In recent weeks we have been virtually observing other parts of the world enter back into some sort of regular life. The scenes of people socialising with friends and being reunited at airports with family have left me in an emotional heap. I know these scenes should invoke hope, but they have made me feel a heavy sadness about all that we have missed in the last year. But that being said this is all making me start to think about what we are headed towards and what expectations I have of our new freedom when it comes.
I am nervous about fully leaving behind COVID restrictions. I don’t think that there are many people who will come out of this the same way they went into it. We are being sold the idea that brighter days are coming and that normality will resume in the near future, but how is that going to look? When restrictions are lifted and we can get our hair done again are we all just expected to re-emerge back to the pre-pandemic shiny versions of ourselves? Are we expected to fill our diaries with loads of plans and make up for lost time? I don’t want to sound negative but for me it’s not going to be that easy, there I said it!
Like a lot of the world right now, I feel like my mental health has taken a massive nose dive in the last year. Since we hit the one year milestone of COVID, I feel broken in many ways. A year of missing my family, a year of isolation from our friends, a year of worry, a year of cancelled plans and missed celebrations. The fact that we have been navigating our way through this for a full year of our lives is just devastating for our state of mind; it’s time we will not get back. I hope that when normality resumes we are not suddenly expected to be “fixed”. A lot of us have been in a self-induced state of “fake fine” for so long now I feel like it will be a bizarre journey back. What’s going to happen when we all stop faking it?
For some people life will never be the way it was before all of this. People have lost loved ones in the most horrendous way possible with the inability to say goodbye or grieve with family. People have lost jobs or had to close their businesses and are struggling financially. When I think about how dreadfully tough this has been on others it’s heart-breaking, these are people who are going to balk at idea of going back to “normal”.
We have been told throughout this that we are all in this together, that we need to work together to protect everyone in the face of this pandemic. I believe this sentiment needs to continue on our way out of it, we need to continue to protect our friends and loved ones on the way back and be as empathetic to everyone’s very different experience of this year. Slowly does it is my view now, I’m approaching this new freedom gently and with no huge expectations on myself or other people. So if you’re also nervous know you are definitely not alone.
You can find Lisa on Instagram where she documents her life as a Scottish mother living in Ireland.