Riding The Waves of Lockdown Ocean


Here we are in our sixth lockdown in Melbourne, since early 2020. Sydney is in crisis, with the whole state now in lockdown.

A friend in Melbourne described to me yesterday …. “I have no words any more to say how I feel.”

So I thought I would try to find some for me, in the hope it might help others find some words for their experiences in lockdown, as well as help others who are not in lockdown, to understand a bit more about what it is like.

I have just had to cancel my fifth holiday since Jan 2020. No holiday for nearly twenty months and I haven’t seen my grandchildren in NZ for all of that time. I work in mental health as an essential worker and I am exhausted !

Last weekend I felt like a crazy woman, crying and carrying on, couldn’t get the words out when I rang a friend in desperation.

The last straw had been builders on the balcony of my apartment, early on a Saturday morning with shrieking drilling, wood-pecker jack hammers, heavy boots walking up and down the scaffolding, strange men right outside my bedroom and lounge.

No peace and quiet and complete intrusion into my personal space and all during a lockdown, when I can’t go anywhere!

The workmen were not anything to do with my choice … my whole apartment building is being re-clad currently.

I spend 4 days a week at a hospital propping up others’ mental health but on that day I felt like my own mental health was completely unravelling. I live my life like I don’t have post traumatic stress disorder but I do, and that day I had PTSD activation in a way I hadn’t had for a long time. Anxiety, panic attacks, the feeling that I am trapped, that life is not worth living and that everything is eternally dreadful.

Others who suffer with PTSD or significant anxiety will know what I am talking about.

Today a week later I am sitting calmly in a local park surrounded by the green trees writing this, no sign of a tear rolling down my cheeks or panic in my nervous system.

This is what it has been like for me. A roller coaster of emotions, changing from one minute to the next. Disappointment at cancelled plans, depression, fatigue, feeling trapped, grief, loss, missing family and friends I can’t get to see … are all waves of the lockdown ocean I am riding.

And I know of many others riding these kind of waves.

I generally live alone reasonably happily. But now with lockdown no six, living alone isn’t always feeling the greatest. I comfort myself by saying I could be living with my ex- partner and that would be worse !

I am a social kind of person, an extrovert and like many extroverts, revitalise with social contact.

Yep, I have a single buddy …. we are all vying with each other right now …. “will you be my single buddy?”

“ Oh no, sorry someone else just asked me 😂 ……”

Yes, I know many are worse off than me ! I absolutely understand that.

But just let me name my feelings if I need to ! Ok ? Don’t try and fix me up, or tell me to be positive.

Please, just listen to all your friends going through lockdown the best way you can, and empathise with them.

This is helpful and helps us to feel stronger, loved and connected with others.

‘Lockdown Fatigue’ is a real thing.

How is it going for you in these times dear lockdown friends ?

rosmlewis

Clinician, Lecturer, Group Facilitator, Educator and Supervisor in Education, Social Services and Mental Health.

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About me

Rosalind Lewis

Rosalind Lewis

Professionally I have 33 years experience as a Clinician, Lecturer, Group Facilitator, Educator and Supervisor in Education, Social Services and Mental Health. I currently live in Melbourne, Australia and work in Mental Health. I have a particular interest in supporting and empowering women and men to be all they can be, by assisting the discovery of tools that help them find strength to transform difficulties into opportunities, enriching their lives both personally and professionally. I am a New Zealand Registered Psychotherapist with PBANZ, member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists and have a Masters of Health Science (Psychotherapy) First Class Honours. My research thesis was about the long term consequences of intimate partner violence for women. I am influenced and informed by both my professional experiences and my own personal journey, which has involved many challenges and celebrations along the way.