Thursday, 14 May 2020
Started the day with a glorious walk right round the common - the views from up there are fantastic and it most definitely debunks the myth that Harlow is a concrete jungle!
I’ve taken some time today to think through some of the causes for the anxiety I’ve been struggling with. Not in a “oh poor me” obsessing kind of way, but tying to work out if there was anything I could have seen coming to have deflected it. I suspect not though - it seems to be lots of small-ish things that have all sort of ganged up on me. The first thing to say here is that if you haven’t experienced anxiety for yourself, then please don’t assume it’s the same as “being anxious about something” in the way you might feel worried about a trip to the dentist, or whether you will get to the airport in time. Imagine those feelings, then multiply them by - lord knows how much actually - it’s paralysing, making you feel constantly sick, or unable to breathe properly, or have sudden fits of blinding panic. Slightly different for everyone I’d say but I have experienced all three of those symptoms at various times as well as assorted other effects.
So - causes. The lockdown itself, trying to make sure I stick within the rules and restrictions around going out has been stressful a lot of the time. The increasing tendency for people to sneer st those on furlough on the likes of Twitter - I mentioned this the other day but hadn’t realised what an impact it was having. Can’t speak for everyone, but I’m feeling guilty enough about it to start with - as soon as I knew it was happening I tried right away for supermarket work, and also tried to join the volunteering scheme, but the supermarkets aren’t hiring now and the volunteer scheme is full. So the last thing I and many others need quite honestly is idiots claiming that we are all treating it like a holiday and don’t want it to end...yeah, right! Another social media related thing is the hysteria around the possibility of putting on some weight during lockdown. Lucy Mountain on Instagram puts this one down quite nicely - gain half a stone, or survive a fucking pandemic - I know which I’d choose - not a direct quote but that’s the gist of it. In spite of agreeing with her entirely though the lack of my “usual” forms of exercise and activity has been making me more anxious than I’d like, and feeling such a high focus on weight and eating in my timeline on social media hasn’t helped as it’s constantly making me feel as though I should be concerned about gaining weight, even though I’m not. Seriously people, there are more vital things to worry about right now - just concentrate on not catching a horrible virus and dying, eh? The other significant thing of course is the cancellation of the holiday. As I type we should have been rattling up the A1 towards our overnight stop, ready to head to a Scotland first thing tomorrow ready for. 5pm ferry to the Islands. In fact the Travelodge is closed, the car is in the garage, we’re not allowed into Scotland and the ferry isn’t sailing. This is the one thing that I probably should have foreseen having a bad effect, but with so many other things having been cancelled with no more than a minor annoyed “meh” feeling, I thought I’d be fine, moral of this one is “don’t assume, and when alarm bells are ringing, take notice.
I’m definitely getting there now. A long-ish walk this morning, mostly avoiding social media, a few hours sorting out the garden a bit more this afternoon (the difference already - eek!) have all helped already, and hopefully - if MrEH ever gets around to getting his ass into gear over agreeing dates - rebooking the holiday for later in the year will help even more. There is also a glimmer of hope on there being some air shows late on in the season although I wait to be convinced on that one.
Getting there. I’ll take that.