What the recent Pandemic has taught me about my disability.
2020 a New Year and a New Decade the start of something new. I had fantastic opportunities lined up for me this year.
Then COVID-19 hit. A time of panic and uncertainty for everyone all over the world. How about us who have some form of disability who have to shield away to protect ourselves from this invisible war we are entirely up against again being even more isolated from everyone, though I admit, I have left the house some days to do some shopping. I live with my parents, who are in their 70’s and also have health issues of their own. The majority of these past nine weeks have had me locked away in the comfort of my home. But what has it taught me? Lockdown set by our Prime Minister on the 23rd March and officially being out of work in both my jobs. ( as a supply teacher and actress) I had plans to learn different languages and brush up on my maths, do more teacher training CPD courses, Sign Language and of course promote myself further as an actress through social media, read plays and books, listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I’ve kept myself busy with these activities and engaging in weekly zooms with my friends and acting webinars.
I miss being able to see people and go out. My disabilities mean that on weekends I tend to stay at home recovering from what I’ve done during the week. In reality, I had already been isolating myself from society, I’ve gone from being an extrovert to being an introvert where I would rather shut myself away even from my parents. During this time, I have had even more unlimited contact with people, and I am not too fond of it one bit.
So what has the pandemic taught me?
That it’s OK that I’m tired and in pain, all the time, but shutting myself away isn’t the answer. Once Lockdown has ended I’m going to make more of an effort to enjoy life and go out and social, though this will be difficult at first as social distancing will still be in place and many places won’t be opening back up straight away. I will be arranging visits to the park where we can relax and enjoy the warm weather as summer approaches, light, gentle walks in the Lake District and eventually going out in the evenings. Over the next few weeks/months, places will slowly be opening up and introducing events, and as society slowly brings themselves out of this, I will go at the same pace. It’s also taught me not to feel guilty about all of this and that I shouldn’t have to compare myself to others.
So during the rest of this time, I will relax and take care of my physical health but also my mental health, and slowly adapt back into society when everyone else does. And also agree that the odd duvet Sunday is acceptable and a good Netflix binge is still needed.