Uncertainty, Anxiety, and Hope

Life was fun back then. It was happening; it had people who could understand me, at least I could avoid those who couldn’t. The academic load is hugely daunting now. Never have I ever imagined that 49 credits would be this heavy. People are busy, even if they don’t want to, while some are leaving out every task that they are “expected” to do. While I rant, others work their things out. While I sleep, others sort their careers. The constant fear of not being productive and passing time at the same time is traumatic. This was my state for many days.

It all started when I came back during the mid-term break in March ’20. Little did I know of what was yet to come. Several months passed by, I was still the same — unproductive; albeit I was enjoying my extended vacation. Except for the scoldings that I had to bear and the chores that I had to do, everything was fine. Then, my father contracted COVID-19. It was the most horrible experience in my life. With the constant fear of losing my father, to getting up at certain intervals of time at night to see if he was breathing, to managing a mother who could not handle her emotions anymore, it felt as if the hell broke loose.

  • It’s funny how we can gauge the short time we have for our career and academics, yet we can’t sense the little time we have left with our families and friends.

As they say, “You only realize the importance of someone when they are gone” in my case, it was the fear of losing someone or something that made me realize the true meaning of happiness. While I was searching for it from the things that I can’t procure, the relationships that I can’t continue, the people who wouldn’t love me back, I was missing out on what I already had. I was slowly dislodging myself into a phase that would haunt me.

But slowly, dad recovered from COVID-19. Apart from a few post-COVID issues, every one of us was doing fine. By then, the semester was set into motion, an unforeseen hassle. Still tackling health and the financial issues that emerged due to the COVID-19, I was not in a position to crack the tasks that were being pushed out daily. Day in and day out time was passing by, and I was just a mere spectator. Neither was I in contact with my friends nor did they bother to call me up. The information dumping was too much to handle.

I was getting anxious and hardly slept during the nights, did not have the motivation to wake up, and could not complete the video lectures, quizzes felt unsolvable, assignments — insurmountable. I could not catch a break. I was, again, left alone. “Even the toughest decisions begin from the smallest of steps” — this would paint a perfect picture of the life that I had to work for, after the mishaps. I tried to wake up, even if it was not early enough, I tried to. I tried to keep a track of time by counting the number of pomodoros (half an hour in my case) passed by through the day. I tried to begin my day by taking a refreshing bath. I tried to work on my anxiety/stress using a few breathing exercises.

I was alone, but that did not mean that I had to be. I reached out, talked with people, with the counselors. Each human interaction iteratively made me feel better. Even though I could not understand what had happened, why I was like this, or even how I am, I tried to cope with it. I can not point out why, but life has been hard for me. The academics? The realization that the definition of happiness can be found within some proximal limit, but I have wasted it till now? My dumbness? My fears? My mental health issues? Do I even have any? I can not say for sure. But I eventually could cope up with whatever it was.

Lately, if you have been feeling like me — unsure, fearing, overwhelmed, I would remind you that you are not alone! The world is unfair (if I can say that). We are working on other things at a time when we should be working on our health. We are being burdened on things that should not be doing so. But, we can try to persevere through this. The hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel should not perish. You did well till now, carry it for a day more and then, another. I believe we can get through this together. Do you?