I’m not entirely sure why I am writing this, or what purpose it serves but, what I do know is that there are some thoughts too big for a mind to contain. There are some things you just have to get out, in some way or another, or they will engulf you.
As I write this, I am approaching the mid-way point of week 5 in lock-down and to say I am not coping well would be an understatement. To quote a Taylor Swift song (as I do almost daily) “I might be OK, but I’m not fine at all”. That is to say, I’m OK, I wake up each day in a warm bed with a roof over my head, I have a supportive family, I am safe, I have access to food and fresh drinking water, I can get out of the house to exercise, I don’t have any reason to fear staying at home. But am I coping? No. Am I arguing with my family members over who gets to cook dinner every single night so I don’t feel the stress of not having anything to do? Yes.
On my best days, the ones where we are allowed outside and life goes on as normal, I am plagued with a constant fear that what I am doing at any given moment is simply not enough. I’d like to pretend that the knowledge that everyone else is feeling the same way provides a break in this feeling but it simply does not. If anything, it makes it so much worse. At least, in the good times, I only have myself to blame for not meeting my own expectations. In times like this, it is that much more suffocating because you simply have no control over what you can and cannot do. And anyone who knows me knows I don’t handle not being in control well.
It’s hard to justify and explain how I feel because even I don’t really understand it. I know that it’s ok to not be creating at times like this. I know that it’s ok to indulge in television shows and books to help pass the time. I know that it’s ok if I don’t eat perfectly healthy at all times. But my brain, the part of me that has driven me forward, and has pushed me to be better at every point in my life just doesn’t know how to switch off. It stays active, it stays ever judgemental and it will not leave me alone.
Our house has started planning our days around 11am press conferences, we are all 100% sick of cooking our own meals and a bi-weekly trip to my mother’s physiotherapy appointments have become the highlights of our week. This is far from normal. Humans were not designed to live in boxes. I don’t want to be cliché and say that it’s OK not to be OK (even though it is) because I know that even if I say that, if you have a brain like mine, it will never be enough.
What I do want to say is that I see you, I feel your pain and I so desperately want it all to end. But, tomorrow is another day, we will get up, we will listen to the press conference like we always do and maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be the day it all starts to change. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy and don’t fight the indulgences that help maintain your sanity. This is lock-down, the rules you have lived by all your life don’t matter anymore, just do what you have to do to survive.
Sending love, light and positivity from a very locked down Sydney. And please, if you can, get vaccinated!
Aimee J Edwards