My COVID-19 Survival Story

Innovative Sustainable Development at your doorstep

This is not the story of a single woman but the story of many young African women who found themselves unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the story of women who had to throw away their makeup and high heels and take up the globally recognised armour – the face mask. Eventually, just like me, some sunk into depression, alcohol use, drug abuse and other destructive vices. As COVID-19 restrictions heightened gathering momentum with social distancing, staying at home, and the unfamiliar isolation, loneliness hits her and she sinks to a place she has never been – rock bottom.

Alcohol abuse is an increasing phenomenon amongst the youth and if not detected early can lead to long-lasting and destructive consequences.
Depression is like any other disease. It is painful and without a release, one feels alone, ashamed and “unclean.” As individuals, we often try to wash away our fears and past regrettable actions – in vain.
After a great internal battle, she realizes that discarding the harmful coping vices is the first step towards recovery.

Eventually, like many other mental health survivors and warriors, she comes out of her stupor and slowly comes to terms with the fact that COVID-19 is not going away soon. She, therefore, throws the pills and the alcohol away and she pulls herself together. To strengthen and boost her mental health, she goes back to a place of solace – the church and meets with the people she has hidden away from. These simple activities bring back a sense of purpose and worthiness and with renewed hope she prepares to face the world.

Having regained her freedom from an invisible enemy she comes out of that dark place and takes off to start life again with newfound zeal and perhaps a new career, a new passion and a new normal. In the midst of this transformation, she discovers an amusing truth that COVID-19 may have had a positive contribution after all!

This story encourages every one of us to embrace change and the inevitable obstacles of life as this often leads to untapped strength, hope and courage.