With not long ago Mental Health Awareness week ending and seemingly all slowly returning back to normal, heading towards the end of lockdowns in UK. I just wanted to address how I’m feeling and whether anyone else resonates with this I have no idea, but surely I cannot be the only one, feeling broken by the changes upcoming. Mental Health Awareness brought to my attention just that, the only thing I AM aware of is my Mental Health. It had been for years the only thing I was aware of, from taking medication trying to improve this, to going to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT- which I understand helps a lot of people) which we discussed my “safety behaviours” and things I should prevent doing in public to present myself better to others ( we discussed things such as not keeping my hands in pockets and don’t listen to music while on my own, it REALLY wasn’t of any use). But surely I can’t be the only one coming towards the end of these lockdowns feeling thoughts like “What do I do now?”. From feeling socially awkward at most times, feeling that during this lockdown period I have felt more “normal” than I ever had, as for once, people were the same as me. We’ve all been commended and thanked for not going out and socialising, but for me, this has very much been my life as a whole anyway. Yes I used to go out and yes I’ve had friends, but I’m these situations I rely on the likes of alcohol making it easier (I know this is a whole other thing but stay with me). I get nervous and anxious in large crowds, or even walking past a group of people and when I am around new people in which I’ve never met, I’ll usually be the “silent one” or the one that is “no fun”. But for me, lockdown has been perfect, I’ve felt now more than ever, the most normal I’ve felt in my whole life, as now seemingly all over the world, everyone is like me. Everyone is indoors wanting that contact but can’t, everyone is avoiding each other as too not cause any issues, everyone is spending 90% of their time indoors. But now this is coming to an end I feel much more at a loss than having when all this had started. For those that had every played Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time, I feel as though I’m the Dark/Shadow Link looking back at myself. Though I was not a massively social person before all this started, the person before all this had happened is just that “mirrored” Link looking back at me, not knowing how to become that person again, not knowing which one was me. I find myself sweating when going to shops thinking others are looking or judging me much more than I had previously felt, voices in my head telling me “You don’t need to be outdoors, you’re safe indoors away from everyone”. Honestly these thoughts have been like a plague to me towards the end of lockdown, they have been spreading every moment I’m outside and not in my comfort zone in which I’ve lived for the better part of Two Years. Yes I have friends that I can ATTEMPT to try and see, but with time passing, I just don’t know how to bridge that gap and start a conversation without feeling like I’m being a nuisance towards them or an inconvenience. I’ve spent time with family (which I know a lot of others have personally struggled with), but this has frankly saved me and made me feel like people care and that I make a difference. But the feelings of feeling like that nuisance, and feeling useless are just expanding the closer we get towards the lockdowns ending. Granted I know I can’t be the only one feeling like this, nor am I naïve enough to think that I am, and that other don’t have it worse. I just wanted to bring to attention that though the lockdown is ending, and yes it is a massive joy for a lot of people if not the majority, it IS NOT positive for all of us. Be wary of those having the “quiet days in” while the sun is out beaming, they may not have anyone else, and not been invited anywhere. Be wary of the ones saying they’ve had “ a chilled week” after having time off work, they may have spent each day in bed fighting the urge to just sleep, the feelings, and everything away. Be wary of the ones replying “ I’m fine “ as these are the easiest of words to mutter to ease someone’s mind that worries. But most of all try to give me, us and those people a chance. We may not reply as well as others. The reply may be in one word. Hell there may not even be a reply at all. Please as you go out towards the end of lockdown, please remember those not replying, those saying they’re chilling and those saying they’re fine. We’re still here, please don’t forget us. We’re feeling broken and unhinged after feeling like the normal once’s during this period, and now we’re being asked out of our comfort zones again. We’re here. We feel. And most importantly (even though it may not seem it) we care. We just may not be able to express these things as well as others. It’s cliche but “in a world where you can be anything, be kind” We’re here xcbd3692x
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