We’re all in this together. That’s a phrase you hear often and not just during a feel good song and dance number on a basketball court. It’s a phrase that gets dusted off in times of difficulty to remind everyone that whatever is happening, they are not alone.
Only this time we kind of are. The global lockdowns are keeping us separated from the people we love and for a lot of us that could mean a support system or a lifeline.
Suffering with anxiety and depression whilst following the lockdown rules and restrictions is hard and although there are so many of us that suffer with these severely misunderstood mental health issues, one of the main side affects is an often permanent feeling of isolation.
Social anxiety, claustrophobia even in public spaces where there are large crowds and an often hermitic lifestyle, should make me well suited to a life indoors. But it doesn’t.
The smallest things can trigger a depressive episode and most of the time there is no trigger, not one that can be easily identified.
Yesterday was a bad day.
I could feel myself slipping into that all too familiar unhappy place, where all I wanted to do was cry. For what reason? I have no idea.
Maybe it’s the lockdown finally getting to me. Maybe it’s my children. Maybe it’s the fact I can’t get any writing or editing done. Maybe it’s the fact I have a constant headache from my screaming, teething 11 month old. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep. Maybe it’s none of these things and it’s just my annoying friend Depression popping in for a visit, just to make sure I haven’t forgotten about her.
Don’t worry Depression, I know you’re there, I’ll call you when I need you. And I need you like I need a hole in the head, which if this was the 19th century that’s exactly what I’d be getting.
But this is the 21st century and there’s not much improvement. Depression is still something that gets funny looks and head scratches.
Everyone’s a diaognostician, everyone’s got an opinion and a theory, but no one has any answers and no one has a cure.
I’m trying my best not to watch or read the news too often because, right now it’s just too depressing and I could do without the extra help.
But we all need a little help sometimes whether it’s a grandma who watches the kids for a few hours to give you a break, or a friend who grabs a coffee with you in the mornings while you have a chat, or a colleague who meets you at the weekends for a pub quiz.
The problem is, we don’t have any of this right now.
So this is why I’m writing my blog today. It may be silly, it may never be read, it may sound like I’m moaning about nothing when so much worse is happening in the world right now, but I feel it, we all do. And if we can’t be together in person, we are together in sadness, fear, uncertainty, pride, encouragement and most of all hope.
So whatever helps you keep a shred of sanity during these trying times, keep going, keep writing, keep singing, painting, dancing, exercising, praying, meditating, screaming, clapping, cheering. Whatever you need to do, do it.
And just know, no matter how corny it sounds, whether you believe it or not. You are not alone.
Save lives. Stay at home