Let’s face it, lockdown isn’t easy for any of us. We’re all fighting the same storm, but we’re not in the same boat. And our personal circumstances can have a huge impact on how we perceive our environment and how we react to the current situation.
Now that I have your attention with my supremely narcissistic title, this post is probably not quite what you’re anticipating…
This is Why Lockdown is So Tough in My Situation
Do some have it worse than others? I’ll let you decide…
I’m Living Alone
At first, I thought I’d cope okay. I planned to catch up on all things I never have time for; like reading and baking and reorganising the house. But over time I’ve lost enthusiasm. The loneliness is stifling. The lack of social interaction and human touch is crushing.
I Miss My Grandchildren
Nothing has made me more aware of my own mortality than this pandemic – and I don’t mean the possibility of catching the virus.
I’m not as young as I was, and I miss my grandchildren; and, right now, I don’t even know if I’ll survive long enough to cuddle them again. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but the reality is that none of us know how long we’ll be living this way.
My Mental Health is Suffering
I’ve always suffered with bouts of depression/anxiety, but being unable to continue with my usual routine and spend time with my loved ones has left me floundering. With no end in sight, I’m not sure how long I can go on.
My Child is Struggling
I could cope with almost anything else thrown at me, but I see my child spiralling, and there’s nothing I can do to help.
I can offer support, but what our children need is to live their young lives with joyful abandon, learning the nuances of emotional and social intelligence and skills via their friendships and squabbles. And I can’t give them that.
I fear for how an entire generation will develop socially, and whether they’ll be left with lifelong issues. But mostly I worry about my child’s wellbeing right now. Because I watch her anguish and I am in despair.
We’re in an Abusive Home
The only reprieve my child had from our horrendous home life was school. I know we shouldn’t be here, but life is not so simple – how I wish it were.
It’s bad. I don’t know how we’re going to survive this.
If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, please do not suffer in silence. Go here for details of all the help available.
I’m Stuck With A Partner I No Longer Want to Be With
In a normal world I’d have said my goodbyes and left. I’m now faced with two despicable choices:
- Playing a role I don’t want to play, and allowing myself to go through the motions which leave me feeling worthless;
- Or being honest and facing the consequences, with no option to escape the atmosphere.
I don’t want to be here.
I’m Missing Out On My Childhood
I miss my friends. I even miss lessons! I wouldn’t even mind saying hello to my teachers, I’ve not seen them for ages. I wonder if I’ll see them again before I have to go into a different class. I hope so. But I’m scared.
How Will I Ever Meet Someone Now?
It may sound frivolous when there are people literally dying, but I’m lonely and I’d like to meet someone. This is my life, and right now I’m in limbo.
While there are no guarantees of finding love in this life, at least I had hope. Lockdown has taken that away. My biological clock is ticking, and my chances of having a family seem to be dwindling.
I’m excited, of course. But I’m also frightened. I don’t want to do this without my partner; I don’t want to expose myself and vulnerable baby to a deadly disease in hospital, but neither do I want a home birth. This is not the experience I’d planned, and I’m crushed.
I Have a New Baby
It wasn’t ideal, but ew got through the birth. And now we’re at home and, while the pressure of so many people at such a pivotal new phase is lifted as I’m bonding with my new baby and establishing breastfeeding, it’s also very tough.
I can’t have any help. I can’t have my mum or my best friend. My older child can’t have a break from the madness. And yet we have to see strangers, I have to let them touch my tiny baby, even though she can’t meet her grandparents.
Having a new baby during lockdown brings its own set of challenges and my anxiety is off the chart.
I Was About to Start IVF
It was postponed. That’s been lifted now, but we’re left with a terrible ethical decision to make.
Is this how life will be going forward? Is this the world we’d be bringing a child into; and if it is, is that the right thing for us to do? We’re desperate for a baby and we’ve invested so much time, money, energy and emotion into the process already. And yet we’re now stuck in a hideous limbo, torn between our head and our hearts.
I’m a Reception Teacher
I’m a very maternal teacher, always have been. If one of my little charges needs me, I want to offer them the same comfort I always have done. And now more than ever they’re going to be confused and looking for support. Of course they are.
But I’m so conflicted – I have babies of my own at home. How would I live with myself if I took this vile disease home? And what if I succumb myself?
But of course I realise that life cannot go on this way forever. I don’t know the right thing to do.
I’m on the Frontline in ITU
I trained to do this job because I want to help people. And of course I’m doing what I can, what I have to. But the last few weeks have been so far removed from what I signed up for.
A hugely important part of my job is comforting those who I know are not going to make it. And I’ve seen far, far too many of those recently – people who have no business being this poorly or leaving their families yet. I’ve cared for them and comforted them the best I can – but I’ve had to do it through layers of PPE and with half my face covered.
I’ve seen the fear and sorrow in their faces, and all I’ve wanted to do for them is bring in their loved ones, or at the very least hold their hand. Instead I’ve been an anonymous pair of eyes and the knowledge that I’ve failed in offering the comfort these people deserve will stay with me forever.
I thought I could cope with my job, but I’m human, and I’m traumatised by the suffering I’ve witnessed. I will never be the same.
I’ve Had an Important Appointment Cancelled
I developed a lump. I was told it needed to be checked out, and then they cancelled my appointment. It might be nothing, but every time I look in my children’s faces I’m terrified of what the future will bring.
I’m In a Position of Power
I’ve worked hard to get here and I believe in what I’m doing. But inevitable opinion is split, and I’m horrified at the idea of having supported the wrong approach. What if we could have done better? What if our decisions have cost lives? Because the public may think we’re all heartless pigs lacking compassion, but we’re human and we’re losing sleep knowing that this is on us.
This catastrophic, unprecedented mess is one none of us could have envisaged. And it’s us who will live with the guilt of maybe having got it wrong. Please don’t think we’re unmoved by the pandemic – we’re not.
We’re Separated, But Stuck Together
We didn’t make it, we broke up. But there’s no hope of moving on at the moment. We’re trying to give each other space but it’s very difficult and living this way is making us both ill.
I Miss My Partner
Lockdown meant isolating from the person I love most in the world. And then when restrictions were lifted it meant we could finally be close-ish, but we’re still not allowed to embrace or hold hands.
I miss him so much it’s like a physical pain, and not knowing when we can be together again is torture.
My Business is Going to Fail
We fell through the cracks. I’ve put my heart and soul into this for the last few years and just as things were beginning to look positive, it’s all collapsing around me. I don’t know how I’ll feed my family, and the monumental waste is devastating.
It’s true nobody has died, but my business was everything to me, in so, so many ways. I’ve lost my passion project, my livelihood, and our savings. Our home might be next.
It got us. It got our beautiful family member who was so adored and still so full of life. And the knowledge of how they left us, the fear at the end and not being there to say goodbye – I can’t cope with it.
The only thing that would help is grieving with loved ones, and even that’s not permitted. I’m in despair.
We Had to Cancel Our Wedding
It’s not life and death, no. We’ll rebook. But am I allowed to be shattered all the same? I feel guilty for it because I know in the grand scheme it’s a frivolous sadness, but we booked a special date that meant something to us and we’d planned our wedding for so long. Not to mention the fact this puts starting a family on hold.
I’m trying to pretend otherwise, but I’m secretly devastated.
My Life Has Lost Meaning
In life, purpose is a fundamental requirement for humans to feel fulfilled and, essentially, happy. I’ve worked for literally years towards a goal: the 2020 Olympics. They’ve now been postponed by one year and may yet, potentially, be cancelled.
I’m trying to retain focus for the time being but rescheduling has already interrupted my efforts, and if the Olympics are cancelled then years of my life will have been for nothing. I won’t be able to try again at the next Olympics, not if I want to have a family life.
I’m A Single Parent
I’m so exhausted. The relentless tedium of bored kids and bickering is taking its toll – it took its toll two days in and things have not improved since then! I so desperately need a break. Just a few hours without demands and shrieking, and being pulled at and wiping bums, and desperately trying to book shopping delivery slots so I don’t have to take the kids in to the shop where I’ll be judged, and trying to keep the house clean and cooking dinners and basically feeling like an unappreciated slave.
I adore my children. But I. Need. a. Break.
I’m Missing Out on Lifesaving Treatment
I’m dying. If COVID doesn’t get me then my cancer will. I need an operation which is currently on hold. Maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones and come through this, but I know from bitter experience of losing friends that given my prognosis, if this surgery doesn’t happen very soon, I won’t live to tell the tale.
I’m going to miss out on seeing my grandchildren grow up, and I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t.
I’m a WAHM Parent, With No Help
Me? Well, when I consider all of the other situations people are in – which I do frequently – I feel fortunate in many ways. But that doesn’t negate the legitimate stress I feel on a daily basis.
My girls are fed up, and so am I. I miss my friends and family, I miss my life. We’ve missed the holiday we were so looking forward to; my daughter is missing her first vital year of school; my youngest may not begin preschool as planned. And yes, superficial and selfish though it may sound, my other baby, my business, is suffering too.
When life has felt tough during the last few years, I’ve told myself to make the most of it because it will soon pass, and when that day comes it will feel too soon. And that knowledge, the undeniable, definitive fact of that, is what has enabled me to make the most of it:
Because before long they’d both be in school and then I’d miss this time.
Except that’s not going to happen now, and that makes lockdown all the more difficult – I don’t know how long I have to keep going. And instead of incrementally getting more help and freedom, I now have way, way less. With no end in sight.
I know there are people in worse situations than mine. But we are all allowed to mourn the lives we had, and the lives we were going to have.
This is not a competition. The fact of one person’s difficulties does not detract from somebody else’s. We’re all battling this damn storm. And somehow, some way, we will all continue to fight it. For better or worse, most of us will emerge on the other side. Some won’t.
For those of us fortunate enough to continue to live our lives after all of this – or, even, alongside all of this – let’s ensure it’s for the better.
I wrote this post in response to the exhausting judgement I’ve seen around me lately. I used to be judgemental, and it took a few episodes of making shameful and incorrect assumptions to realise that things are always more complex than we imagine. People are, as a rule, private, and we only ever know what they choose to tell us about themselves.
But we can, with a little empathy or imagination, put ourselves in others’ shoes. We just have to remember to try.