The whole situation has made me feel as though I’m in a Dystopian movie.
I have found that throughout the pandemic my mental wellbeing has fluctuated mostly in response to the poor handling of the crisis and the ill advised behaviour of others.
I would like to say that I am lucky. I am a Peer Support Worker at my local NHS Assessment & Treatment Service. This means I have remained working throughout the pandemic (albeit remotely) and haven’t had the worries that many others have faced with employment and income.
In some ways, I feel as though I have been preparing for this my whole life. I’m a huge fan of social distancing. I have always had a good supply of anti- bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer at home as I have always been anxious about germs, illness and others’ hand hygiene (or lack of).
Social distancing in shops has been a joy for me. I struggle with strangers being in my personal space and don’t understand why people have to get so close to me in queues etc. This can cause me to become distressed and sometimes aggressive in public places. Not having people in my space has been liberating! The anxiety and overwhelm I felt in supermarkets had reduced to the point where I felt more able to cope.
I understand for others how hard it must have been not to be out with friends, not being able to work, having to shield or being alone and isolated.
For me, life didn’t change much at all when lockdown commenced. This probably sounds somewhat pitiful, but it has been a huge relief for me and has meant that I have managed to cope with lockdown.
I don’t go out socially very often as I have existing mental and physical health challenges which are life limiting and exhausting.
I have missed seeing my parents and grown up son, but again, I count my blessings. I live with my partner and my daughter spends half the week with us, so I haven’t been alone. I have a little dog and am lucky to be surrounded by fields and woodland and we have had some lovely walks; being limited to thirty minutes outside exercise per day pushed me to make the most of getting outside, even if I only managed a few meters!
I am in awe of the resilience and many kindnesses shown by people throughout this period.
However I am also disgusted by the behaviour of people coming out of lockdown; the tons of rubbish being left on our beaches, in our parks, in our woodlands. It was clearly shown how Mother Nature was beginning to repair during lockdowns the world over, but coming out of lockdown, nothing has changed. Also the shocking social inequality in this country has been highlighted and still, nothing will change.
But it’s ok, lockdown is easing and we’re going back to ‘normal’.
Personally I don’t want to go back to normal……whatever that is.