I’m currently on furlough, which is bizarre in the way that I’m getting (a little) money, and yet I’m not allowed to work (for my existing employer, anyway).
It also adds to the anxiety that already exists if you’re socially distancing in lockdown. The highs and lows can come thick and fast, fuelled by uncertainty of when we will come out of it, whether we will have a job at the end of it and if you’re getting used to isolation like me… the fear of being around people again.
I’m actually lucky. Because I have a family around me, and a decent amount of space amidst countryside where I can go for long runs.
Others aren’t so lucky. It’s a no brainer that the medical professionals that have been dealing first hand with the virus and its effects have had to face daily trauma. I listened to a doctor talk on LBC telling us that his colleagues ‘will be changed after this’. PTSD will be widespread amongst the medical front line.
Then there are those that live alone, who have had to face the echo chamber of their own minds, with little day to day conversation. And it’s this echo chamber that I think sometimes fosters anxious thoughts.
The number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 are showing signs of slowing. But the mental health fallout will last longer.
So, last night I took a first step in a long term plan of mine. I joined an open day for a psychodynamic counselling course. I hope to (part time, maybe) do my bit in the future to help others face the shitty business of anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.
It was either that or start a micro brewery, but beer makes me flabby so….