I thought that I should write this blog as food for thought for all the people out there that have thankfully not caught the virus and are obediently staying at home. We can all imagine how covid-19 must feel to some degree. We have all had dry persistent coughs, flu, temperature, wheezing chests, shortness of breath at some point, most likely not all at the same time and certainly not to a critical degree, but we have been told the symptoms and know what to look out for, drawing from personal experience. We know the precautions, washing our hands for a minimum of twenty seconds, lots of anti bacterial soap, sanatiser when out, not to cough or sneeze on others, catch it/bin it/wash it, stay at least two metres apart from all people outside of your household, do not visit friends or family, no social interaction. The rules are very straight forward, but what they have not prepared us for is the grueling amounts of family indoor time in a world where people are so very used to social interaction. From using public transport, to walking through town, being at work, school, a place of religion, the gym, local swimming baths, parks, cafes, restaurants, pubs, all taken away in what felt like overnight. People whom are isolated alone are really missing physical interaction, touch, hugs, shaking of hands, simple gestures are now band. Phonecalls and video calls don’t give the warmth and comfort of face to face.
Family’s, couples and flatmates are winding one another up. Domestic violence has jumped to fatalities, a step too far, without intervention.
Our society, as a nation, we have never been prepared for a lockdown. Only survivors of ww2 may have known something similar. We live in a free world, where we are out and about all of the time. To have what feels like, your freedom being taken away, has tested many beings and they have failed. People don’t like solitude. People’s wings have been clipped. This is because all the advice is about our physical health, not our mental. In fact alot of people with ill mental health are coping better than those sound of mind, because self isolation (be it chosen or not) creates a bubble of safety. Whilst you struggle with your mind, thoughts, delusions, anxiety, depression, psychosis behind closed doors, it remains private, solitary and contained within four walls. Going outside can be a sensory overload, and so you sacrifice being sociable, activities, celebrations, as to not draw attention to oneself. Friends and family drift away as they forget you, and aside from medical support, no one seems interested in helping you, because they have no self experience to enable empathy in order to connect with you. Well wheen this pandemic is over, please rember how lonely you felt, how trapped, forgotten, scared, paranoid and unloved and show some love to those that you know with ill mental health, those of us who have been in self isolation for years. It is a precaution, or fear, not all choice that leads people to cut themselves off from the world, mental illness is a sickness that is systematically contagious like the likes of Corona and so you have no excuse but to reach out if you know someone mentally ill and you are well!
Most people with ill mental health that I have spoken to, they are doing just fine because self isolation is not alien to them. I thought that I was winning until I came to realise how sad it is, that I have been self isolated for the best part of seven years. As someone whom used to love socialising, the realisation is very sad. All those that I socialised with are much slower, but still going, but so used to my absence that it has become, “THE Norm”.
Family invitations have ceased, I used to feel like part of the core.
We live in a selfish materialistic world, I hope when this all ends, we will all be a bit more conscious of our family and friends that are still consumed by isolation and reach out to them!
The shops and streets are quiet, I like the lack of noise, distance enabling personal space, the quiet and still rather than hustle and bustle of bustle. Where as most find it eerie.
Alone, I would have ended up sectioned for sure, but having my love is of great comfort.
I send love and well wishes to those that have/had the virus. My condolences to those lost and their friends and family. I urge the people at home going stir crazy, to remember this is only temporary, to enjoy solitude or family time, company and companionship, they are gifts that you all should be greatful to have. To not become complacent, document this journey and so we may tell the new and young of this ordeal and how to avoid it happening again. To count your lucky stars, if self isolation and ill mental health were alien to you before this, know that this is temporary and that your normal shall return but be even better, because you will be greatful.
If you are struggling mentally, please don’t suffer in silence. Your feelings are warrented. If I can stumble through seven years, you can sail through upto seventeen months!
Having space is OK, communication is key. These trying times are testing and may even break the strong, but solidarity is our goal. Together we are strong. Do not threat over tears and tantrums, releasing emotions are healthy, home alone or with every man and the dog, please stay connected, open up and talk things through.
We are all doing so well. Good can come from bad. Creases ironed out, make amends and give all your loved ones a shout. Time is precious, we cannot afford to be bitter. I have scratches but also open wounds from people whom have side stepped me and my illness, that created a wall but I will meet you half way, let’s knock it down as we all make mistakes, we all get ill, life can take us on some strange journeys to find peace but alongside me, if that is your goal, just reach!
It can take great misfortune for some to realise what is under their nose, to initiate forgiveness, to clear ignorance and enable space and room to build, love and grow.
If you ever wandered what secluded, isolated, hermit, vulnerable mental and physical people are going through, I think it fair to compare to this,only less certainty of an end, less of an urgency to mend, swept under the carpet, not headline news.
If you are going round in circles, Banging your head on the wall, please remember that this scenario has been someone’s long time, not a in the mean time. They deserve some of your love.
Keep active, stay strong, we will overcome Corona, Covid-19.