When the world ground to a halt mid-March 2020, I had mixed feelings. Sure, the world was going into an (to use the word in every single email sent since March) “unprecedented” time and no one knew what was going to happen - but the chance to just… stop. Process. Ground myself. It wasn’t something I’d had much of a chance to do before. Doing nothing is something I actively avoid, and had more and more since September, when my father passed away. Watching your dad die in your early twenties is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy.
In the months since September, I became slightly manic. I travelled all over the country, went out every evening, attempted and failed to move to Manchester, got my dream job and almost threw it away because I. Just. Couldn’t. Sit. Still. Sitting still forced me to look at what had just happened. To process the trauma I’d been going through for the last four years since my dad’s diagnosis. To acknowledge that I really wasn’t doing okay, and that I had far surpassed burnout. So when lock down set in, I was relieved… and terrified.
Forcing myself to sit with the feelings I’ve been repressing since September has been a challenging experience. I have spent countless hours wandering the woods near my house listening to music, or watching the sunset with my journal open, trying to put pen to paper in a way that felt meaningful. I have struggled with, and have begun to overcome, a creative block. I have gone back on antidepressant medication. I have spoken to my family, my friends, my therapist - and I feel like I am slowly beginning to heal. It’s a long process, but it feels amazing to take the first steps.