TBI Survivor Blog Series 2020

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Social Distancing with a Purpose

Social Distancing with a Purpose

By Dhara Joshi

“I have new goals I want to accomplish and achieve, giving me new purpose for each day”

It has been two months of social distancing,

Two months without seeing friends and extended family,

Two months without exploring my favourite stomping grounds in the city,

Two months of watching the news outlining the raising mortality rates,

Two months of reassuring everyone around me that united, we shall be okay.  

The fact of the matter is that we really don’t know what will happen, and today, for the first time in two months, I felt melancholy.  For the first time in two months, I felt restricted, caged and suffocated – and that is perfectly alright.  It’s good to acknowledge all of our feelings, and know that we are allowed to feel the way that we feel, and that not every day can be rainbows and sunshine. Yet, at the same time, I am painfully aware of my freedom and good fortune.   I am no longer restrained to a hospital bed, while others are now fighting for their lives. The same ventilators that once kept me alive are now quite literally breathing life into others.  I am painfully aware that me missing socialization is not important in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make my feelings any less real or any less valid. My melancholic mood was fleeting and, in all honesty, has already passed.

Over the course of the last couple of months, I have attempted to keep my sanity by establishing a new normal with a new purpose.  Taking joy in the little things and doing things that bring me happiness. This is obviously different for each person, but for me, it constitutes getting ready each day as if I have somewhere to go. Clothes and makeup give me immense joy. “Fake it till you make it” and “Look good and feel good” certainly hold true for me. That got me through living in a hospital for six months, and it is getting me through this unique situation now. I have new goals I want to accomplish and achieve, giving me new purpose for each day – whether that is attempting to become a better baker, and master the ultimate cookie and pie recipe, or even starting my own blog. Purpose is so important, as it is what got me through my stint in the hospital. But as we go through different phases of our lives, and as life’s circumstances change and continuously evolve, so does our purpose.

Besides looking for a sense of purpose, I’ve also realized that the need for human contact is so tightly engrained in the human psyche and I have been certainly yearning for it. In the hospital, this need was satiated with a constant stream of visitors. Obviously, this is not possible now, so we must turn to the use of technology to keep human contact, and the use of Skype, Zoom and FaceTime has certainly come to my rescue. I am also lucky enough to have a wonderful little puppy.  She is the amount of energy of 10 human beings, rolled into one adorable little 8-pound dog. She and my amazing family are the sole reasons that I have been able to stay sane and positive throughout this time.

It has definitely been two long months, and there might be many more months just like these to come.  Yet I know, that we, as humans, are adaptable and we shall adjust to this new type of life with a renewed sense of purpose and ability to stay connected with our greater community and the world.

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