It's almost a year since we first went into lockdown and little did we know how it was going to affect our lives. I don't know about you but I thought after the first lockdown announcement that we will be locked in for two-three weeks and then get back to normal. Even that seemed unfair.
And here we are, almost a year later...in and out of lockdown with shattered careers, relationships, finances...
To say that last 10 months have been hard is an understatement. For many people losing a job is a major set back, add relationships problems, running out of savings, endless job search....It is a perfect recipe for serious mental health problems.
You might be coping well because we're still in the middle of the pandemic and the adrenaline is high however, not sitting down and sorting out all the setbacks now can backfire. Big time. All you need is another major setback or a past trauma trigger.
Sitting at many suicide prevention meetings and hearing what the main causes for someone deciding that their life is not worth living I can honestly tell you that ignoring your problems is not going to help. Even if you can't fix the problem yourself because someone else is in control - like your ex partner or a current partner you're arguing with, a company who decides who gets the job, local government who decides who who gets financial help....you need to find a way to at least sort things out in your onw head. Losing just one of those thing can hit anyone hard. That's why it's important to either seek professional help or find what is in control.
How do I know? I've been there myself. I hit the rock bottom and it felt like someone suddenly turned the light off in my life. There were two states I went through - feeling nothing or feeling rage. I didn't know how to get out of it. When I did I wanted to find out what has happened and how can I avoid getting back into the same black hole. So I read books and articles - especially from people who have been through it. Someone who hasn't will only know the theory and I found lots of people giving advice that wasn't right. What really surprised me during my journey to recovery was how I got to that dark place. Through unresolved problems and constantly pushing through instead of sorting one problem at a time. Long hours at work, having a child away from my family, unsupportive partner (now ex!!) losing myself after becoming a mother and not having the right support around me. Lack of money....the list goes on. Looking back, no wonder I ended up were I did and I'm lucky to be here today. I blocked most things from this period of time and pushed them far far away but unfortunately that didn't help when our freedom was taken away, bit by bit in the first lockdown. Luckily I had the right support - a friend who knew exactly what was going on even when I didn't say much. I spoke up to people I trust about how I was feeling. I accepted help despite finding it extremely hard. I took weekends off to re-charge and rest (not that there was a lot else I could do) I stepped back from my charity work, I didn't touch my business for months - but it was worth it.
If you find life overwhelming or you've experienced lots of setbacks in the last 10 months don't ignore it. Brushing problems under the carpet or ignoring your feelings, frustrations and anger won't go away until you face up the reality and remove them from your mind. Taking one step at a time, talking about your biggest worries and then move down the list.
What many people don't realise is that any unresolved issue will stay where it is, buried under other unresolved issues. Until your glass gets too full and it'll overflow (or too empty and you'll have nothing to pour from).
If you lost your job, make this time to be about you. Accept and/or seek help with al the aspect of your life if you can't do it yourself. Just talking to someone can help you to feel better and make sense of what is going on. By talking to someone you trust, you can explore options you have to help you move forward.
Don't bury your head in the sand. Now it's not the time. Because one day it might just be too much to handle. If you don't have anyone around you you can trust, talk to Samaritans (116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) or find an organisation that will suit your needs. Turn to a counsellor to can help you to talks things through. Or a life coach who can help you to explore options. There are many individuals, charities and organisations to help you get through this unbelievable, surreal life we're in at the moment.
Everything you do in life has a direct consequence on your future. Imagine your actions are like Domino pieces you're putting next to each other. You need them all lined up in a way that when you're ready to push the last one - the whole thing flows nicely. But first you need to build one piece at the time.
And if you don't feel like you can handle life anymore, contact your GP or Mental Health Unit in your area to help you find the right support you need.