I suspect that many of my posts may start this way, but if you’re remotely aware of the things I get up to and the person I am, you’ll know my mental health is pretty much a core talking point of my life right now. So much so in fact that I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m currently at breaking point with my sleep, and we’ve had to go emergency measures.
When your ‘normal mental health’ is a razor line from ’emergency’
Normally, this is pretty much something that could happen when things get stressful. We were actually fairly stunned that the 3 Kidney adventure (a story coming soon – true story, but still, not a brief one) wasn’t actually what broke me. What broke me was (a) realising I DO NOT understand people (hello mild autism) and that people breaking the UK guidelines on social distancing is acceptable (if punitively punished if you read the press, as if that makes it ok), and that it doesn’t seem to be understood that, honestly, maybe if more people took it seriously, we’d not be in the position we’re in now. I’m not interested in ‘this is a hoax’ (because that’s a horror novel in itself, not real life), I’m not interested in any of the tinfoil hat stuff.
What impacts my mental health though, beyond that (a) is (b) uncertainty.
The UK government, mental health and uncertainty
Uncertainty – every anxious mental health person’s best friend. Which, when you’re living with a highly communicable disease that hasn’t got trackable stats to let us judge how safe we are (the answer for me right now is…not…?)
I can’t comment on the state or standing of others with their personal feelings around their governments – I don’t live there, it’s not my place.
The photo above pretty much conveys one of five ways that my mental health and uncertainty exhibits. Except with me, I’m usually actually perched on my tumble-drier in my conservatory, and maybe normal book, but mostly Kindle. Why the tumble-drier?
My conservatory is freezing. Best place at 4am is on top of the tumble drier.
Why so uncertain?
Most of the uncertainty comes from the fact that we’ve got several levels of lockdown. And no, I don’t mean, 1,2,3,4, I mean we have a set of levels in the app, we have a set that the government uses to decide what the R-rate is. Then, there seems to be a rating for how much strain the hospital in the regions are under (in the UK, that’s always massaged…sorry, I deal with the NHS, I adore the people that work for them. I personally think my doctor’s are amazing, my nurses are angels, and those that work IN the NHS are saints, unless you’re really unlucky. The NHS as a system though… Jeremy Hunt did more for the state of my mental health than many of my exes and not in a good way. So….we have to deal with hearing ‘five days from overwhelm’ etc.
(As a sidebar, and something I hadn’t written when I wrote this on Thursday, and apparently not due to the Government, specifically, the mess Roche had made moving to their ‘automated warehouse’. I only thought it affected routine blood tests. It apparently could affect everything in the UK, especially if it goes on for any period of time. INCLUDING COVID TESTING.
Mental health gets complicated when Lockdown means different things to different people
Well, that and our government and it’s advisors don’t even follow the rules (Dominic Cummings deserves a horrific mention here), though local to us, I can honestly say I’ve watched people as late as yesterday, pulling their t-shirt up, instead of wearing a facemask, a measure that was introduced on 24th July. Despite the fact that I wear my invisible disabilities lanyard (which some are using to signify refusal to wear masks, as you’re not supposed to be asked *why* you have the lanyard), it’s been commented and I’ve been praised for wearing masks. Which, is…uncomfortable.
Wrapping up Mental health week, ongoing lockdown talk
I thought about this a lot and as I’m supposed to be starting a new podcast soon anyway , I thought I’d talk about some of this, and other considerations of mental health and lockdown in my podcast, which I hope to start next week. When I started writing this post, I thought I was going to share a few lockdown tips, feel better and move on, but it’s almost as if we’re actually dealing with a huge issue.
I just wish things would be less complicated, more consistent and people would follow the rules. I’m not saying anxiety for me would be less, but it’d be one less variable.