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“It gets worse before it gets better.”

This entire year has been one long. At the start of the year, January 3rd, I was in a car crash with my best friend. We were lucky enough to walk away with minor injuries, but the car was totaled. I thought that would be the most dramatic emergency to happen to me this year.

On February 26th, I learned that my partner of 10 years was going to Ireland next week without me. They told me it was a short trip to work with their aunt, to get more web-working experience. They said they would be back March 28th.

On March 4th, my partner took their trip to Ireland to stay with their aunt. After they left, they told me it was a one-way ticket. They had no plan on coming back.

A week later, with the pandemic spreading, I lost my job. I lost contracts I had at the time, and my partner had left with almost all of our savings. I scraped together what I could to make rent.

“It gets worse before it gets better.”

In April, I had to borrow money from friends to make rent. I was still fighting with unemployment and trying to get something, anything from them as relief. It finally came through during the first week of May.

In mid-May, my partner was forced to fly back because their travel visa was expiring. On May 31st, when I saw them again for the first time in nearly 3 months, I asked for a divorce. They replied “Well, if that’s what you want.”

“It gets worse before it gets better.”

In June and July, I learned from my ex’s friends all of the nasty things that my ex had been saying about me for years. I learned how my ex had been planning the Ireland trip since December 2019, as a way to get away from me, to meet with a lover in the UK, and never come back.

In August, I got the locks changed. During the previous months, they had been sneaking into the apartment when I wasn’t home to take things. I’d come home to find a lamp on, or some board games missing, or a pet locked in the bathroom. Gas-lighting, I believe the term is. More recently, they had started telling people that they were going to steal the pets. The same day I was able to get their name off the lease, the office changed the locks for me.

“It gets worse before it gets better.”

Since the pandemic started, I haven’t been able to refill prescriptions on time. I’ve been going days or weeks at a time without my ADHD medication. Without it, I can still function, but I can feel the difference every minute of every day.

The stress and anxiety doesn’t ever seem to lessen. It just gets piled higher and higher. The more stressed I am, the stronger the symptoms of my ADHD. I’ll spend hours at a time trying to focus on a task, unable to get past the first page of a book or loading the first few dishes into a dishwasher.

“It gets worse before it gets better.”

The worst part of this pandemic is the fear I feel most days. I always have a brave face on when talking with friends and family, but I am afraid of this virus. I’ve had severe asthma my entire life; my lungs are aging faster than the rest of me. I have this fear (or perhaps knowledge) that if I catch the virus, I will most surely die.

I’ve grown tired of things that I enjoy. It’s no longer a reward to exercise, or play a game, or watch a show, but rather a chore. I go on walks as often as I’m able, but I’m also acutely aware of how close other people are to me. I’m extremely extroverted, so I will try to talk to people I see, but I also feel this worry every time. Was I too close? how long were we talking? Which way was the wind blowing?

“It gets worse before it gets better.”

I will turn 30 this October. Friends and family are asking what I might like for my birthday. I don’t know what to ask for.

At this point, I am telling myself that things are getting better. It might not look like it from the outside; I’m still only working part-time, the divorce isn’t finalized until November, and the pandemic may enter a new wave in the coming months. To me though, it is what I need to hear.

Things are getting better.
I’m going to be okay.
It’s okay to ask family and friends for help.
Things are getting better.

Maybe if I tell myself that enough times, they’ll stop getting worse.