Before Lockdown I didn’t do much, I lived on my own and just slept and ate really. Dad would come at 5pm with shopping and mum would visit at 9 before work
It was my birthday on the 22nd March but because I’d met up with a friend not long before that, I didn’t want to go to my Mum & Dad’s on my birthday because I was worried about them, so I spent it on my own and just cried. When lockdown happened, everything changed. Mentally, I got worse, thinking, worrying about Mum & Dad more. My social worker support was supposed to finish on 26th but she said I was high risk, so she helped me move all my stuff to my Mum & Dads. When I moved in there I got into a routine. I had 6 psychology sessions on the phone. I preferred doing it that way as I often couldn’t get to appointments before that, they put me down as not engaging because I missed appointments, but I just couldn’t go to them because of my anxiety. It felt really good that I could attend them and actually finish something. I wasn’t offered phone appointments as an option before lockdown, but I think all doctors and psychologists and so on should offer that service now.
It was alright at home with Mum & Dad. I thought I was eating way more but my weight stayed stable. I was lucky to have Mum and Dad to go to at the start because I wouldn’t have coped well mentally. My head was everywhere, I didn’t understand what was going on, but it seemed like it was one of my worst fears come true. I’d been worried for ages about something like this happening, and no one believed me, they thought I was crazy when I spoke about it. My biggest fear is losing my Mum & Dad, I just wanted to keep them safe in a little bubble with me.
It was hard because I had started seeing someone just before lockdown, but as we could only talk on the phone and not see each other, it fizzled out. I got fed up, but I was worried about my Mum and Dad if I left. So we made a pact that if I went back home to live in my place then I could still see them. It was nice to be back at my home, I could breathe, have my own space again. I started going outside for cigs and started talking to my neighbour, then talking to them more and more, building up a friendship, we didn’t really see each other much before all this. I did start doing my own washing and things too so felt more independent than before. I got more into doing my mosaics during lockdown, and lately I’ve been more into doing nails. I would like to start doing people’s nail – I’m a qualified nail technician.
As we come out of lockdown, I’d like to feel more comfortable around people, I feel even more distant now after this. I usually try to hide, so even though I am medically exempt from wearing a mask, I feel strange if I’m not wearing one; like people will look at me more and differently. Masks also make it difficult for me to tell what other people are thinking, and when I see people that I know in town my first instinct is to smile at them instead of talking, but now they can’t see me doing that it’s as if I’ve ignored them so I feel I’ve been rude.
The changing rules and the way different people behave is difficult too. For example; someone came into my house and I couldn’t stand up to them and ask them not to, because I haven’t got the confidence to stand up for myself. I want to get more of a backbone. Someone hugged me the other day and I didn’t know what to do. I hate confrontation so I didn’t say anything, but it made me really uncomfortable. My head really struggled with it afterwards and I just kind of shriveled up. Everyone seems to think it’s all ok now, I just don’t want to have to go out and deal with it. Especially when I’ve not been feeling well, I just want to stay in and not see anybody. But then again, a neighbour was talking to me through the window the other day, and she asked to come in and use my loo I said “no sorry I don’t want people in my house” and she was actually fine with that, so that felt good. It’s hard to set boundaries as I do get scared of any confrontation. That just creates focus on me which I don’t like. But keeping my family safe is so important to me, and I know how to do that so I just tell people my dad needs to be shielded as the reason that I need to set those boundaries.
I just don’t want to see a lockdown or a pandemic happen again! But if it does, I think there should be more explanation of what is happening, it was too basic what they said. There was too much focus on the deaths and that scares people.
Everything was positive from what I’ve heard about what happened in the community in terms of support. What was going on was really good, although I did notice that the older generation were wary of giving money to volunteers as they are strangers. It’s difficult to have the trust if you don’t know the person offering to get your shopping.