Detours from home: Good things happen when you don’t panic
[Editor’s note: Detours from home is a Rappler column where readers can share about the new things they have been doing while in quarantine. In this essay, an accountancy graduate talks about finding small opportunities in a crisis. You, too, can share your own Detours from home story.]
It was around 12 midnight when I learned that our board exam was postponed due to the pandemic. Before hearing the news, I've already been gaining momentum. For months, I’ve been ready to take the exam for the second time around. But that night, I felt like I was already losing.
Day by day, it felt like something was being taken away from me – my will to study, my drive to stay focused, and my commitment to a lot of things that play a vital role in my now uncertain future. There were days I would just find myself being a slave to my phone, scrolling endlessly, taking me nowhere near done with the things I should probably be doing.
But what seemed like endless days of doing nothing reached a turning point – my dog died.
It triggered my anxiety attacks. One day I was doing nothing, the next day I was worrying about everything. From then on, I started muting all my friends, yearning for the silence that grief requires, longing to be spared from any more bad news, taking Rivotril one night after the other wishing it will silence the chaos inside my mind.
It felt like forever – being locked down at the comfort of our home. It brought solace yet the mind always almost wants to wander somewhere, to somewhere and something new. So, to save myself from drowning in grief, I started watching videos on YouTube in pursuit of making the most delicious flavored chicken in our own little town.
I ended up successfully starting a small online business selling flavored chicken and healthy vegetable salad to which everyone seems to love. Their sweet and heartfelt feedback slowly filled my heart with happiness again, bringing back the light I’ve lost. Cooking for others, baking and failing, and merely being in the kitchen has now become some of the things I love and enjoy doing, and to be honest, it has been helping me survive, too.
I’ve read somewhere that those who drown don’t usually die because of the water but because they panicked. It resonated with me. I realized I just needed to remember how to breathe and swim and not let the large waves of thoughts overwhelm me.
This pandemic, the lockdown, all the happenings all over the world had affected everyone. People lost jobs, some businesses had to postpone their operations or worse, close down, while all of us continue to worry about what lies ahead.
As for me, it will not be the grief, the longing, the uncertainties that will kill me but the panic of trying to figure out everything all at once when I can take things one day at a time.
I may have to stay at home a little longer but at least I have good memories to hold on to like renting and reading books with my mother.
I know that at some point, everything will be okay. I also know that I might still experience panic attacks at night, feel nauseous while doing ordinary tasks, or feel my throat tighten sometimes. But I do know that I just have to remember one thing: don’t panic. – Rappler.com
Alynna Sioco, is a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate. She sometimes blogs at alynnasioco.blogspot.com. She lives in Bataan.