IT'S NOT JUST YOU.

How much are we denying ourselves, during this time of restriction?


Many people I know, seem to have crash-landed into a pretty heavy few days recently. Maybe it was the stormy weather stirring us all up, or maybe it's because we're all expecting each other to carry on like brave little troopers. Blitz spirit, and all that. Hmm.


Could it be that the gung-ho attitude is finally catching up with us?


Are you struggling to work from home - but feeling too guilty to admit it, because others don't have work? It's not just you, my darling.


Are you feeling weirdly relieved to finally have the time to sit down and REST, even with the lack of income hanging over you? It's not just you, my darling.


Is there a part of you that is dreading going back to "normal" life? Even if you can't quite pinpoint why? It's not just you, darling.


Does every fibre in your being baulk at the idea of having to look at ONE MORE pixellated, blurry face of a loved one and have to pretend you're ok with it? It's not just you, my darling.


Would you sack of your creative work to magically have a steady job right about now? It's not just you, my darling.


Are you unable to stomach even the THOUGHT of jumping into the panic-pit of mad scrabbling for scraps of work on social media? It's not just you, my darling.


Are you feeling sickeningly guilty because these all seem like such first world problems? It's definitely not just you, my darling.


These feelings do not dictate a thousand terrible things about you. They might not even be entirely TRUE, not that that matters much when you're wrangling them. Being grateful has it's place, but it doesn't fix trauma. Have that cry! Scribble on a bit of paper! Do a job that needs doing and then scream into a pillow and then have a cuppa and then do another thing, or sack that one off for today, and have another cry. Welcome to Processing.


Psssst... The people who spring to mind when you think "THEY'VE GOT IT ALL TOGETHER, WAHH!" - they are probably feeling the MOST as if they haven't, they just can't tell you how they feel. Did you know, we punish our 'strong' friends with feeling-policing when they can't be strong enough to use as a stick to beat ourselves with? (Your friends who had mental health issues pre 2011-ish will have been trying to tell you this for yonks.)


These feelings - guess what? WILL NOT hang around forever! We will all fluctuate a thousand times over before, and after, all of this is done. Strength of will, whatever that means, is not the thing that gets us through tough times. Self compassion is. I have found it 200% harder to be compassionate with myself since lockdown began, mostly because I've been wrapped up in feeling guilty for feel whatever I'm feeling instead of just letting myself just have that minor meltdown because I can't get my radio microphone to sit on my panic-makeshift-studio-from-home in a way that means I can spend 6 hours a day, six days a week (until my company downsizes and all the work disappears lol) with half-way decent posture...*deep inhale*... *exhale*.


It's not. Just. You. My darling.


Twitter @PaulaPerla

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