Well. Apparently we all upset 2020. I am not sure what we did to hurt you, but we are sorry and you can calm down now. We get it.
I have written a blog post numerous times over the last two disastrous months and nothing I wrote was ever able to say what I wanted it to say. How do you describe how you feel during all this?! On the one hand, it’s (literally) isolating, it’s lonely without friends and family, there doesn’t feel like there’s a work/life balance anymore, insomnia is rife and when I do sleep my already crazy dreams are now positively asylum worthy, my anxiety is even more of a daily struggle than before and moods swing left, right and centre. On the other hand, I feel guilty for feeling this way and social media keeps telling me I should feel guilty. I have a secure job, which I can do from the safety of my own home (which is a safe home to be in), a home which I am also lucky to have, nor have I, God forbid, lost someone near and dear to me through COVID-19.
However, having a lot of good in your life shouldn’t mean you can’t grieve for what you have lost because ‘other people have it worse’. This is a sinking ship we are all in together and to play Top Trumps with each other over who feels or has it worse is somewhat sadistic. Surely, it’s a time for supporting each other when we emotionally or physically have the capacity to do so, for sharing our experiences, to listen to one another and to help each other see the light at the end of this seemingly very long and dark tunnel. There seems to be this thing on social media where celebrities or those in the public eye get attacked if they dare venture that they don’t feel very happy in the current situation, because with their money and big houses they -must- have great mental health, right? Because celebrities and people in the public eye never have breakdowns or commit suicide, do they? None of us has the life we had in 2019, we should be allowed to feel sad about that.
Social media and our ability to connect with each other no matter where we are in the world (within reason) is a massive benefit in times like these and we are extremely lucky to have it, but at the moment it is also extremely damaging. People pitching up against each other, calling each other snowflakes or berating each other for seemingly anything. They also seem to be using it as a test for their friends. I keep seeing memes saying things like “Remember who checked in on you during lockdown” and that is only encouraging disconnection further. Yes, check-in on others, but only if you have the capacity to do so. If your cup is empty, you cannot pour from it. Do not make your wellbeing worse because social media says if you don’t text your second cousin twice removed then you’re a bad person. Put your mask on first, before attending to others. (That’s a reference to an inflight announcement if you remember what one of those is).
My point is, I have finally realised in this rewrite, is that I think a lot of us don’t know how to articulate how we feel, this is a situation none of us has been in before so how are we meant to know how to feel or how to react? I just think that we need to go back to that now long-lost phrase from back in February: – Be Kind. We are all in this together whether we like it or not, we are all feeling how we feel, and dealing with it the best we can. If you can check in on others, brilliant. If you can’t, look after yourself. Just stay away from the social media Top Trumps.