Anxiety Due To Lockdown And The Pandemic

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At first, I thought I would be fine in dealing with this lockdown because of the pandemic. I mean, how long can one stay cooped up in their condo? Two weeks? Four weeks max? That’s easy. This thing will be over soon and in no time. Oh boy, was I so wrong?

I live alone and very far away from my family. For twelve years now, I have been working here in Dubai while they live in the Philippines. Money is great, and because of my work here, my family is now living in a 4-bedroom, but simple bungalow home. My wife was also able to set up a traditional business, a small grocery store with two branches in our city. She sells necessities like rice, bread, whole chicken, beef cuts, fish cuts, deli, canned goods, and more. We also have small 2-hectare farmland that produces banana and corn. The farm was a thirty-minute drive from the city, and my wife would be going there every weekend to check the crops.

Our plan was for me to stay another three years in Dubai since I was earning two hundred thousand pesos a month. We only have two children, and they have been set up for college. They will be graduating high school soon. I have no problems with that now. And also, the house is built, the business is getting by, and the next three years of my work will be for our retirement, another car for when I go home, and two more businesses. We have an excellent team-up, my wife and I, and God has granted me that power to steer clear from vices now. Yes, I was once a drug addict, and I will never dare return to that kind of life again.

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It has been six weeks, and I have been getting these headaches. Our office turned to work from home now, and slowly, employees were given forced leave notices. Maybe I am just lucky that right now, I am still with a job. It is only I in our team who is left to do the work, and while it is doable, our operations have also diminished. The noticed I received, though, was salary reduction. I had to agree to that or else, I would be let go.

I told my wife about the problem, and she said to me that I better not worry about them. This woman knows me from top to bottom, side to send, front and back, and 360 degrees times two all over. From the tone of my voice, she knew that something was wrong with me. I told her that I have been having headaches lately and that I wanted to sleep more than usual. She left her work station, called her assistant to take her spot, and went to our room. We talked deeply, and she made me realized a bunch of things.

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First, she said that I might be experiencing anxiety again. I used to have these panic episodes (I think due to my drug use before), and I had to take meds, which was stopped two years ago by my therapist. And now, she thinks that because of stress at work and this pandemic, I am getting anxious again. She said she would call up our therapist for online sessions.

She also told me that, money-wise, I should not worry. My wife said that the kids could go to college even if we do not have work, assuming we did not also have a business. They were both accepted in a posh university in full scholarship. The money we will be getting from educational insurance will be their allowance. As for daily needs, we have grocery stores, and every six months, we have income from the farm. She told me that the house is filled with home appliances. We do not need more.

I love this woman very much for she is my light. She always manages to make me see what I fail to realize, and she is still right. Within the day, I was talking to my therapist again, and she prescribed meds for me. That was last week. Now, I am much better and full of life, even if I’m locked up in my 26sqm, 25th floor, condo unit here in Dubai because of COVID-19.

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