I promised I wouldn’t write about this dreaded virus on my blog, and yet here I am 3 days into a national response and I’m blogging about it already. I was mid fertility update before the world was spun into a bizarre, mad, movie-plot panic… And it just doesn’t feel right to continue feeding my own self indulgence when something so big is coming (and indeed already here for lots of us).
And for me the thing coming feels bigger than world panic, more imposing than loo roll infested quarantine and much deeper than any virus.
As someone who suffers from terrible anxiety (and specifically health anxiety) I can only scratch the surface when trying to put into words how things like this make me feel. Something so unprecedented in our generation that we don’t even have anything in our mental toolkit to dig deep, grab and utilise.
The thought process may seem stupid to some (and believe me in the cold light of day to me too) but honestly in those dark moments it’s as real as the hair on my head. The fear for loved ones, for our financial future, for the claustrophobia of lock down, for some post-war style recovery period we’ll all have to endure… It takes over at times.
But paradoxically I crave the lock down. The mandatory quarantine to huddle together safely and wait it out. And I also fear that I’ll find it so safe and comfy that I’ll never want to leave. Because those fears out there are real, you see. Every fear I’ve had before I’ve been able to shake off (after some time) with the reasoning that it’s so unlikely, ‘what are the chances’. Well what what were the chances.
My fear has form now. She’s been fed and she’s grown; a dark figure in the corner of a silent room, smiling smugly. Because all at once my fear and anxiety has tangible justification.
This is what I’m afraid of trying to recover from.
The world proving to me that every irrational fear I ever had was justified and I should never again allow the complacency of happiness to let me forget.
The point of this post was not to trigger (and I sincerely hope it did not) but to share what many may be feeling but think they’re alone in doing so. And may feel embarrassed to share. Which in all honestly I do, but it’s too important to hold back.
Please join me in looking out for our mental health in all of this. Because the recovery won’t just be financial, physical or emotional…it’ll also be pyschological for so many.
Reach out to anyone you can’t physically see. Keep the contact. Make each other laugh. Talk about normal, everyday, mundane things (and also your fears and worries). Bask in sunshine, choose your books and TV shows, learn new things, reignite your hobbies, pick up your paint brush, your knitting needles, your jigsaws… Whatever brings you peace in the moment. Whatever welcome distraction you need.
And, very importantly, please never judge your fellow human beings, even if you can’t understand them ♥️