Woke up feeling disheartened, hopeless, sad, and little annoyed :( — R Voice

Woke up feeling disheartened, hopeless, sad, and little annoyed :(

Andrea Hayward
Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin
edited October 2021 in Self-care & Wellbeing

Hi everyone. I've been feeling quite low since last week and so I thought I'd share it with you all. Maybe I'm not the only one feeling like this 😶

I've been feeling like this since last Thursday. I woke up feeling disheartened, hopeless, sad, and little annoyed that we're not any closer to going back to the "normal" life we knew about a year ago. If anything, we're back to square one. I wasn't hoping for a miraculous turn of events in April 2020, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for a better state of affairs overall.

I live in Mumbai, India and the pandemic has really taken a turn for the worst over the past few months. Numbers and statistics related to people testing positive for COVID-19 and death rates have slowly turned into names of acquaintances and in some cases, have hit us a lot closer to home. I've been very fortunate in that I haven't lost anyone close to me but a lot of people who I know haven't been as fortunate. I can't help but constantly think about how difficult this must be for them and what they must be going through. 😔

There is some ray of hope of course, because a lot of people are simultaneously getting vaccinated but it's becoming increasingly difficult to consistently focus on this brighter side. I am also feeling quite frustrated at the blatant disregard for rules, restrictions, and precautions, even though we've all seen how bad this can and has become. It's led me to question whether society has what can be called collective empathy. 😓

Sorry about the rant but this is how I've been feeling. Any words of comfort/motivation are more than welcome. On the flipside, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is experiencing frustration and fatigue when it comes to the pandemic. How are you feeling? What is the situation like on your side of the world?


    KRISTINA HODGDON Member Posts: 0

    Hi Andrea, sorry for your frustrations. I think things are getting better here in the U.S. I'm in Florida where there's some mask resistance. Our Republican Governor has not received good press for some of his views but the percentage vaccinated keeps increasing. My family is vaccinated! I have not lost anyone real close to me but a friend sadly lost his wife of 40 years. There has been an increase in the number of cases with the new variants I believe. I'm just glad we have a much more concerned and capable team in the white house, imo.

    There are groups of anti-maskers and anti-vaxers but I just stay clear of them!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @KRISTINA HODGDON I'm glad to hear that things are getting better in the U.S. Even more happy to learn that your family has gotten vaccinated. Here in India, the vaccine is only available for people over the age of 45 at the moment. So I've made sure that my parents took it. I think it'll be many more months until I'm eligible. So for now, I'm staying indoors and taking every possible precaution.

    Very sorry to hear about your friend's wife. 😔 I hope that the people around him offer him the support, love, and understanding he needs during this difficult time.

    I'm sure there are anti-maskers and people who don't believe in the efficacy of the vaccine everywhere. I don't even want to start about the conspiracy theorists (gosh!). But like you said, all we can do right now is stay clear of them and look out for ourselves and our loved ones. 😊

  • Yufita Chinta
    Yufita Chinta Member Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭

    I am sorry about your frustration too, @Andrea Hayward

    Japan is hit by another infection rate wave currently. Vaccines have just started here, since the rate has been controlled in low number. The vaccines are given for the medical-related staffs (doctors, nurses) and prioritized for the elders (>70, maybe). So I think my husband and I won't get it, at least in the near future. Then, we realize that we need to expand our 'unique' daily life till unknown period. That is fine for us. Why? We have two big reasons of feeling fine with this 'unique' daily life, which is quite strict compared to the 'normal' daily life.

    First of all, we call it as 'unique', instead of 'non-normal' to keep being positive 😊

    Our first reason is that we want to actively contribute for breaking up the virus transmission. We have similar feelings with you. Additionally, we feel really sorry that so many people are getting infected or losing their families and friends or affected economically because of this pandemic. We think that our 'unique' daily life (e.g., no meals in restaurant, no cinema's recreation, max 20 min for shopping, mask mode, WFH, etc.) is simple way to over the pandemic.

    Another reason of us is that we experienced the infection in our family 😰. That was a nightmare. Line between life and death is so close. More than that, My husband and I live apart from them. We monitored (called, texted) everyday. We had praying time together everyday too. We all think that praying is just the way to enlighten our selves in hope. It took time, but the symptom reduced and then disappeared. Curing period took more time. From this experience, we get more and more respect our life.

    Believe me, none wants it to happen to neither an individual person nor his/her family members.

    What I can say to you is....Thank you, @Andrea Hayward. Thank you for being patient and staying healthy during this pandemic. Your contribution matters.

  • Roberto Spiezio
    Roberto Spiezio Member Posts: 7

    You're certainly one of the many people, including myself, who has been feeling like that, and whose hopes have been frustrated by the current situation. That of course doesn't solve your issues, but knowing that you're not alone may make you feel a little better I hope. Feelings of despair and hopelessness are normal in such a situation. I lost my job due to the pandemic, so I really know what it feels like. What I can recommend, if anything, is that you keep working towards your goals, keep yourself busy and look to the future. It cannot rain forever, can it? :))

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 322 ✭✭✭✭

    Dear @Andrea Hayward : I am really sorry to hear this. Yes - life can be very hard some times...All we can do is do as much as we can in a given situation.

    Oddly, the pandemic did not affect me because "not normal" and "life during pandemic" has been life in many ways for me even before the pandemic. With those I care about scattered across three continents - dealing with uncertainties related to aging and illness of loved ones and myself whilst living life as a lone nomad in places of not fitting for over a decade had prepared me for the pandemic. Odd - but true. The only change that has happened is that I cant physically travel...so, I have mentally prepared myself (with learning over years with my kind of life experiences) to deal with loss and am collecting holidays (well...occupational hazards of working in a country like Japan) as if they are gold coins. Thankfully, I am not a person who eats outside so much (being a vegetarian in Japan means as much) - most of my travel encompasses hiking in nature, which has not stopped in Japan.

    I am hearing stories from family in India and elsewhere about the pandemic and it is scary!! Absolutely scary! The attitude of vast swathes of the public and politicians - is scary - but not unexpected in many ways. Even vaccination - research and shopping for loved ones was exhausting - navigating through limited information - remotely - while dealing with emotions running high and being a stress release valve for all - and no one to release my stress on, while dealing with my own life issues...has been absolutely a nightmare (more so as a worrying-type of person). As a "young person" in Japan - my vaccination is not going to happen in the near future.

    But....I dont think vaccination is the end of it all...From what I see, even with vaccination, given that there are variants and insufficient data/testing and lots of craziness over protocols - what we need to be doing is ramping up vaccination and keeping social distancing/masks/sanitation - reducing global travel, have rota telework (2-3 days/week or whatever is necessary locally) etc. for the foreseeable future of 2-3 years. While this can be planned and enforced if everyone is reasonable...the catch 22 is that many are not reasonable! So - the only thing we can do is protect ourselves as individuals as much as we can. Keep our sanity. Be of support to whoever we can support...

    If this helps...In my days of isolation and despair (that ranged to years) even before the pandemic....many many times I reached out to Anne Frank's Diary (or stories/documentaries of those hiding in isolation alone/those being persecuted in crazy times of history, especially WWII). Now...this is what I can suggest to those going through this war of a pandemic.

    There will be light at the end of darkness - and this is not naive optimism, it is nature of how things operate.

    We dont know when or how that light comes to be...all we can do is prepare ourselves and stay as strong as we can.

    Virtual hugs....

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @Yufita Chinta thank you so much for your heart-warming response. I want to start by saying that I'm very glad to learn that your loved ones have recovered and are doing much better now. I'm so sorry that you had to go through the ordeal of being away from them when they were ill. I can't even imagine how difficult that must have been. But from what you've said, I can see that you've handled the situation with much strength and grace and have done everything within your power to support them for afar. Your kindness and compassion comes through very strongly even through written words and I can feel it here. Sending you a big hug! 🤗

    I am very fascinated and also feel encouraged by your and your husband's take on this pandemic. I completely agree that doing things like staying home and taking precautions to ensure that we don't help spread the virus is a small price to pay and the least we can do. I love that you're calling it a "unique" life instead of perceiving it as "not normal." I have much to learn on this front and am going to seriously reflect on your perspective. Thank you so much to both you and your husband for helping me see this in a different light. I feel better already. ☺️

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @Roberto Spiezio thank you for your encouraging words! I agree with you - it certainly cannot rain forever and all we can do is wait it out. Knowing that so many people around the world are braving these odds and also doing their best certainly makes me feel like all is not lost and that there are people out there who care. Thank you for reminding me 🙂

    I am very sorry to learn about how this pandemic has affected your job situation and I hope that things get better soon. Your spirit really comes across through your words and it's very heartening. Still whenever you feel like it, you can always turn to this community for support...just as I have here.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    Thank you @Raj sundaram! Indeed there will be light at the end of this dark tunnel. Thank you for reminding me and for your words of encouragement. 🙂

    As for the situation in India, it truly is scary and only getting scarier by the day. I'm sure this can be handled better but those in power are failing horribly to do so. I only hope that people see for themselves how dire the situation is becoming and realize that they need to be vigilant and cautious and also do everything they can to ensure that they're not contributing to the spread. This is a dream for an ideal world. But like you said, people need to be reasonable for this to happen. And with people still gathering in large numbers to celebrate festivals all around the country, I fear that this won't happen anytime soon. 😶

    Keeping my head up and taking it one day at a time with support from all of you. 💖

  • Adaora Anyichie - Odis
    Adaora Anyichie - Odis Member Posts: 128 ✭✭✭✭

    You're emotionally intelligent and it is ok to feel the way you feel. However in situations like this it is advisable to remain positive. Music uplift spirit and dancing easing off stress. Key in if you can.

  • Yufita Chinta
    Yufita Chinta Member Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭

    A huge hug 🤗 back for you @Andrea Hayward

    We are more than happy to find that our experience with covid-19 and this "unique" situation inspires you and leads you to feel much better. Let's be strong and hopeful ☺️

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 93 ✭✭✭✭

    Dear @Andrea Hayward , I am sending you a virtual hug. I sincerely hope today finds you (and your family) in good health and feeling a little better in spirits (despite what is going on outside and around you) 🌺

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    Thank you @Dahlia T. I could use all the virtual gets I can get at the moment. My family and I are safe and we're taking everything one day at a time. I really appreciate your concern and kindness and hope you're doing well too. 😊🤗 *sending hugs back*

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    Thanks @Adaora Anyichie - Odis! I really am trying to keep busy every day and not lose hope so that I'm not overwhelmed by everything that's happening around me. 🙂

  • Juan Carlos Torres
    Juan Carlos Torres Member Posts: 3

    I feel like you but not only for the pandemic, I even feel scared about future, right now I obtained my PhD and I'm trying to decide what will be the best option for the future, I'm not an insecure person but right now I feel like I'm not able to do a good job, and nothing has sense in my life.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    Hi @Juan Carlos Torres. I'm very sorry to hear that you've been feeling this way 😔 But I can surely relate. For me, the future has never seemed more daunting than it has over this past year and a half. So please know that you're not alone.

    First, I'd like to say please don't feel guilty for feeling this way. You're only human and worrying about the future doesn't at all indicate that you're an insecure person. Not in the slightest. Besides, we all have our insecurities and it takes an incredible amount of courage to even talk about them.

    I understand that not having clarity on your next career move can be incredibly scary and on some level, I feel that's perfectly normal. These decisions that make us afraid are usually because we care a great deal about them. I think the best thing to do now would be to carefully weigh and evaluate all your options to figure out what kind of role would be best for you. I suppose that feeling like you're not able to do a good job is the work of pesky imposter feelings. And I'm here to tell you that these feelings are normal too, especially in academia where everyone you know always seems to be achieving or succeeding. While it's impossible to completely avoid imposter feelings, one thing that helps me is focusing on the facts over how I'm feeling. In that, I try and focus on things I've actually achieved in the past few years and the challenges I've had to overcome to achieve them.

    In your case, focusing on the facts could probably be reflecting on the PhD journey you've just taken. I'm sure everyone here would agree that saying PhD life is challenging would be a gross understatement. It's full of obstacles and roadblocks, stressors and anxiety...but you've overcome all of that to be here, no doubt having learned a whole lot in the process. Obtaining a PhD is a huge deal so please try not be to so hard on yourself. Although the current situation seems difficult and uncertain, I'm sure that there's something great waiting around the corner for you.

    In the meantime, you can always discuss how you're feeling here with the community. We're here for you whenever you're feeling down and need some support and motivation in your corner. Don't lose hope. You've got this! 🤗

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm so sorry to hear the difficulties you've been experiencing, @Andrea Hayward, and all those who have posted too. It takes such strength to open up in this way.

    I have only just come across this post, as yesterday I took a break from R Voice because something in me just didn't feel up for socialising/engaging with people. It's been a tough 1+ year especially for everyone and that's only considering the direct impacts of the pandemic, not even the rest of life that just keeps on going too.

    Our motivation and mindset come in waves, and it's totally natural for us to have times of feeling low or angry in between the happy times. Our own experiences and feelings are valid and post like this are (I feel) what help us to come together and accept them.

    We are all doing an incredible job putting one step in front of the other in these difficult times. It's okay not to feel strong, it's okay to feel despondent. We'll get through this together.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @Shruti Turner thank you so much for your words of encouragement, and also for your understanding 🤗

    I just wanted to point out that I first posted about this in April, when the second wave of the pandemic hit India in the worst way possible and it really seemed like there was no hope. I'm usually quite an optimistic person but I was terrified and so angry at everyone who wasn't showing the least bit of compassion by simply staying indoors. Things are a lot better now. I've managed to get my parents vaccinated (both doses), I've gotten my first shot, and the situation in India has settled quite a bit. So I've been feeling much better these days. Pouring my heart out here on R Voice always helps and I love this community for the way it holds each other up. 💓

    There is talk of a third wave hitting us towards the end of August. So I guess it's just a waiting game now. I agree that we've all done an incredible job of making it through this difficult time. And some of us have dealt with all this stress and still managed to be productive and give it our best at work. The one thing that's really helped me through this time is giving myself permission to feel whatever I'm actually experiencing, without feeling guilty, or without forcing myself to feel another way.

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Andrea Hayward - Oh gosh, I didn't even notice the date. I saw that it was last commented on yesterday and just assumed that was when you posted. I'm so sorry, I should pay more attention.

    I'm so glad you're feeling much better these days. I hope that this is a trend that continues.

    It sounds like you have a very healthy way of dealing with how you're feeling. Giving ourselves permission to feel how we do guilt-free is (in my view) most of the battle.

  • Soumi Paul
    Soumi Paul Member Posts: 204 ✭✭✭✭

    I won't add any information about pain and frustration on my side. This is the toughest time for all, more or less, one way or another. I only pray and hope this tough time shall pass for all of us.

    Communication is the key to thriving! 😊

  • Juan Carlos Torres-Galván
    Juan Carlos Torres-Galván Member Posts: 15 ✭✭

    Thank you very much @Andrea Hayward for your words, make me feel a person understood by someone. I really appreciate this community, it's hard to talk with others that looks that are not in the same way than you. I'm going to evaluate the options and look for how to deal with the impostor syndrome.

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 322 ✭✭✭✭

    Dear @Juan Carlos Torres ...

    Sorry for chipping in late. I'm sorry you are going through this. I second @Andrea Hayward's comments on difficulty of being a researcher, undertaking a PhD, more so during the pandemic. The uncertainty you feel is common...although I bet it feels very lonely, which is also a shared experience. Saying this to convey that you are not alone, and not to minimize what you are going through.

    Having been in similar situations although I don't know your specific situation....just a few words in addition to everything mentioned by @Andrea Hayward , @Shruti Turner and @Soumi Paul ....

    (1) please do your best to take care of your physical and mental health.

    (2) surround yourself ( if possible physically) with people who are going to cheer you on, accept you, support you... irrespective of your instability, self-doubt, whether you feel you have accomplishments or not.

    Also, please find someone if necessary, a professional to give you a listening ear. If you can, for the career and next steps...avail any career counseling opportunities at your institution. Or post here in RVoice (if you'd like to more privately...in the GROUPS sections)...we will try to think through things objectively with you as a community.

    (3) please use RVoice to be heard. And find relatable lines of stories/feelings. As you mention, it's very important to have people you relate to and those who relate to your experiences. To not feel lonely, isolated, to find options and hope.

    I'm sure things will work out, you will get through this. I know it might not feel so right now. But with an open mind, as the right time and circumstances come along, you'll find a way or a way will appear.

    Good luck!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @Juan Carlos Torres-Galván @Juan Carlos Torres I'm so glad that you're feeling understood and that you're finding this community helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me or any of us at any time you're feeling like you need some support :)

    Also, since you're currently having trouble with imposter feelings (and don't we all!), I wanted to direct you towards a talk we hosted earlier this year on learning how to deal with imposter feelings. I learned a great deal from the speaker, and I hope you find this session recording useful too! Happy to discuss some of this with you, if you'd like.

  • Juan Carlos Torres
    Juan Carlos Torres Member Posts: 3

    Thank you very much @Raj sundaram for your time and words. Definitively I'll try to care myself and I'll use RVoice.

    I hope this too shall pass soon

    I'm going to check the video @Andrea Hayward , thank you very much for share this and it will be awesome to discuss it