Today for the first time in 2.5 months, I found myself alone in my house for a while without any family members. I opened Spotify, turned up the volume and put on a song called Free Tibet (by Hilight Tribe) which features the voices of Tibetan monks accompanied by tribal music. I stood up, closed my eyes, and let the music move through me. All by itself my body started moving up to the point when I found myself stamping on the ground, scream/singing to the lyrics of the song while tears ran down my face.
I did not know how much I needed that.
(yes, it hurt my lungs but it was worth it!)
My body feels foreign to me. Covid-19 has affected it so it reacts in ways that I oftentimes don’t know how to respond to or deal with. I have focused a lot on my breathing, lungs and brain but after reading stories in Facebook groups from other people with covid-19, both in Sweden and in the Netherlands, I realize that I have more symptoms too that other people also report on. Weird things like a shaking eyelid and a bad stomach, to name a few. It’s so strange that I have not connected this to covid-19 until I read about it from other people. To me this is a sign that I still ignore parts of my body and somehow manage to pretend they don’t exist. But the more I become aware of these other symptoms as well, the more I realize just how affected by body is by this virus. Still today, after 10 weeks.
I feel ambivalent towards these Facebook groups. On the one hand I find it incredibly reassuring to know that I’m far from the only one at home experiencing long-term symptoms. The Dutch group has close to 10.000 members today and the Swedish group around 7.000 people, and both are growing. These are not small numbers! On the other hand, reading the posts in the groups has a tendency to suck me in into endless stories of people who, like me, don’t know when this will end. People are generally so kind to each other, sharing their stories and offering support to those who are feeling desperate (which is pretty much everyone in there) but it easily becomes overwhelming to read it all, at least for me.
Intuitively I feel that I need to guide my immune system into functioning normally again. But how? What is the right balance between resting and activating my body? I don’t know, but what I do know is when I effort too much, I immediately pay the price and I end up with my pistachio nuts in front of Prison Break on Netflix again. I seem to have programmed my body to the point that when I now eat a pistachio nut without the TV on, I immediately think of Scofield and Burrows (the characters of the show). By the way: isn’t it pretty funny that, of all topics, I choose to watch a series about breaking out of a prison?
I practice online yin yoga when I do feel a bit of energy. Otherwise I eat vitamin- and mineral supplements, drink a lot of water and tea (absolutely no alcohol) but most of all I try to fully accept everything that’s going on in my body. All the weird symptoms it’s showing, Corona Brain and all. All are OK, I don’t fight them. This is what I’m consciously practicing daily and have been doing for 71 days now. Sometimes I feel frustration, fear and desperation, but those moments don’t last very long and I realize how important it is to also truly feel them in order not to get stuck in it. I allow myself to just be, feel what I feel, and I’m grateful for moments like this afternoon when I could be alone for a little while and express what wants to come out, unfiltered.
I have found that acceptance is such an important key in dealing with covid-19! Because there is no cure, and I do what I can. There is nothing more to do with the little (medical) knowledge of today than to wait it out, so Patience and Acceptance it is. Bore the virus to death was a tip I read in a Facebook post. It came from a woman from the US who reported that it took her 20 weeks to be completely free from the virus. That’s five months! If that turns out to be my path, I’m halfway right now. I try my best today to also accept that possibility…
I end with a quote from the writer and journalist Arianna Huffington that resonates with me:
We have little power to choose what happens,
but we have complete power over how we respond.
With love ♥
Photo: Thibault Penin – unsplash.com
PS – an update: I notice a lot of people reading my blog posts about having covid-19 (thank you!). If it resonates with you, I’m very grateful if you want to share it in your circles too, so it can reach more people who are struggling right now. Thank you!