I’m forcing myself to write tonight. Yes, that might go against all of my own teachings, but to be honest? I’m tired of feeling unable to write. Maybe a few paragraphs of terribly phrased copy, published without second thought, is what I need to start feeling a little more like me again.

We’re now more than a month in to lockdown 3.0, as it’s been not-so-fondly dubbed by all in England. A third session of uncertainty, confusing rules and a general blanket ban on being outdoors. And it feels harder than ever before. The first brought with it some semblance of relief, that we were sheltering at home. We picked up hobbies that none of us had time for before. Sourdough was baked and delivered to doorsteps. Dalgona coffee (and strong arms) were made. Odd paint jobs were finally completed. Many of us regaled unabashedly at how great it felt to stay indoors and enjoy the homes we work so hard to keep. Without doubt, the second felt markedly different. The taste of freedom we’d been given over the summer felt so sweet, that it was hard to lock back down. Yet the promise of Christmas certainly kept us going – I know it did in our household.

This, feels different.

I’ve consciously unplugged from the news. I know it’s bad, but I’m keeping afloat of the numbers, and hearing too much of it sends me into a bit of a spiral, if I’m honest. I feel constantly gaslit by the government despite following the rules and giving up everything that I knew to be my normal lifestyle. Of course this ‘new normal’ has its perks too, but largely I am utterly dismayed and horrified at how this Tory government consistently fails the majority of the country. It’s gross.

Outside of The Pandemic, I’m also struggling. There, I said it.

The ubiquitous lockdown breakup found me. And it’s been one of the hardest things to go through. Perhaps I’d manage a little better if I could spend time with friends. Perhaps it wouldn’t help at all. It’s been a few weeks now, and each day feels a little lighter. A fragment more feels attainable; letting myself unpack the boxes. Sharing a Tweet without the worry. Slowly finding my feet (and myself) again.

My mental health is patchy lately. It’s been that way for a while. I’m realising that there’s no set formula to being an activist, you must just do. And I’m doing. A little each day to amount to a lot – I hope. Last year, I feel like I made waves. I unpacked a lot, learned monumental amounts, and even somehow made a bit of an impact. But it came at the cost of my mental health. I started seeing a therapist last year, and I’m not sure why I stopped when it seems like I need it now more than ever. This year, I feel like my words are being burrowed, snowed under. I speak and nobody hears. The graphic videos are shared and nobody cares.

I’m forcing myself to write. I’m forcing myself to be honest.

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