Coping mechanisms- A life beyond Dalgona

Social media flooded with coffee, chicken and cakes. Of course we no longer have that “so perfectly plated, surrounded by this scenic ambience” of the new fine dining restaurant in town, but no one’s leaving a stone unturned in making these gastronomical delights virtually available to for all to see.

I quite enjoy the memes in such time, some of them are really creative and get my rib tickling, a shout out to the makers for spreading positivity in times like these.

We often talk of positivity and how we need to constantly stay motivated, happy and hence the coping mechanism which is often cooking and posting it on social media, But why do we not acknowledge that its not always positive, its hard sometimes, why don’t we talk of despair, the feeling of not being ok , the fear of what’s in store, of not being in control of our lives? Would it really make us sound so weak, laying out our vulnerabilities? Or would it make us more human? I read of a rise in domestic violence and the increased number of frantic callers to the childcare helpline. It made me think of the plight of people trapped in abusive relationships and the fact that they cant even step out of the house in a situation like this. Would they continue to suffer in silence or find the courage to take the next step when all this is over?

In the midst of a lot of mindless posts flooding my social media, I found hope in a few stories – where I truly marvelled the sprit of a few people who are braving this in their own way and not necessarily through an overdose of pics.

S is my colleague who lives alone in the city, she moved here for a job and was sharing a flat with 2 girls when Corona struck. Her flat mates hurried to their hometown , she stayed put.The gravity of what was to unfold was not something any of us could have fathomed. At times when I feel really low I often think of how it must feel to be all alone for a month and knowing that its still not done, having the house all to yourself (and there is nothing wrong in being alone, I have always loved this time when I travelled and lived apart from my family for almost 3 months, but those were very different times where I would skip off happily to explore the place).

What’s amazing about S is her fighting spirit. This is a emotionally and mentally challenging time for her but it revealed a creative side which lay dormant, she started learning “Spanish” online, something that was always on her bucket list. When she feels low, she puts on her favourite songs and dances to her heart’s content, it makes her come alive. Talking to friends and family on Face Time is something she cherishes. Everyday is not the same, there are days she’s dull and cries alone and the next day she’s grooving again. Life is what you make it, isn’t it solely in our hands to face adversity with willpower and keep telling ourselves that this too shall pass?

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When it comes to my coping mechanism-what keeps me going the whole week is work from home! While it seem seem like a hurricane task at the start and I was left with a stiff back and legs I could barely move, it got better with time. What I like about it is being engaged throughout the day, connecting with people finding innovative solutions to problems which you never thought could creep up. I have a colleague who is also a good friend someone who makes me laugh and there are not many who can really make me laugh! He has been working from the confines of his home since more than 1.5 months as he falls within the high risk category of people who are most susceptible to the virus. He doesn’t step out to buy essentials, its done by friends who help get his stock refilled. This will last longer for me he once said as I cant risk going out even after things are normalised knowing the bug is around somewhere and could get me , given my condition. He cancelled all his planned vacations including the 2 week one which he was looking forward to spend in a wonderful chalet as summer is at its peak in Europe My first thought was that of dismay, I couldn’t imagine how one would feel having to cancel all your plans and stay holed up till God knows when but he had a different perspective. Food is not a problem at all he said as he is wonderful cook thanks to his mom, he has Skype parties on weekends with friends and they enjoy some good food and wine over conversations, he has a wonderful view of spring setting in as the landscape changes, leaves start to sprout, flowers bloom and you look at Mother Nature at her best!

These were 2 real stories of people dealing with the pandemic and the upheaval its caused in their lives in their own way, they inspired me and I had a strong urge to write about them because they struck a chord. They weren’t about the perfect dish one is trying to conjure, in fact as an individual they made me uncomfortable thinking what would I have done had I been in their place? But it also filled me with hope for I could see a shimmering light, one that refused to be put out. We will get through this , we will emerge stronger and be better versions of ourselves. Would we see things in a different light- people, relationships, ourselves when this is over? Time will tell, till then lets find our own sunlight and if need be create some to keep ourselves warm.

(The intention of this post is not meant to hurt the sentiments of anyone, we all have our coping mechanisms and there is nothing right or wrong, this is solely my view as an individual, in my personal capacity as I write about the stories that stood out and made a lasting impression on me.)

17 thoughts on “Coping mechanisms- A life beyond Dalgona

  1. It is amazing how people are facing this tough time with so much fortitude. I have started saying the Mrityunjay mantra at the start of the day. But honestly I am even busier than ever and have no time really to think !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderfully written Akshata. I can relate so much to both aspects as both parents are high risk and a friend who is living alone.

    My father has been bedridden and hasn’t set a foot outside home in more than a year and there are many such people. My coping mechanism comes from seeing their strength in coping with health (covid or not) and still smiling. I think in times of despair if we look at such people, it helps cope with current situation. As u say, we all have ways in which we are coping and its amazing to see that despite it may be different for all, we are in it together and this too shall pass.

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  3. I can relate to S. I’m in the same situation myself. After a while, you cope up with it. But I have blogging to thank for keeping me sane. Reading such inspiring stories also helps to keep going. After all, I’m safe and I have a roof over my head and don’t have to worry about money. That’s more than what could be said for many unfortunate souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the first week, I shared a picture of some creative stuff I did with pasta and then when the stories of starvation started to come in, I just couldn’t share any more. Also, I found the dalgona coffee and extravagant cakes over the top and tad insensitive, but then I quickly chided myself that every one sees things differently and copes in unique ways. It’s all a matter of perspective, Akshata.
    Thank you for sharing about your friends – such inspiring stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True Corrine , everyone has a different way of dealing with this unprecedented situation. It’s just that ( not sure if it’s just me) but all I see is food pics and I am like may be I am just in the wrong place.

      Liked by 1 person

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