If I am going to be absolutely pedantic about it, I can leave my house at 6pm tomorrow. That is precisely 10 days after my contact with someone who tested positive for Covid.
Self-isolation is pretty brutal, and I’m someone who has always loved my own company. I may leave the house a few hours earlier, if only because I am dangerously low on loo roll. A few hours can’t possibly matter, can it?
The thing is, my head is doing weird things; I am currently quite anxious about the thought of leaving the house tomorrow despite desperately needing to. I’m not afraid of catching the virus, and I’m certain I don’t have it. I think it’s just a fear of change. In theory, it’s an absolutely welcome and completely necessary change. But I can feel my anxiety rising.
In a spur of the moment decision, I’ve deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I think there is part of me that is aware that I’ve been doing a lot of mindless scrolling to pass the time. I also dread getting asked about my “freedom”, having made a very big deal about the whole ordeal last time. I just assume people will. We’re all very bored, aren’t we?
Being very honest, I think there’s another part of me that wants people to notice I’m “missing”. Not once have I deactivated my Facebook account since joining in the early 00s, so it’s not the kind of behaviour any of my friends would be used to.
I guess it’s just that I actually feel like I’ve gone missing. I feel like my sanity has been reduced to a handful of splinters and I need to really hang on tight so they don’t disappear. I feel like I need to retreat from a boat load of noise that makes it feel like I’m flossing my brain with barbed wire.
When I’m not feeling so fragile, I am much better at picking up the phone to call someone. I’ve gone beyond that now. Temporarily, anyway. I hope.
I am in recovery. I am on daily medication for anxiety/PTSD. My internal self-care alarm has stopped ringing, which has set off the “holy fucking shit this isn’t a good place for me to be” alarm. If it had a pop-up menu it would say “Are you sure you want to shut down?”
And I don’t. I really don’t. I think I’ll feel better once I go for a walk tomorrow. I’ll feel better when I get some more fruit and veg in my body. And I’ll feel better after a break from the noise of social media.
The silver lining here is that I think deactivating the most upsetting of my social accounts is a pretty normal reaction to a really fucked up situation. Actually, I know it is.
So maybe instead of splinters of sanity left, I’ve got a few slightly more robust (yet still spindly) twigs.
I’ve also got matches. Maybe that’s why I’m so anxious.