When I am going through a difficult period in my life or just having a bad day, I often struggle to find outlets for my feelings. Before the pandemic lockdown, I did not understand how internal pain was exponentially more excruciating than most physical pain. Over quarantine, I found life extremely pointless and meaningless without social interaction and the structure of high school that I became so comfortable with.
Longing for a sense of structure or comfort in such an uncertain time, I turned to binge eating unhealthy amounts of food and stopped taking care of myself and the daily tasks of brushing my teeth, showering and even getting outside or exercising. When my mom and dad tried to help me, I would yell at them and say unkind things so they would leave me alone. I would go to bed when the sun was coming up and would wake up when it was time to cook dinner. I spent most of my time scrolling aimlessly on TikTok and watching Netflix, HBO Max, and Youtube with a chocolate bar and family sized package of chips. My coping mechanisms were not only unhealthy, but what I didn’t realize at the time is that they were only making my situation worse; my weight ballooned to the point of me not fitting into my old clothes and I was finding myself unhappier each day.
My lowest point of this period came in June, right as school ended, when my great grandmother passed away. While we were still in the peak of the virus, my whole family thought it fitting to come together for a socially distanced gathering to celebrate her life. In getting ready for the event that morning, I went to put on a pair of shorts that three months ago would have fit me perfectly. Now, however, I could barely fit my legs into them.
Throughout the gathering, I was not focused on my great grandmother’s death, but rather, my self inflicted state. The night after the gathering, I talked and cried with my dad about what I was going through. Supportingly, he told me that I needed to create a routine for myself.
Instead of trying to help myself, I coped with my pain again through eating. However, while scrolling through my for you page on TikTok, I came across other kids who also felt empty and lonely. Although I did not know these kids or ever talk to them, I understood that I was not alone in my time of struggle. Other people who shared their experiences and battles with all of their problems strengthened me. I began to search for other outlets where people expressed how they were feeling.
I soon realized why The Weeknd was the number one artist in the world with 60 million monthly listeners. Music became the medication to my loneliness because I knew I could always turn to artists like Kid Cudi who used his pain to create beautiful art about emptiness and loneliness. I realized that people look for others who share similar stories to the ones they are experiencing at a specific time in their lives.