This is my 5 Stages of Grief Photography Project. Sharing a unique and personal insight to my own feelings and thoughts during the COVID-19 pandemic. A couple of weeks ago I read an interesting article from the Harvard Business Review titled “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief”. It compared our current situation and the emotions we’re feeling with the 5 stages of grief. I was intrigued and as time went by I realized that I actually went through all 5 stages of grief myself. That inspired me to create this little photography project. Capturing my experiences in a raw and honest photographs in the hopes to start a conversation and to let anyone, who needed to hear and see this, know that they’re not alone.
If I’m honest with you, the first week of isolation wasn’t bad. I was happy to have more time off after spring break was over. We self quarantined ourself because Antonio had just returned from Chile. I spent most of my time snuggled up in bed with Lulu and Austin watching TV. I’m the type of person who doesn’t mind having some “lonely” time away from everyone (even though I was never actually alone in the house but you know what I mean.) I quite enjoyed being by myself, living just day by day. I was not worried yet about money coming in. I mean this won’t last forever, right? They’re all just taking this whole situation a little bit too seriously, so I’ll be fine. Nothing to worry about…
After the initial joy of being able to just chill at home, watching movies and eating ice cream followed a deeper, darker feeling. Anger. Frustration. I was so angry at the universe for putting me, us, the whole world in this situation. For pressing pause. And forcing us to stop. I wasn’t ready to stop. This was supposed to be the beginning. I had just taken an acting workshop and felt so inspired to get started again. And now this happened!? Seriously!? I felt betrayed and robbed. This year was supposed to be the year that I’m putting myself out there, going to audition after audition, learning and growing. It was supposed to happen all right now….
I struggled to understand what was going on, how I was feeling and why I was feeling that way. I watched the news and understood what they were saying but I still couldn’t believe that this was really happening. My mind was racing. Trying to make sense of all of this… And if we all just stay at home for a couple of weeks everything will be better and return back to normal, right?!
Anger and frustration over this current situation and the lost opportunities followed depression. A deep feeling of loneliness and disconnect. I hated waking up in the mornings because there was nothing I was looking forward to and all I wanted to do was hide in bed. The smallest things irritated me and pissed me off. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to be left alone because no one seemed to understand. I pretended I was fine and smiled when people asked how I was doing. I didn’t feel like sharing my inner feelings and emotions with anyone. I mean did anyone really care; they all seemed fine ….
As the weeks passed by I came to accept this chaos and began to see the opportunities and chances presented to me, to us. I hadn’t felt like myself in a long time and I knew I needed to reconnect with myself. This was the perfect time to do so. I started creating a morning routine to clear my mind and help me see things from a different perspective. I sat outside every morning, enjoying the stillness, the quietness. Meditating. Journaling. Finally, I began to reconnect with myself and the universe again. I feel incredible peace now on my bench in the stillness, knowing that this time – as hard and frustrating as it may have been at the beginning – was exactly what I needed.
So, the questions remaining are: What’s the meaning behind all of this? What can we learn from this chaos? Well, creating The 5 Stages of Grief Project has helped me to understand and name all the different emotions and feelings I’ve been experiencing since March. I know now why I was feeling what I was feeling and I’m using all of this to move forward. The anger, frustration and sadness pointed me in the right direction. The feeling of betrayal is gone and I actually realized that I was no where near of being “ready” to put myself out there. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of weeks. I took different online classes and I’m a lot happier with me now. All the experiences and emotions are a part of me and my journey. Our current situation is hard and I hope it passes fast but until then I’m trying to stay positive and see the opportunities to learn and grow.
=> We’re all dealing differently with this situation. Some of us are more open about our emotions and thoughts and some of us aren’t. So if you have a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, maybe give them a call or write them a text. Share this post about the 5 stages of grief project with them. You never know who needs to hear that they’re not alone.
April 13, 2020
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