The idea of a lockdown was always very daunting and now here we are in a second lockdown due to the Coronavirus. The thought of not being able to leave the house for nothing more than the bare essentials left me absolutely terrified. I don’t fear this virus, I never have but what scared me was the thought of not being able to do the things I enjoy outside of my home.
The juxtaposition of knowing I’m not allowed to socialise and go out and knowing that even when I had those freedoms I didn’t always enjoy it left me petrified of what I might learn about myself. Many a day I have sat at home and made plans with friends and at times my anxiety got the better of me and I didn’t go and other times when I felt amazing I never did. I never took the leap of faith. Ok so when I am anxious I’m not able to, but upon reflection I have become so reliant and comfortable with the knowledge that it is my anxiety that prevents me from going out yet I delay making plans when I’m feeling better. It’s become my crutch. It’s made me lazy too.
Having to self isolate has given me some time to reflect on my life and it has helped me thus far to identify some changes I need to make in order for me truly live the best life I can . Throughout life we all learn and develop and this virus has helped me see just how complacent I have become. Once again a quote I read years ago popped into my thoughts and it’s clear if I want to continue being happy I cannot be complacent in any aspect of my life. ‘Never let the success of today lull you into the complacency of tomorrow for they is the great foundation of failure’ – author unknown ( to me anyway). You see my success was using my anxiety as a crutch, and it had become my way of life. I never challenged myself enough to be a better person, to be the adventurous person I was and would like to be again. One upon a time I hubby jumped from the worlds highest commercial bunny jump on the world and today I find must crippled with fear.
Since this virus hit the UK people has been panic buying and the shops for the first time in my life time have empty shelves and limited stock. Just today I went to purchase a few essentials from the supermarket and we were asked to queue up at least 2 meters apart and wait until instructed to enter the shop. I was happily awaiting my turn whilst playing a silly game on my phone, when a lady left the shop and stopped dead in her tracks next to me. She then proceeded to tell me to move. When I questioned this she said I need to move closer to those ahead of me so she can pass me at a safe distance as she doesn’t want to catch the virus. Now these thing wouldn’t usually bother me, but she had the entire empty car park to pass me. However, she refused and at this point when she was becoming aggressive I had to stand up for myself because I wasn’t in her way nor was I preventing her from passing as I was standing next to a trolley bay and she could take two steps and would be in the car park. Did I mention it was empty. I politely pointed this out to her and stated I also would rather not get the virus. She responded saying she’d rather have me get it than risk herself!
Needless to say I stood my ground. After her response I remained silent and the not so friendly lady took the two steps and made it to her car.
When in a crisis we can either pull together and or pull each other apart. This Virus has shown me some really nasty sides of humanity. From people purchasing enough food to last them an entire year and leaving nothing for others, to supermarket employees being yelled at due to a lack of products. It’s a scary time for us all. My days have merged into one and I’m not always sure what day it is. Nevertheless I am healthy and I able to work from home. My kids drive me nuts at times and my youngest is destroying my house daily. From scribbling on every wall to covering doors and windows with Nutella all whilst my husband and I are working. Nevertheless we are happy and we get to spend so much more time together as a family and if it wasn’t for this virus we wouldn’t have as we’d be spending more time at work than at home.
Fast forward to lockdown number two and people are getting frustrated with this pandemic, but it remains important that we all work together to fight us. Not long after the first lockdown hit the UK my husband I found ourselves jobless. With stresses about bills to pay and school fees, but we tried to remain positive. Time spent on our garden enjoying the Scottish summer was just sublime, but after 6 months of unemployment that euphoria was changed to anxiety, stress and sheer panic around our ability to survive financially. We continued living as normal making small changes are we go along. I lived as if I didn’t have a care in the world, but on the inside I was falling deeper and faster into the abyss I know so very well. Whilst sitting in my garden I knew that I had to do something. After 6 months of unemployment my husband and I found ourselves back in employment. We are extremely lucky, but I now find myself crying for no reason, frustrated and feeling like a failure. Staying in and trying to rebuild has taken its toll on my mental health. I work for a leader who from gut instinct knows what it is like to struggle with anxiety and depression, and her compassion without even knowing my story beyond words. Mentally and emotionally I am exhausted. I realise Many people are struggling across the globe, but when your mental health is compromised getting up each day to tackle the daily Routine starts to feel like you’re in the midst of a war. A war with your mind and it is so easy to give and wave the white flag. Giving into my anxiety and depression would be so much easier than fighting this every single day, but I refuse. I cannot give up. My battle continues, and my plea to everyone is to please stick to the rules, stay safe so that we can all beat this and go on back to living semi normal lives again.