Isolation and Recovery: My Pandemic Story

Heart’s pounding, mind racing, in the middle of pandemic, I found myself having difficulty breathing. Something must have gone severe like an internal bleeding. It needs immediate care before it gets critical and life-threatening.

I drove 20 miles away, 932 miles above sea level, and disconnected to the world. Shut down all the lines, I could only be reached through email and prayers.

I always take refuge on the greens whenever I feel blue. That’s why every time I am down, I go up.

Laughed with strangers… Stared at the surrounding mountains during the day…

Counted the stars during the night…

Sleeping and eating, and sleeping again…

Literally doing nothing but breathing,

and just being alive as time passes by.

This is the life I’ve always dreamed of, but this is not my purpose. I am blessed (or cursed) to have the ability to help improve the lives of others. Although I am in love with the end results, the process sometimes drains my spirit.

Luckily, while taking care of others, the universe has a unique way of reminding me to also take care of myself. True, I can’t give what I don’t have. Now, I have more love and peace to give out to the world once I return.

What better way to cope up from a breakdown than to break fears and go down?

30 meters rappelling (without lifeline).

When I turned off my airplane mode to check on my arriving parcel, one of my IG messages read:

“What happened to you?”

“Taking a vacation. I followed your advice”, I said.

She was the friend whom I recently told my plans of quitting. “Don’t stop, just file a leave”, she responded. She’s one of the very few people who checked on me.

Looking at the city from afar, I wonder how many urban people needs a break. How I wish I could bring my friends here.

All growth requires loss. A loss of your old values, your own behaviour, your old loves, your old identity. Therefore, growth sometimes has a component of grief to it. Every time you feel like grieving, you’re about to grow. The times of stress is a signal of growth. I’m still kinda proud to have walked my talk about “the stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it feels uncomfortable and needs to cast off its shell”.

I wasn’t prepared for a camp out, but I was ready to come back in to the world I left. I had to look forward spending solitude again with close friends to bear the nostalgia.

My 3 days of living around the fogs and frogs is the break I never thought I needed. In that peaceful community where masks are not way of life and you can breathe bare-faced, it was the most helpful “social distancing” I’ve ever done since pandemic.

Strong people are not those who don’t feel weak, but those who feel weak the strong way.

Lesson to live by in this experience: The best way to be alive again is to die for a while~

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