20 January 2021

An Ode to Friendship During Lockdown




When the world seems dreary and there feels like no end is in sight, I'm grateful for the boundless love I've found through friendship, steaming hot raspberry tea and a roof over my head.


Last year we all went into our first lockdown with a false sense of security that our government could handle this despite obvious concerns about Boris's leadership ability..., that the pandemic would wash over us by Summer, and we'd be able to hug our nearest and dearest. Life would be good again in no time. Yet, here we find ourselves lulling around during national lockdown 3.0 feeling numb to it all, almost a year later. 


I've been reflecting a lot through every quiet moment spent alone in this house, pondering who I was last year and, just how absolutely everything has changed. I miss my past life and still, I can't see myself ever going back to the same old habits. I'm not sure if I want to. I can't see a time just yet when we'll be able to rejoice with friends or family and reminisce about these scary moments either. I fear this future is still too distant - this I never comprehended last March.


During the first lockdown I felt full of optimism, confusion and hope, whilst still working my ass off as a carer. I wrote about my thoughts too, naively thinking we'd only live through one lockdown, not three or more. Please dear God not more. I woke up at 07:30 most days off and began planning my life away, bragging to friends and hoping to end 2020 as a freelance copywriter (lol, this dream is on hold). During the second I picked up the dreaded COVID pretty quickly, hated myself and spent my 28th birthday in bed eating brownies I couldn't taste, whilst binging Breaking Bad. When I felt more alive I helped build an enormous shed at the end of our garden for my partner to escape me. And, third time around I'm unemployed, ordering takeaways far too often with money I don't actually have whilst, looking forward to a very different future than the one I'd envisioned for myself. 


This past year has stripped me bare of everything I value and worked so hard to embody. It would be a lie if I told you today that I'm in any way trying to rebuild myself. Life is pretty stagnant right now. I'm sitting comfortably in my body, waiting for life to begin. Eating everything I want, trying not to look at my bank balance, being kind to myself and sleeping when days feel too heavy. 


The one thing that's truly kept me going is of course the wonderful friends I've encountered online over the past twelve months, the real life friends I've known for maybe just a couple of years and, some I've loved for more than ten. Hand on heart I'm lucky to know them all. We've shared a lot of laughs, shared our fears and with some, for the first time we've opened up about our mental health. We've grown closer than ever through talking about pain or worry and helping each other muddle through those dark feelings. Because of these conversations I've found a huge support network of people who I can openly approach whenever the mood strikes. And, even when words run dry or saying "stay safe" loses all meaning, I know there's strength to be found in our friendships. Our bond isn't slipping away just because the Zoom quizzes stopped happening or, because we all felt so fed up with social media that we just stopped checking in as often. If anything, our connections are more worthwhile now because when we do communicate the conversations are full of substance, loyalty and warmth. I'm sad these chats can't be had over a fat brunch and good coffee but, I look forward to the day!


In some way or another we're all feeling crappy and personally, I've found solace knowing that I'm not alone in my mood. Amongst us we're all feeling under siege, concluding that living through an historic event is anything but comfortable. The struggle is real and can be found in every group chat, on every platform, in every household. Our brains are hurting as we continue to adjust to what I hope is only a temporary new normal that's outstayed its welcome ever so slightly, not something we're still trudging through in years to come. So, even when you can't find the strength to scroll back through the group chat, just know that sending a funny TikTok video is often enough to let someone know you're thinking of them. We're in this together, and you're never entirely alone.




3 comments

  1. This is such a lovely post, and read in such a friendly tone too! It's great that you have your group of friends to find solace in, and this is a great reminder for me to keep checking in on mine 🧡

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear you've lost your job gal. It's so lovely that you have friends online during this time to support you and check in on you x

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  3. I think for me I am happy with a close group of friends so I think it hasn't effected me as much as if I were to be more of a social butterfly!

    https://www.emilyclareskinner.com

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