I sometimes refer to myself as a spiritual person, but the kind that likes to keep her feet planted on the ground. I can hear in different circles from people that covid-19 is all about (life) energy and not being in balance. To me this implies that I’m somehow doing something wrong when I’m still sitting here with symptoms on Day 85. It can be implied (more or less subtly) that if I would just do some energy-work, that I’ll be all fine again. I’m sorry but I really can’t relate to that right now as I feel so clearly that there is something physically going on in my body. Positive thinking and energy-work is great and useful, don’t get me wrong, but people believe me: covid-19 is a physical problem, not a spiritual or mental one.
However, I see that mental health is becoming a big issue for people with long-term effects from covid-19. Thousands of people are getting more and more desperate by the week because, to put it plainly: this sh*t just doesn’t go away. I read stories from people who are on the verge of real mental breakdowns because of covid-19. Quite frankly, I understand this completely. Being really sick for weeks and months on end while no one can provide any answers as to why this is or how long it will last is really challenging. And on top of it, many people are not being believed by family/friends/employers and even some doctors. That’s really tough.
These days I am so immensely grateful for my trainings in the field of personal/spiritual development. It has changed me in the sense that I feel I have finally truly grown up, it has grounded me and given me many tools/resources that I use daily to cope with everything that’s happening and prevent myself from breaking down.
The biggest resource I have is Awareness. It’s what this blog is all about, basically. Every day I am aware of what’s going on, whatever or however it is. For example today I am not able to join my family to a student celebration at a dear friend’s house because taking a shower this morning took so much energy from me that I was short of breath for 15 minutes before I could properly speak a sentence again. I’ve been laying on my couch ever since (now with my laptop). This makes me incredibly sad and also frustrated. Post Viral Fatigue is a b*tch.
I try to be real at every moment in my life. That means that I want to speak and write about the difficult stuff as well, because it needs to have its place too. Not until I can include everything into my experience, also the shameful/terrible/difficult parts, do I feel total awareness. But that’s not all: what gives me an enormous amount of inner freedom are the moments when I can be fully aware of my thoughts and realize that I am not them. I am not my thoughts. I am not the stories that Lennart (the voice of my mind) tells me. All the thoughts in my head of: what if this doesn’t go away or: why is this happening to me still – are just thoughts. When I can observe my thoughts, like clouds passing by in the sky, I feel me. In spiritual circles this is often referred to as my Essence. My True Self.
When I connect with myself in this way, it doesn’t matter that I am too fatigued to walk to my kitchen right now. Because I am not my body either. I love the saying by the philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Honestly: the human experience of being infected by covid-19 and experiencing long-term symptoms afterwards sucks quite a lot. But simultaneously I feel grateful for this experience too. Because things have become more clear to me, like what’s truly important in life. I feel grateful for feeling this so deeply these days. I feel grateful every day for being able to breathe. Three months ago I thought I would die because I couldn’t breathe properly. But here I am still, waking up every day being able to breathe. That is wonderful in a way that I can hardly describe.
So: yes, it sucks to have covid-19 symptoms. Yes, it’s incredibly challenging that they still haven’t disappeared after such a long time. But we’re still here, and every day we are here we add to our human experience, both the beautiful and joyful parts as well as the dark parts. Equally together. And that, to me, is absolutely amazing.
Thank you for reading ♥
Photo: Dirk Scheuble – unsplash.com
This writing is part of what I call my Corona Chronicles. On this page you can find an overview of my stories, including tips and insights I have gained throughout the weeks since I got covid-19.
Found your post through the Body Politic Covid 19 support group for us long-tail folk. Come join us! https://www.wearebodypolitic.com/covid19
Thanks Kitleigh, I’m already there 🙂 It’s a great community!
I loved your essay. It is exactly how I feel. I identify 100 per cent with everything you say. Thanks for sharing it
Thank you for your comment Ana, I’m glad to hear you liked it!
This blog has been so incredibly helpful. It is honest, raw, and as real
as it gets. What a blessing to have come across this. Thank you so much.
That’s so kind, thank you Jimmy! I’m happy to hear that my words can be a resource for you ♥️