COVID lockdown again – R U OK?
I’ve had an interesting week this week, with COVID isolating us in our homes again, coping for some people will be hard. Last week I had a friend confess to me through a message, that she didn’t know how she was going to manage being locked away again, wasn’t sure how going to cope and what she was going to do. She felt she had perfected bread making and knitting for her friends, so she didn’t need to do this again so what was she going to do this time on her own in her home. That night she was too upset to speak to me and didn’t want to talk.
Lockdown impacts people
The next day I tried to call her, she didn’t answer. The following day I tried again, no reply, another message and still no reply, more phone calls and still no answer. I was worried by this stage, so jumped in the car to do a mercy dash and check that she was ok. Yes we are in lockdown, but I was sure this trip would count as caring for someone.
Scared about what I could possibly find when I got to her house I called again when I was just around the corner from her house, and she answered. YES!!!!! She was alive and well, she told me she had been tired so had turned off her phone and had a sleep for the afternoon.
I continued to her home and bought some take away for dinner for us to share. I wanted her to know that someone cared about her, thought about her and was there for her when she needed it. We decided that night that even though we had known each other for over 10 years and we speak every two to three weeks now, we need to keep in contact more often and it was essential that each of us had the contact details of our next of kin so we had someone else in the family we could contact about each other if we had fears like this again.
All it takes is a Beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are. – Robin Williams
Caring during Lockdown
During a meeting this week, another friend acknowledged that a special friend of his committed suicide this week. His words and emotions were raw as he pleaded with us to take care of each other and people in our lives. His message hit home to me, hard!
Living on your own during lock down is hard, I know, I am on my own. I have thrown myself into work, which is what I do in my life. I have turned all my hobbies into businesses and I am loving it cause I can work all the time and consider my time is being used productively. Some people can’t do this and need some help and suggestions of things to do during lockdown.
It has not always been like this for me, there have been periods of time in my life where I haven’t been coping at all and at two stages of my life was placed on extremely high doses of anti-depressants. I’ve managed to get myself off the drugs and now drug free I cope very well in times of change and have easily adapted to lockdown. Not everyone is like me, we are all different and some people love predictability and hate change, these are the people who may be struggling now, so we have to question, how are others especially those that live alone coping?
‘Sometimes when I say “I’m okay”,
I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight,
and say “I know you’re not”.’ -unknown
As human beings we are social by nature, it is how we are wired, we are born into families and have friends around us but as we go through life and our situations change we can find ourselves living alone, which can be ok when we are free to go out and see others, but when we are denied this, it can send us into a tail spin.
Unfortunately you can’t tell who is struggling by just looking at someone. Even the most confident, successful people have periods of time in their lives when they aren’t coping, so the visual appearance of someone certainly doesn’t give you any indication that they are struggling. Robin Williams and Danny Frawley are two good examples of this, both outwardly appeared successful and in a good place, but inwardly they were in trouble.
Outreach – RU OK?
- So what can we do?
- Look out for each other!
- Each day ring someone and ask if they are ok.
- Stay connected to your friends.
- Check in on our friends, see if they are ok and ask them, “are you ok?” look after each other.
- Talk, talk, talk, ask, ask, ask, listen, listen, listen, acknowledge, encourage action and be there for each other.
A conversation can make huge difference to someone, sometimes we have no idea of how big an affect it can have on an emotionally struggling person. Being an expert in communication isn’t necessary as any meaningful conversation and having empathy will make a difference to anyone struggling in life. Just reach out, listen, ask them questions, be interested in what they say and be there for your friends.
If you or your friends are having problems, please reach out by calling a professional and ask for help.
Lifeline 13 11 14 Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 Beyond Blue. 1300 22 4636
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 1800Respect 1800 737 732