I can’t believe I haven’t left my home for a week now. I didn’t realise that lockdown would be one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I’ve found that the immobility on the outside has also somehow suspended mobility on the inside too and I’ve been unable to complete even the most simple of tasks. And I write this knowing that I am one of the lucky ones. I live in a happy home with my husband and son, two cats and a dog; and we all get along great. We have plenty of space in our home and garden and can probably wear out the financial storm that’s on its way.
Last week Thursday, at 5pm, I donned a onesie and settled in for some much needed “time off” – and the first few days were almost euphoric: a complete break from reality. But as the numbers started to rise, so did my fears. As the days stretched thin, so did my coping skills. I’ve come to learn that the world we usually live in, the one with all the stressors we complain so bitterly about, is the distraction from ourselves – and not the other way around.
When you aren’t distracted from them, all the things you try and hide from yourself come into view. If you suffer from anxiety, your anxiety gets worse. If you’re prone to depression, this is when you’re the most depressed. Insomniac? Don’t count on sleeping now. You may find yourself lying awake at night obsessing over every mistake you’ve made in life as far back as childhood. If you’ve ever experienced trauma and thought you’d appropriately worked through it, get ready for an emotional relapse.
What I want to say about it, however, is that this is all ok. There is healing power in being forced to confront ourselves. Don’t try and fight it this time. It’s ok to be miserable, it’s ok to be afraid, it’s ok to not be ok. This is the part that’s impermanent; what continues after is the fierce fighter you’ve always been.
Please reach out to your loved ones. They’re very likely going through something similar, and they are certainly not going to tell you about it. But a weekly call from you may just be the very distraction they need to get through the next wave of fear.