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Karen Dominique is the writing coach, and contributing author to “A Man for Every Purpose, My Naked Journey Searching for Love”, and the founder of “Millennial Mouth” blog site.

I have tried not to write about the pandemic. I just feel like we all hear about it enough. I am sure you have experienced lockdown fatigue in one form or another, and I am right there with ya. I don’t want to add assault to injury, but my mental health is something that I cannot ignore, and neither should you.

With this extended quiet time comes deep reflection. And looking inward has not been the most comfortable. All these memories have come flooding back, and old behavioral patterns have shown up at my door.

Suddenly, I am reminded of the anxious and misdirected college girl I once was, the insecure elementary student I was, and how she felt. The lonely only child I was who just so badly wanted a big sister to understand her and guide her through it all.

All these versions of myself still live within me, but they are doing their best to heal and work together to create a “functional” adult.

Begs the question; are we ever truly free of the shackles of our past? Are we ever truly healed from our past traumas? Or is the point of every life experience to be viewed through the lens of all of these past traumas while trying to exhibit evolutionary behavior?

The pandemic has done a great job of flashing my life before my eyes. And one thing I do know about myself that rings true throughout all chapters of my life is that I am not always okay. There are moments where I don’t want to talk to or see anyone. There are moments where I can barely get on here to write anything at all.

A pattern I have never really shaken is feeling like I am a burden to all those around me; That if I ask too much, I may be perceived as a flaming B… that if my voice is too loud, you may choose to walk away from me. I am aware that I am high maintenance but not in a conventional way, in an emotional way.

Yes, I am searching for the “best body wash” and “best face shields” on Amazon but the underlying emotions behind these searches are so much deeper. I want to feel lavish in my home but shielded as much as possible from all the danger that lives beyond my front door.

I have been going in and out of these feelings and thoughts: Some days, I am like, “YA! I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR MY LIFE AND KITTIES AND YOGA!” Other days, I am like, “HMMM…WILL I BE DEAD BEFORE 35???” I would be lying if I said there is really ever an in-between right now. The in-between was the numbness I felt before this pandemic when I was cruising through life with a meaningless routine.

My mental health is teetering. And it may always be. But I am thankful that I have gained awareness of it rather than wondering why I am so passive-aggressive when life couldn’t be any sweeter.

If you know anything about me, sarcasm is not something I have learned to shake quite yet, but I am definitely working on it. People don’t always know when I am serious or playful. And to be honest, sometimes neither do I. I have gotten really good at shielding my high-maintenance emotions with less-than-serious undertones in my inflection. I apologize if you have fallen victim to my deep insecurities. My mission, no matter what state my mental health is in, is to be as kind as possible.

Where is your mental health? What are you searching for on the interweb?

If you take a moment to stop and think about what your top searches are, you may find something deeper. But if you’re not ready to look or just don’t feel like it, don’t. I just did, and as you can see, it was kind of painful.