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Illustration: April Kinney · The Sentry

Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

When the Tide Pulls

My fear of the ocean solidified when I felt the tug and pull of the tides drawing me further into the open water. I folded and crashed amongst the waves that yanked me and, in that moment, I was no longer in control. I wanted to take this column to acknowledge the importance of mental health in this period of social distancing. I want to remind you all to check in with your classmates, friends, family members, and significant others. In full disclosure, I personally started taking action toward battling my mental health more significantly this semester and taking that step alone was difficult. Since then, I had made steady progress and was working to get back on track in all areas of my life. With everything leading up to the outbreak of Covid-19 and to this day, my mental health was thrown for a loop and I was back where I started: crashing amongst the waves the tide pulling me further out. To cope, I decided to document and journal what my depression and anxiety looks and feels like amidst a pandemic. In living through what will be known as a historical event, I don’t expect someone to find my journal one day and preserve it as a historical document (although it could be who knows). But no, this is through and through for myself. It’s difficult right now, I’m sure any of you could understand, and there’s something that I feel, if not I think we all feel, that we can’t properly put into words. If there are any words.

I had a dream the other day of pulling string out of my mouth, odd I know, but there’s a point I’m getting at here. When I analyzed it, I read that it could symbolize the need to speak up (not suppress/censor your feelings). Being at home I can see how difficult it is for my parents and siblings to comprehend what depression is and what it looks like. It’s hard for me, and I even feel guilt at times, to see them struggle trying to understand, so in a way, I feel like this journal could give me that outlet to say what I’ve been trying to say this whole time. Right now, I don’t know what it is.

For all of you who also struggle with mental health, I hope you all find a way to cope in these difficult times. I hope you all are staying safe and I see you.

 

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