Second lockdown, who this?

Long time no see! After two months off, I am back to blogging. I have been wondering what to do with this website and whether it was the case to keep it at all for a long time. So many things have changed this year. Lockdown, relocation, career transition haven’t been easy to deal with. I am struggling to find my own voice, identity and what I want to do going forward. It goes without saying that my existential dilemma has an impact on my online activities because most of my brand is myself. It took a month to decide to keep the website and pay WordPress for my personal plan and the domain. I just figured that I can keep talking about this transition and the process of figuring out what I want to do with my life and identity.

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right now and it takes time to get things sorted out.

Here in England, we have a second lockdown. Yesterday, after a long and exhausting week in the lab, the idea of spending another weekend on the sofa seemed exasperating. As many of you know, I struggle with my mental health a lot. The restrictions and enforced isolation didn’t help. Every day in lockdown felt like a month. I cried every day for the entire months of September and October. The negative feelings and mood had a toll on my physical health too. I barely made it through the end of the working weeks and I had to sleep a lot to recover from the depressing feelings. I have tried with therapy and it didn’t help. I see a lot of people promoting gratitude or mindfulness. This is all nice talks. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and it takes more than keeping the positive vibes going on.

Eventually, I made the decision of going back to antidepressants. It’s been 4 weeks and things started getting better. My mood is generally positive even in this shitty situation and I have a lot more energy to go through daily activities. Taking meds is no easy though, it’s physically demanding and it takes a while for your body to readjust.

PERSONAL RANT: I’m lucky enough to have an understanding and money to pay for meds and therapy. How many people out there are struggling with their mental health and have no means to take actions? There’s loads of research showing how the isolation and lockdown are detrimental to mental wellbeing, yet I rarely hear people talking about it. Unfortunately, society has never taken and still doesn’t take mental health seriously and physical problems are always seen as more valid or important than mental health. Sorry not sorry for the rant.

I wish to wake up one day and see society realising that mental health is equally important as any other physical condition.

On the positive side, I have been trying to upgrade my life to move from being a student to live like an adult. Living by myself is great and I absolutely love my flat with a beach view. It’s very expensive as you can imagine, but having my own and comfortable space in a time when you are forced to stay home is definitely a great advantage. The other big news is about my new purchase. After long thinking and loads of anxiety, I bought a car. I love walking and cycling but it became impractical and a lot inconvenient. During the whole lockdown, the train timetable was reduced to one train every hour and it’s well-known that public transport in Kent sucks. The weather is also getting rubbish and using the bike wasn’t always a great choice.

The car is a second-hand car and I got a great price because I bought it at the garage not from a car dealer. It’s been taking a great deal of my time to relearn how to drive in a different country and on the wrong side of the road. I also got a number of tickets for parking in non-permitted areas. However, the insurance price wasn’t too bad considering that I started from 0 years of no claims.

I wonder weather things would have been easier outside a global pandemic and lockdown. Life is very slow, every day in lockdown feels like a months long and evey small thing seems a lot amplified. In normal circumstances, some problems wouldn’t exist at all. I would just get along with life, going to the gym, seeing my friends, doing outdoor activities. Life now is just reduced to work, chores and paying bills. But again, on the positive side, I am just happy that I got a job I enjoy and, despite the external misery, my life is moving up!