So last week was my birthday. It was my 31st and I spent it in lockdown. I wasn’t planning on doing much anyway but after having to cancel my wedding and my honeymoon, it’s just another event to add my list of things that have been altered or even destroyed by the steady rise of COVID-19.
Weirdly, I feel unusually equipped to deal with all of this. From a very young age, I learned out to adjust to new surroundings quickly in the form of inpatient hospitals and treatment centres. In particular, being sent to rehab for 5 months has almost certainly played a part in my ability to find peace in new restrictions and close quarters.
In many ways, lockdown is simply a better version of rehab. At least in lockdown I can still have the odd beer and talk to my friends and family. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do and when to do it and I’m able to wear whatever I please. There are no random room searches, I can choose what I eat and I no longer have to share my room with a stranger.
I can drink coffee (yes coffee!) which we were forbidden from having in rehab as it was considered a drug (caffeine).
But even considering all the freedoms I have in my own home, I have always found myself to adapt quite easily. Now.. I’m not sure how wonderful this trait is but at present, it is coming in handy.
Furthermore, spending 5 months in rehab taught me how to spend time on my own and how to fill that time and entertain myself.
If this lockdown had happened ten years ago, I very possibly could have turned my isolation into something torturous. Back then, the thought of having to sit with only my thoughts was hell. I had spent my teenage years and early twenties becoming a master at avoidance.
Whether it was speeding away with friends or filling my head with drugs, I always made time for the present with no room to discuss, think or even ponder my past or future.
The past was yesterday and the future was pointless in my eyes. Or at least that’s what I liked to tell myself.
It really wasn’t until I woke up in a rehabilitation centre in Utah that my thoughts, guilt and shame caught up on me. It was unbearable. I wonder now if others are just experiencing this type of thing for the first time because of the lockdown.
Whereas I had the chance to deal with my many demons long ago… many of us probably haven’t.
That’s not to say that I still don’t have my fair share of shit; intrusive thoughts and worries… but I do still feel remarkably prepared for a long lockdown.
This was a post by Lizzy Hodcroft, co-founder of Myndr.