‘Support Bubbles’ – The Self Isolation Diaries #3

Perhaps I was a bit naive, but when I first started documenting my lockdown life, I did not expect to still be writing these posts in July. Finally, my ability to procrastinate like a bitch has come into play as I still have isolation content to share!

In the UK, things have relaxed a fair bit over the past month or so. People can now travel around the country, shops & restaurants have opened back up and gyms and other places are set to re-open soon. However, the threat of the virus is still very real, with people still dying every day. We’re now in this weird limbo where some people are sticking to the guidelines super stringently, some are still only leaving the house for essentials and otherwise continuing to hide away, while others are starting to reintroduce parts of ‘normal’ society and everyday life back into their routines. And, of course, some are totally disregarding the rules, as they have been the entire time, but this is not the place for a rant…

For me, day to day life has changed in that, as of the middle of June, people who live alone were able to create a ‘support bubble’ with another household. Naturally, I picked my parents and have been able to spend a couple of weekends at home which has been so nice. It was so good to be back in my comfort zone and catch up with them and to be able to see and cuddle my dog (my first hug since February, if animals count?) Being able to go back and forth has been really good for me, as otherwise I’m still keeping myself to myself and not really venturing too far afield from my flat or their home. I did pop into the office last week to clear down my desk and have a bit of a sort out which was really nice, if a little strange to begin with, after being away since March. A couple of my colleagues were also in and it was so nice to catch up – it’s amazing how quickly you just slot back into your normal behaviours and routines (whilst maintaining distance, of course!) and it reminded me how lucky I am to work with such good people. I really can’t wait for us all to be back together properly.

In other news, after moving into my flat in February  and spending 4 months on a camping chair, I finally got my sofa delivered 3 weeks ago, only to find that it was damaged; scratched and stained. I’ve been embroiled in a back & forth with the company ever since, trying to get a refund and it’s been super draining for me (and for my Dad, who’s been sitting on the phone all day while I’ve been working! #SuperDad). If I’m honest, I do feel a bit sad that the first few months spent in my new flat haven’t been what I expected – most of the rooms are still empty and I’ve not been able to make much headway with my ‘new life’ in Folkestone. I had such grand plans for this Summer, spending quality time with my colleagues (in and out of the office), having friends and family to stay, and spending long hot days at the beach. And I feel a bit cheated that I’ve not been able to do that and really make the most of taking the plunge and moving here. However, despite the empty rooms, I’m really really proud of what I’ve achieved on a more emotional and personal level. Leaving your comfort zone is never easy, but to do it in the midst of a global pandemic and then not be able to return to it, is even harder. Over the past 4 months I have absolutely got to know and love myself and I feel like the process was definitely sped up by being in pretty much total isolation for that entire time. It would have been very easy for me to run back to my parents when the threat of lockdown was imminent and so many friends were in my ear at the time telling me that if they were me, that’s what they’d do. But I’m so glad I embraced the challenge and stuck it out here. As I mentioned in the last diary entry, I’ve created solid routines, found new hobbies and things to enjoy and just generally got used to being ‘at one’ with myself. I will never know how I would’ve found this process if it wasn’t for Coronavirus, but I’m sure that I wouldn’t have got used to being on my own as quickly, if I hadn’t been forced into it, so I’m really proud of myself.

The only time it feels especially lonely is when I’m unwell. If you’re a long time reader of this blog (lol…) you’ll know I suffer with chronic migraines that make me sick and sometimes pass out. I had a rough patch a couple of weeks ago where I spent a couple of nights on the bathroom floor and I wanted nothing more than to hear my Mum & Dad wake up to me clattering about, mutter ‘oh for gods sake, not again’ then appear at the door with icepacks and meds, ready to look after me. But when those moments happen I just try to remember that it will pass, and if I can get through that on my own, I can really do anything! Plus, it helps that I literally live next door to a friend who I know would come and rescue me if I banged on the wall loudly enough (I’m not even kidding, he can hear me sneezing…) & have loads of other friends and a great support network nearby. And after all, you grow through what you go through, right?

So all in all, another weird but OK few weeks have passed. I don’t quite feel ready to venture back out into society properly yet. Each to their own but I’m not that up for sitting in a pub or browsing the shops. It still feels too busy and stressful for me. But I do wonder at what point I will feel ready for that, if ever? It’s super hard to gauge at the moment how things will pan out, but for now I’m happy seeing the odd friend here and there and being able to go back to my support bubble whenever I want to for a change of scenery. It’s also worth noting that I feel incredibly incredibly grateful and lucky that nobody I know has been directly affected by the virus. I can only imagine how people who have lost loved ones are finding this time and it’s not something I take lightly when writing these posts. Thinking of anyone who’s struggling and sending lots of love.

How are you doing? Are you back in the pub or still keeping to yourself like I am? Let me know how you’re finding everything.

Speak to you soon!

 

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