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My year in a pandemic

The month was March, the year was 2020. I had only heard the word ‘unprecedented’ a handful of times in my life. I was blonde. I lived in a small one bedroom flat. I was just done drying my tears over a fuck boy, who I would bump into every day on my walk to and from work and I thought to myself “I wish I would never have to walk past him on my way to work again”. The week after, the UK went into it’s first (of many) lockdowns and there was a mandatory work from home order, therefore meaning I no longer had my dreaded commute past my ex Tinder companion. I thought to myself, “will I use my new found super powers for good or evil?”

It honestly feels like five years since March 2020 and this all began because I feel like I’ve grown so much and my world around me has changed so much. I felt really lonely up until March before having to spend the majority of lockdown alone. I had moved to Bristol to be closer to family in 2018. After living in Chester for 10 years. Chester was where all my friends lived and I missed my friends dearly but our meet ups to concerts and other events every so often soften the blow.

I had also been anxiously waiting for a Septoplasty operation that had already been cancelled three times. I had chronic sinusitis and constant pain in my face as well as not being able to breathe through my nose properly. The day before my operation, I had my overnight bag packed, my out of office on. I had mentally prepared myself and then all non-urgent operations were cancelled. It was a huge blow to my mental health.

Everything felt really scary. I know some people absolutely had/still have it worse off than I do but this is how I felt at the time. I had also been seeing a therapist which surfaced a lot of trauma and midway through our sessions, they had to be put temporarily put on hold. I remember feeling so anxious and vulnerable. Unable to sleep and I was worried everyday I would be furloughed or worse, lose my job. Thankfully neither fear came to fruition.

Despite how I felt. I realised I’m more capable than I realise. I kept myself occupied with Animal Crossing, Zoom calls, journalling, playing music, listening to podcasts. Blogging and getting creative with Instagram became a great distraction. Despite my mental health being tested. I got out of bed every day and looking after myself was my highest priority.

When bubbles were allowed to form, that definitely changed things. I cannot tell you how much I cried hugging my nephews for the first time. This being the first physical human contact I had in months. Things also got well enough over the summer that I was finally able to have my Septoplasty operation which has changed things massively.

Like everyone I had highs and lows during the past year. It may sound strange but I feel like I’d been preparing for it all my life. My anxiety and depression had always made me worried the worst would happen, and then it did. And I survived it.

The last year taught me I’m strong but it’s ok to be vulnerable. It taught me a lot about relationships and the people I surround myself with. It also put a lot in perspective for me. Which lead to me moving back to Chester at the end of 2020.

As an introvert, I always thought I thrived alone and in some ways, I do. But I need to be around people too and I have to pursue whatever makes me happy. I can’t be around to rescue people. I’ve learnt to be more patient and I appreciate simpler things. My eyes have been opened up about the world and I’ve become passionate about a lot of important issues and let my voice be heard about them and stand up for those who are voiceless.

My family was affected by COVID-19 like many were and it’s impact has been truly devastating.

I know I’ll take all the things I learnt in the last year with me for the rest of my life.

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