COMING OUT OF LOCKDOWN.
And so the announcement was made. From June 21st 2021, life as we once knew it, should resume.
We’re coming out of the woods. And over the last few days, the internet has been filled with celebratory snaps of the life everyone has been missing so terribly, that they can’t wait to re-live. And I’ve missed those moments, too. But right now, the thought of ‘normality’ and the end of lockdown is sending my anxiety through the roof.
A plan is meant to ease worries, give hope and a sense of control. Yet I somehow feel the opposite.
I have had so much time away from the real world, I’m worried I’ll be too scared to go back.
I’m struggling to allow myself to trust in a process we so royally messed up last time. And even with a vaccine being administered as we speak, I have an overriding sense of doom in the pit of my stomach. That inevitably we will end up back where we started.
It baffles me that we’ll soon be able to go to the gym, visit a theme park or have our hair cut; yet we still won’t be allowed in our family homes. What my mental health craves is a hug from the people I love, in the comfort of our homes. My split ends I can forgo a little longer.
I think my faith that things will be better has just slowly depleted. And trying to muster some more might take a little more time than this current timeline allows.
Although it’s rubbish to not be feeling the joy others are for the roadmap back to normal life, I think that’s okay. We’ve been through the most challenging twelve months, a set of circumstances we never could’ve envisaged. And if I wan’t to take things at my own pace? Well maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
All of us, whether we feel we’ve been coping or not, have been in constant survival mode since March 2020. Everyone’s mental health will have been impacted in some way. And that looks different for all of us. To know that pretty soon, restrictions may no longer exist is definitely overwhelming to me.
My loved ones may (understandably) be super excited to get back to it. And I think I’ll probably want to go a bit slower – but I’m going to try my best not to feel bad about that.
Something I’m going to try and do is focus on the present, and not overwhelm myself with what is to come. I want to work each day to challenge myself, to push myself gently but consistently within the lockdown guidance. And perhaps that won’t mean going out to a restaurant when it’s allowed. But making baby steps towards slow and steady changes that will help me adapt to a life without a lockdown, at my own pace.
I suppose this is to say, if you’ve been feeling nervous with the latest announcement, and are not sure you’re ready for the imminent changes – you’re not alone.
But if you’re reading this and can relate, we have made it through all of these difficult days so far. We are here, and we can continue to get through these next stages. And we don’t need to feel guilty if we’re not quite ready to be ‘normal’ again.