UK Lockdown - One Month In

by Ver Armstrong 6 months ago in humanity

A personal account of thoughts and emotions after one month of social distancing.

UK Lockdown - One Month In
Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

The UK went into lockdown a month ago, on March 23rd. Now we are a month in (OK nearly), so I figured it might be worth giving an update on how things are going and the effects this is having upon mental health.

This entire lockdown, to me at least, feels similar to being in that “low place”.

I understand the reason behind it, and completely agree with it, however that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

I’ll separate my thoughts into the following topics: home, choice, finance, parenting, family and mental health.

Home

Being in the house is becoming the norm for the majority of people right now. If you’re not a key worker and you’re not getting your groceries then chances are you’re sat at home staring at the same four walls. It isn’t good for the mind, but it’s a necessary evil to limit the number of people who are getting ill.

I hate this. Honestly I do. I’m most likely not alone in saying this but I am bloody sick of my home. Of being here. The first few days were kind of cool, having my loved ones here and all being together, but now I feel like I’m clawing at the walls but thankfully, unlike a few years ago, I don’t feel any signs of agoraphobia.

Choice

Choice is something we barely have any more. I’m not talking “the shop doesn’t have my preferred brand of a product”, although that is up there on the frustration list for some people.

It’s the going out. Doing things. Having the options.

I need choice. It keeps me sane. I always talk about choice. It’s one of the reasons I’m grateful to David for the time he has Feena or is here, because then I have the choice whether or not I want to go out.

This isn’t even to do with Feena. It’s more about all kinds of choices being ripped away.

Except one.

“Go for a walk”

I don’t know about you but, as someone who’s struggled with mental health problems for the majority of their life, “go for a walk” makes me want to burn the world to the ground.

“Go for a walk” is a common saying when someone is struggling with their mental health, like that will fix everything.

I don’t want to go for a sodding walk. I’d like my choices back.

I can’t. I won’t be that selfish.

I feel a great deal of anger towards those who are putting their choices above the health and safety of others.

I won’t do it, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy.

Finance

Screwed. So screwed. Everyone is screwed. I’m taking on any and all writing jobs now as a means of gaining some form of income. I’m making sure my Upwork profile is all shiny.

I have pure respect for the girls who are joining Onlyfans or the like just to supplement their income, or to gain an income. As long as it’s their free choice and no one is pressuring them, it’s all good.

I have so, so much respect for our essential workers right now. Doctors, nurses, volunteers. But also those who may be unsung heroes: delivery drivers, hauliers, shop workers. The 17 year old busting his balls at Asda who most people normally wouldn’t give a second thought to. You are ALL doing so very very well.

And… you know… if anyone needs a writing job doing…. yeah.

Parenting

I had SO many good intentions. So many plans. Now I, like many parents, am longing for the school days and planning on giving Feena’s teacher a bottle of wine (if I can bloody afford one) on the return to school. Teachers, I salute you.

Feena and I are both sick of each other. Stuck together all day every day. We are past the point of being grateful for the time now. We need space from each other.

I know, legally, child contact is still allowed for travel etc, but David and I opted against it due to the sheer distance and logistics.

I also know this time is hard for him. He hasn’t seen Feena since the February half term. He misses her, and she misses him.

Feena and I are doing our best to cope. We are doing some forms of school work but it’s tough trying to aid her when I’m meant to be doing other things too.

We will get through it though. We have a lovely bond where we can both show emotion about situations. Where we can bicker, as mothers and daughters do, but come back together after to apologise.

In this time I hope to teach Feena about respect, patience, that adults DO (and should) apologise too. We have already discussed some bits on mental health. Might be worth doing more on that in the current climate as kids need to understand self-care too.

Family

We all miss family.

I’ve touched upon Feena missing out on time with her Dad, but there’s so many more people we can’t see right now.

I don’t want to name specific people too much as I’m not sure if they’d consent to being named.

Ash’s family show us a great deal of support. We miss spending time with them. Feena misses her after-school routine.

Tina, Ash’s Mum, is usually up at least every other weekend. Feena adores time with her. I love spending time with her. You hear so many stories about mother-in-laws, but I got very lucky. This woman would do anything for anyone. She’s more like a good friend to me than a MIL. I told her, at the beginning of the year, that we’d spend the weekend with her after mid-March. Still waiting.

Denise, my Mum. She’s alone and I HATE it. When I lived in Marston I’d visit her every few days while Feena was at school to “annoy” her. Now we live 3 hours away, I still try to visit when I can, or she stays down here. In the current climate, we haven’t seen her in a few months. I don’t like it. I miss her so much.

Today is 22nd April. This Saturday, 25th April, would have been my Dad’s 79th birthday. It’s in my head right now. I can’t see Mum for that.

The following Saturday, 2nd May, marks 6 years since he died. Six f**king years and I still haven’t dealt with it.

I can’t even go lay some flowers at his grave.

It hurts.

Mental Health

I think, overall, my mental health is pretty stable, all things considered. I’m still not smoking (23 days today), still want to lose weight (read as: need to), and still relapse-free.

I am, however, a bit snappy. There’s things, such as mentioned above, that are getting to me. There’s stuff that’s getting right on my nerves. Some stuff I would normally be able to deal with.

I am loving being able to see Ash and Feena more, although we probably could do with some space from each other, but again, that’s normal.

I hope that everything will be okay, and feel for those who are suffering more than me or have lost loved ones right now.

I hope I won’t lose anyone.

I want my Dad.

humanity
Ver Armstrong
Ver Armstrong
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Ver Armstrong

Ver has been working as a ghost writer since 2019 and now seeks to make a career from her passion for writing. She currently works as a freelance writer and owns Bordering Bears, a Borderline Personality Disorder experience blog & website.

See all posts by Ver Armstrong