We are all navigating a ‘new normal’. Like many, I don’t know how to process it — I can only write. Writing has always been cathartic for me, and so I am going to share a new series called Distancing. These blogs will be short notes, mostly taken from journal entries, and shared here. I hope you’re all taking care and following government guidelines.
The last time I blogged here, things in Scotland were ‘normal’. I’d started to get anxious reading the headlines, but life went on — commute, work, nights out…
Since then, my individual anxiety seems to have turned into nationwide panic.
Because of this I’d deliberately taken a step back from being online; I had nothing to say and, like a lot of people, was struggling with anxiety from the torrent of bad news. But then I received some bad news of my own.
I was told that my contract was unlikely to be renewed at the end of this month. So, come the start of April — and the predicated height of this crisis in the United Kingdom — I’ll be unemployed.
No, I am not sharing this as a woe-is-me thing. I am well aware that there are many, many people in this country who are far worse off than I am. I’m sharing this because, despite how hard it is, it actually gave me a kick up the arse. I want to share it here in case anyone is in the same position — contrary to what you see on social media, life in the time of global pandemic can be exceedingly shit and very ungrammable.
I needed that kick up the arse. Although I saw the bad news coming (a worldwide economic crash is a bit of a hint) I realised I had spent a week struggling with anxiety due to this whole unprecedented situation — and feeling that way just wasn’t sustainable long-term. And we’re in this long term, unfortunately.
So I decided that night that I was done with anxiety. I’m finished with being panicked, powerless, petrified. Getting that job news brought home to me that the only things we have the power to control (however difficult that can be) are our own reactions, and actions.
And another thing — I have my words. I am still journalling my way through this and I will share more here. I still have a voice. We all do. We must use it.
We must choose to be positive and stay safe, because that is all we can do.
Look after each other. Check in with people who you care about, even if you haven’t spoken to them in years.
Fight for your rights, and that of other people. Sign petitions to make action happen.
And things will be easier for everyone if we are compassionate towards each other, rather than tearing toilet paper from each others’ trolleys in the bare aisles of our local supermarkets.
In the meantime, take great care.