We’re entering into the fourth week since California ordered its nearly 40 million residents to stay home and practice social distancing due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. It’s been an exhaustingly long month. California was the first state to take the aggressive stance in trying to slow the virus by issuing the Safer at Home order and prepared for the virus to hit the state as soon as it saw what was unfolding in New York City. That was only a month ago.
It’s already five days into February and my plan was to write a reflection about how the first month of the year went. I had originally planned to write a few days into January… and then mid-month… and now we’re here. Writing and reading, especially for leisure, has been hard to do lately.
After nine weeks of hibernation, today was my first time being out by myself for more than an hour. It has been a wonderful day spent walking around the SE Hawthorne neighborhood. I picked up a new book at Powells, window shopped, ate bimbimbap with no white rice, and worked at a cafe pretty much all day. So to reward myself, I’m seizing the energy and time today in hopefully capturing what life has been like since my recent diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus – lupus nephritis.
I turned 31 years old today and I am in pain.
Physically, I have cramps that have been twisting and turning my stomach into knots for the past few days. My period has been inconsistent lately, keeping my body in a state of confusion.
Emotionally and mentally, my anxiety continues to persist, sometimes paralyzing my body and preventing me from functioning much less working on anything creative. My depression often hovers nearby, waiting to see if this time will be the next time I allow it to consume me.
After serving three years at my nonprofit job, I left my post exactly one month and six days ago. The end was a closing to a chapter that I had only fantasized about but never thought would be a reality so soon. Of course, the experience was not without challenges and a handful of difficult moments – because the work is hard – despite all of it I wouldn’t have changed a thing.