am and who I want to be. Priorities….what are my priorities? Wants…what are my wants? Decisions…what are my decisions? Happiness…where will I find it?

When did it get so tough?

I fail everyday and resurrect yet again because I can’t give up on the life I love so much just yet. I refuse to give up. I’m not in love with it right now but I can’t also just stop loving it. Almost sounds like I’m in a toxic relationship with my own life. Haaah. Maybe all of us are. Or, maybe only people who are as confused as me are.

But seriously, how does one know what they want? I’ve weighed the pros and cons, and gone days thinking about the best and the most viable solution to my agony. To travel vlog? Or, to work? To change cities? Or to not? To be ambitious or settle for the slow, minimal life? To run after money or experiences?

All I’m saying is that this is my state of mind. No matter how early I wake up or how productive I’ve been. My happiness lies in both these worlds I’ve created for myself. My mind is the thin line between the two.

I don’t know what’s going on and how it’ll be okay soon. I guess I’ll just try again tomorrow. I do want this post to have a happy ending and I do want to feel good about life too but I’m going through tobacco withdrawal as I write this so my main objective of the day is to not give in to something my body doesn’t need.

Maybe here’s how it’ll start. Discipline. Consistency. Dedication. To quit.

Forgive me, I’m just dealing with pandemic PTSD.

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