Feeling isolated, and I think talking on here is well overdue
Hi all! My name is Nic. I'm 28 and living in Melbourne. I've suffered with anxiety for years and like many of us, the past few months have been really, really tough.
I was at a really low ebb late last year working at a company I highly disliked (We'd been bought out and the 'new' company was just very much not my style) and just with a few other general things going on. However I managed to get out and start a new job in February. Things were looking up and a lot of exciting things were on the horizon, but of course we all know what happened in March.
Since the lockdown hit, I've felt incredibly isolated. My family and girlfriend are in Perth which honestly feels a million miles away. Fortunately I have still been working partly in the office and partly from home, so I do get to see my work colleagues but they are almost the only people I see in-person. I haven't seen my girlfriend or family since March, and have barely had a chance to go out in those few weeks that restrictions were eased. This second time around is a lot more depressing and difficult to deal with. I'm tired, I'm drinking too much (although I've managed to restrict it mostly to weekends) and at least one or two nights a week are spent ceiling staring. I really didn't think this would be where I was mentally after starting the new job 6 months ago.
Anyway writing this has been quite tricky (feels like a jumble of words), but a part of me is just excited to make this little step and just talk to this community. Thanks 🙂
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums, we're so glad you decided to join us here. We're so sorry to hear that you're struggling at the moment. We empathise with how difficult it is to be away from our friends and family, especially with all of the other difficulties you're facing right now. Please know that our community is here to support you and we will get through this. Hopefully a few of our members will pop by over the next few days to welcome you. If you feel it might be useful, we'd encourage you to visit our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. The website will be regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time.
Many of our members have felt similar and will be able to talk through these feelings with you. Please feel free to keep us updated on your journey here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.
Thank you so much for your kind welcome and message. It's certainly an interesting time at the moment with additional restrictions coming in.
What's interesting -- Now that there's a bit more certainty and a bit more understanding about what's coming, I actually feel calmer and more comfortable (albeit no happier overall). Missing family has been a massive challenge and I struggle every day but there is nothing yet we can do.
Thank you for the great links. The main benefit I have been finding is just scrolling the forums and hearing about others challenges and realising my situation is unique but also not unique, many of us are fighting our own fights and the things I feel aren't that unusual at all.
Stage 4 restrictions, curfew and finally being forced to work from home will add new challenges but in a strange way, knowing what the next few weeks hold (hopefully) makes things a little bit easier. There's a strange optimism here. Massive fear, but some optimism.
Thank you for your post and sharing how you're feeling - I can't help but share a bit of your excitement in being here and taking that step. I hope that you'll find that it's very worthwhile.
I'm sorry to hear your girlfriend and family are in Perth - I think there's always this sense of being isolated in lockdown, but then I imagine this probably doubles for you knowing they're so close but so far. Are you connecting with them often? Not just in phone calls but things such as Skype or Facetime?
One of the biggest things that comes to mind is what are the things you might be able to do while you are at home riding this out? What are ways that you can use your time? It doesn't have to be productive, but it has to be anything other than ceiling staring;)
I'm so glad you're finding it helpful to read other posts - feel free to post on other threads as well.
I hope to see you around the forums
Thank you for the comments. It stinks being so far away, and I've been looking at any reason to seek an exemption to travel back to Perth, including talking to my GP who wrote a really well worded mental health assessment letter (as well as some great advice and discussion on mental health and my situation in general). We do talk over Skype and Facetime but it's that physical contact that humans organically crave, that is lacking. I haven't hugged anyone since March, and I come from a very 'touchy-feely' family with a lot of physical contact (We are Italian so that's expected hahaha). Zoom chats are a good substitute for some time, but not for what is now nearly 5 months.
I agree that I have to find things around the house, and I do tend to cook and clean and watch TV and I'm trying to read more. But even after reading and meditation and a bedtime routine, eventually you need to turn that light out and try to sleep. More often than not, I get caught up with my thoughts after that. It's only when I'm completely exhausted that I fall asleep.
I'm sure we'll chat more over the next few months 🙂 hopefully for the best.
It's great to hear back from you! I hope that you're finding your way through the community alright.
Oh that's right, I read about exemptions and compassionate grounds - I have my fingers crossed that that can happen. What's the next step for that now you have your letter from your GP?
An Italian without hugs since March!! hah - while I know you're not on your own there I'm imagining that you're storing them all up! You're right in that there's nothing the same as physical contact, but I'm also glad you're making use of all the tech available to you- and of course if you're interested there's always lamps, shirts and pillows specifically designed for long distance relationships! (They're kind of cool to look at online)
It's great to hear about reading and meditation - did you want to share more?
The meditation one in particular I think would be handy to explore, especially since there's lots of practices to help you sleep so you don't have to wait until you're exhausted.
Hi RT and all
Thanks for the kind words! I have probably left replying here a bit longer than planned, no real reason. Unfortunately my exemptions to get into Perth were all unsuccessful so unfortunately stuck in Melbourne for the forseeable future.
Ultimately this week was a blur between work stress, loneliness and slightly too much alcohol. Things with the girlfriend have got hard and we're in a weird limbo at the moment, we aren't broken up but we certainly aren't talking like a couple. There's just been too many misunderstandings and miscommunications, things just aren't what they were. We've tried having a few conversations which are somewhat productive but neither of us know what the next step to take is.
The more positive step that I have taken is that after this mess of a week, I have rushed to the GP and got myself a mental health treatment plan, something that is long long overdue! Have got a referral to speak to a counsellor (sadly it's telehealth, not in person) but definitely a big new part of my life that I've put off for a long time.
Meditation has been great, with the Calm app and it does help with sleep at times. And more importantly by doing it often (every day or two for the last couple of months) I've learned that you don't need to get frustrated when a day's meditation just isn't working as well as others. It's like running - some days you can clear your mind and get your breathing right, other days nothing works and everything aches. So hoping to continue that practice and become more attuned.
But also, it would just be nice for this lockdown to end 😛