COVID Day 9*: Breakdown

Yesterday, I got some news that threw me off: I was already on Day 11 of COVID-19, and I can go home.

The official count, apparently, is the day you got swabbed. That advanced my mental countdown a bit because my initial conversations with the Department of Health considered the day I tested positive as Day 1 and that’s kind of what I’ve been going with all this time. It’s even more confusing when you throw in the count of my days in isolation, which is technically just hours off but crosses into a new day. At this point, it doesn’t really matter; I just wish someone cleared things up with me early on.

Still, in an endeavor to play it safe, I decided to stick it out a couple of days more in my quarantine hotel and complete a full 10 days of isolation. So here we (still) are.

I’ve been on a rollercoaster of feelings since I last wrote two days ago, something I think I can attribute to exhaustion—both physical and mental. There are so many things on my plate that I legitimately flip out at the thought of taking time to rest when I can check more items off my to-do list. I’ve been teetering on the edge of a breakdown yet attempted to keep myself together in spite of the rising panic deep within.

But there’s only so much I can take, and finally this afternoon I just snapped.

Beyond the adrenaline of tackling one task after the other and the feeling of being overwhelmed, I cracked at the feeling that someone I work closely with seems to have forgotten I have COVID-19. It’s a thought that’s been nagging at me for a few days, which I would always try to brush aside with a lot of guilt because it’s not like this person hasn’t been doing a fair share of the workload. I keep wondering if I’m putting up appearances all too well but reviewing our interactions, I’ve always given an indication of how I’m feeling, and all of them have been largely waved away.

It was glaringly obvious this afternoon, and that just made me feel invalidated, even more isolated, that I flipped my laptop closed and cried for hours. Looking back, I wonder if I should feel so stupid or ungrateful to place a lot of importance on how one person treats me when I’ve been getting so much love from other people—even ones I’m not particularly close with.

But in a sea of well-wishes, prayers, and care packages, the indifference did stick out, especially since it’s coming from someone I would have appreciated support from these days while I continue working amidst COVID-19 fatigue. More than stick out, it stung a lot, and yet I’m filled with so much self-doubt about the validity of my emotional state that I can’t help but wonder if I’m simply overreacting. I’m not asking to be fawned over, just at least acknowledged when I open up about struggling.

I do know one thing for sure: If I’m not being appreciated and supported enough for putting in the hustle while still on the mend, then I deserve to put myself first and allow a day or two off.

But we’ll see how I feel in the morning—the tasks themselves are still nagging at me.

Until then, I’m looking forward to some aromatherapy. Marymil sent over some Anapasati essential oil blends to my hotel. I had left my essential oils at home because I didn’t see the point when I couldn’t smell anything, but apparently, it can aid with recovery. My friend Kimi, who had COVID-19, also told me it’s great to stimulate the brain by smelling things. One of the things in my care package is an all-natural linen spray, and somehow the thought of even just doing that little routine is making me feel like I’m getting some well-deserved self-care.

*For the purposes of my journal, my titles remain a count of my days since testing positive.

Cebu vs. COVID-19 Resources:

Numbers and details change often, so I’m linking to pages instead where you can check for updated information.

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