There is no denying these are scary times and with so much doom and gloom we face pretty much no one is immune to the sense of fear that has enveloped and wrapped our society as we once knew it! I cannot deny it myself for the past few days I have questioned my mental health, I haven’t felt the anxiety-like this for a long time. Surrounded by my colleagues and friends in permanent reactive mode fighting the unknown, the future has felt very uncertain at times.
Most of the things people are currently questioning I have questioned before in my recovery journey. So here’s me, giving me head a wobble and having a word wi mesen,
Habit – We are creatures of habit, many of us don’t like change and feel that we are being asked or forced to change and some habits re harder to change than others.
Isolation – We thrive on human connection but we are being asked to isolate, there are many reasons that people are fearful of isolation, isolation implies we have to stop doing something but in my early recovery this was essential in order for me to flourish.
Isolation has implications for many in a very practical sense too…
- Lack of contact with loved ones – in some cases this is life or death
- being forced to spend time with people we fear
- Families are having to reevaluate how they spend more time with their kids
- The restricted activity can leave people feeling like they no purpose
- The fragile economy – impounded by images of businesses closing
- Empty shop shelves
But what is as dangerous as the virus, is that many of us as a society regardless of your ages, health status, wealth, or lack of it is that many of us are being forced to have a re-think. There are many similarities when we think about addiction. The difference is we are being forced into a period of self-reflection, and trust me, there are a lot of people out there who are afraid to think for themselves or who have lost the ability too because it has been so much easier to allow others to do their thinking for them.
People are having to re-evaluate, consider change, adapt, think of better coping strategies, second guess the difference between right or wrong, questioning themselves, questioning others? they’re motives or lack of – There are many similarities when we think about recovery!
This is also the perfect breeding ground for people to deflect and blame others to protect and shield them from what’s going on for them. I do worry for the vulnerable, people on the streets whose only source of human contact is from strangers and fellow mates on the streets. Or for those natural-born carers forced to switch the attention on themselves before others, this can feel alien for many who thrive on helping others or feel they have lost what once distracted them from themselves. – There are many similarities when we think about codependency!
But there ARE opportunities and some positives that we can reflect on during the time of uncertainly
We can treat isolation as an opportunity to reflect on ourselves, evaluate our priorities (i mean having the latest iPhone or flash care won’t protect you from the fucking virus) Its an opportunity to reflect on the things that many of us took for granted, simple things like buying bog roll from the shop for crying out loud!
Neighbours don’t have to be strangers there is an opportunity to learn more about your local community and who lives in it. Speaking to people we might normally ignore because of our previous preconceptions = Reducing stigma
Even in isolation, we can still communicate, in fact we have more time to make that call that we have been meaning to make for ages, to check on friends and family – We can still reach out.
There are opportunities to work smarter (I believe that this IS a positive, with cancelled meetings, priorities have changed, it has helped some colleagues refocus on the needs of the clients before policies and procedures).
Amongst all the negative press on TV and social media, in particular, there has been a surge in compassion and willingness to help out strangers, a real sense of camaraderie and willingness to work together like never before. There is an opportunity to form some new habits, healthier ones. – We can search out the positive news stories – be inspired.
We have to start learning to accept that regardless of status or power, no fucker ever gets it right, there will be many unforeseen casualties from the current crisis, but it is also an opportunity to make a difference.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even when life gets shit and feels dire we can always take some positives out of any situation. This is our opportunity as a society to think differently, act and behave more compassionately with each other.
At some point life will settle back to some sort of normality, there will be scars and casualties that we will all be able to reflect and dwell on, but what will we have learned?
Shit Happens that’s a fact of life, our societies have experienced far worse and survived the key is how we respond to the challenges is what’s going to make a difference, learning to channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.
Spreading fear and scaremongering doesn’t help anyone we have to try our best to focus on the positives, so on that note what positives can you take from this difficult time?
Keep Calm, Look after yourselves, look out for others
Much Love Fordy xxx
PS I have provided some helpful links below from the World Health Organisation
Try not to be afraid of who you truly are and remember, if you would like to subscribe to more posts, please go to https://www.shithappens.me.uk/contact/ and sign up, If you liked the post please share, if you don’t then do nothing and that’s ok too – Keep Safe