The Easter prior to lockdown was a long sunny weekend. Families got together, couples went for romantic meals – I had nothing planned. I was just lay on my bed in my room listening to the parties outside and feeling a deep sense of regret that I not only didn’t have a family of my own, but I also didn’t even have a partner.
However during lockdown I don’t feel like I’m missing out or being left behind anymore. I don’t have to look through my window at a life that isn’t mine.
Adapting to these new circumstances has been easy for me. Even though I lost writing assignments last March I’ve been resourceful something I’ve had to learn from living with a mental illness (paying my mortgage when I can’t work full-time).
I applied for and was awarded a grant for loss of work by the Society of Authors. Then when that ran out last September I signed up to a remote master’s degree not just for the qualification, but also the added student loan coupled with some savings means I can finally get my kitchen renovated.
As I live with a mental illness I sometimes find travel stressful – this is one of the reasons I can access Personal Independent Payments. Remote work and study has addressed this and I’ve done well at Teesside University and so far have a distinction for one module.
I’m actually not sure if I’m looking forward to life returning as normal. Or maybe I can take a lesson from how well I’ve done and just slow down and not overthink about being on my own.
Before lockdown I often felt sad about not having as many local friends to go out with only online friends – and felt left behind by those racing ahead in academia or in relationships.
This splendid isolation has been just what I needed to focus on myself, my writing and recharge my batteries.