Thursday, 9 April 2020

Lockdown - I've hit a wall today.

I’m exhausted. So exhausted I’m not even sure I can put all my thoughts into words. But my head feels so full that it seems imperative at least to try.

I’m angry. Angry that they don’t have enough fucking ventilators. Or PPE. Angry that I can’t get any masks online unless we want to pay 10 x the usual cost. Angry that Doctors will, at some point, have to choose who lives and dies, when actually, we could probably have sorted it out so that didn’t need to be the case. Angry MP's have been offered the option to claim an extra £10K in expenses for working from home, when everyone else is absolutely fucked. Angry that I am even angry and terrified about all that on top of everything else.

I’m frustrated. Frustrated that we had massive plans this year - to get some new skills, to move out of London, to maybe start a new life of sorts. And now all that is on hold, and I have no idea for how long. Or if we can financially sustain this current life. Which we almost certainly can’t.

I’m frustrated that my Mother keeps calling me up with new ideas of how we can get some food shopping, despite me explaining to her that I’ve already tried everywhere. “I’ve found this company called Riverford darling, they do vegetable boxes. I’ve been calling them this morning but no one’s picking up”. “Why do you think that is Mother?”. “I have no idea darling”. Because they’re not taking any fucking new customers. Like everywhere else. Like I already told you. Sweet mother of god. Every day there’s a new idea. Much like when she explained she was going to pop to her local Waitrose and explain she’s not on a computer and could she write them a list and they deliver it each week..... 

I’m scared. Scared we might not see them again in person. Because we all know that if push comes to shove, the over 70’s won’t be saved. I’m scared when I go to the shops. Not immediately. I’m usually pretty calm on the way there. But once you’ve queued up, shopped, paid, got on the bus back, the panic levels are rising. And you wonder whether you should just put the ridiculously priced fruit and veg deliveries that have cropped up around London, on your credit card, and order Pampers online even though they’re 3 times the cost of Lidl nappies and not as good, rather than actually going into shops. Because it feels like you’re dicing with death. Especially when some people literally have the whole breadth of the pavement but walk right past next to you.

And then I get worried. Is my mental health ok? Is this level of panic normal? Am I slowly but surely losing my mind. Because this shit is hard as fuck. It’s hard enough trying to regulate your own self. Your own emotions and anxieties. Then you have your partner and you’re sometimes regulating them and they’re sometimes regulating you. And then there’s the kids. And we try to parent gently. We try to regulate our emotions so as not to shout (we don’t always succeed). But now... now, regulating my emotions to keep the kids steady, is so much harder. Because I’m managing all the usual day to day stuff, plus all the big stuff.

And they’re feeling it too. Of course they are. Hector keeps asking lots of questions about death. He's had a couple of accidents. Some nightmares. Arno has just started running to the bathroom, climbing on the step and turning the tap on and then laughing manically, arms raised in triumphant celebration shouting “Did it! Did it” over and over. But I can also see he’s missing one on one time with me, because he used to get loads of it whilst Hector was at school, and now he gets very little.

I’m torn. Torn about our future. I’ve spent the last year or so being miserable at the lack of job. Miserable I don’t get to do what I want to. What I feel I’m meant to. So I signed up for a TEFL course, and to get accredited to teach yoga to kids, and to do a placement at a Kindergarten to see if I like it. So that I had some qualifications. Some stuff I could maybe do whilst still holding on to the performing dream. Or to just do and set aside that dream. And the last couple of weeks have left me flipping from side to side - life’s too short, don’t give up on the dream - life’s too short to keep trying to do something and not succeeding often enough that it makes me unhappy. Torn about whether we do jack it all in and move to Italy (yes I know, we picked the epicentre 🤣), or keep a hand in and go to Brighton. All I do know, is the only times I’ve felt truly calm, or sane, in the past few weeks, are when I’ve been singing or doing yoga.

I’m horrified at how hard it is being together all the time. It is exhausting! The kids wake at 6am ish and go to sleep by 9pm. There is no break. No break at all. We weren’t made for this surely. My friend said we weren’t made to live with the opposite sex. Well, not all the time, anyhow. She’s probably right. There’s only so many times he can put the duvet the wrong way round in the duvet cover. Or time the shaving of his beard for just after I’ve cleaned the bathroom. Or not wash up the outside of things. Or the bottom of things. Or not put his glasses in a sodding case so he doesn’t have to wear a pair missing an arm. Because he can’t find his spare pair either. Or wear 5 jumpers at a time (I shit you not), even though it’s approaching summer temperatures.

I’m frequently taken aback. By the blossom tree outside our window. By the birds. By the smell jasmine on our daily walk. By the blue skies. By the extra cuddles or the little hand taking mine to climb a wall. Because life is at once mental and without break, and yet infinitely slower. Sometimes monotonous. Breakingly so. There’s an arduousness to this routine that can be soul destroying. But there’s also freedom. Moments. Chunks of time. And way too much social media. And CBeebies. Thank Christ for them.

I haven’t done any tiktok. Or written a play. Or recorded myself singing a song. Or practised my self-taping. Or learnt a language. Because I am just about surviving. Just about keeping 2 kids and a husband fed and watered and entertained. Barely squeezing in 5 minutes of meditation or stretches or remembering to take my vitamins. Surviving. And I am grateful for that. Because some aren’t. 3 friends have lost their Fathers this week to it. My Dad’s friend of 40+yrs passed away yesterday. We’re all going to be touched by it, at the very least. So I’m focusing on survival. And nabbing delivery slots. And sourcing a crate of wine. And chalk for the kids.

Stay safe one and all x

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