About a month and a half ago, I received the news that my grandmother had fallen ill. She had not been in the best health for the past couple years already and had dementia, but at her age of nearly 90 years, this was more serious. My mother flew to Taiwan to visit, give final instructions to the medical personnel, and move her to hospice care.
During the week she was gone, I sprained my ankle badly while hiking. A few days later, my dad’s heart rate did not decrease hours after taking medicine, and I had to drive him to ER. And at the end of the week, I came home from work to an email blast stating that that was our last day in the office.
I did not cope with these well.
I was overwhelmed. To have all these things hit me in the same week was incredibly stressful, and I did not know how to handle my confusing reactions and emotions. Rationally, I knew I had to continue working on job applications, and there was nothing I could do about everything else. However, my irrational side was in full panic mode, making it difficult to sleep, concentrate, and think positively. Eventually, I went to a therapist, who said that I had moderate depression and anxiety.
These were two words that I clung onto until I got home and threw them into Google’s search engine. I spent hours reading about them, seeking to understand the terms and other people’s experiences. Sure, I was already doing many of the recommended coping activities (going to the gym regularly, seeing friends, setting aside time to relax, deep breathing exercises), but it was still so easy to feel apprehensive and discouraged.
While I don’t believe I am the ideal productive machine, I am now more optimistic. Having the love and support of friends and being around family these past couple weeks have been enriching. I am privileged to be in a position where I can still live with my parents and have enough savings to tide me over during the job search. I am grateful to be able to see my grandmother before she inevitably passes. So when you ask me how I am, this is what’s been going on in my life recently. My resolution each year remains the same – and that is to work every single day to be better.