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A broken builder who lives in the NSW lockdown.

Community Member
First time on Beyond Blue. I don't know if you anyone agrees but I have been at home ever since Construction was ordered to stop work due to 100 cases. Now Gladys has pretty much forced us to get jabbed and I don't feel like being an experimental guinea pig. I can solemnly swear I have never taken cocaine, ecstasy tablet or any illicit drug. Ive lost many friends due to this growing up.... should I continue staying home with my family who are very supportive. I don't talk to them about my feelings and always put a brave and happy face on when ever they ask if I'm OK. Im a hands on builder and for the first time I have subcontracted my work out. It's killing me inside and I feel so useless and overwhelmed with grief for something that I enjoy doing. I have just started trading on my own and won a decent project in my area only to be handing it over to people who aren't in lock down and a free to roam around. Broken useless father of 3 amazing kids. My wife is also amazing and I don't want to tell her I'm secretly crying inside. Being a man I'm ment to benthe provider and that's all I've done.
4 Replies 4

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Covid is such an imposing subject and I need to avoid any controversy in my response. So, a story...

I used to ride my bike without a helmet - many years ago, it wasn't compulsory and I, among many others, learnt to live on my wits and a certain degree of good fortune to avoid any serious incidents.
Hooray for me!

With the mandating of helmets, I questioned the efficacy and justified my stand on impairment of vision, hearing, and perception - basically everything I could dig up to substantiate my claim.
The main reason, which I conveniently ignored, was that helmets made me look like a dill, didn't want to fork out for one anyway, and I resented heavy handed authoritarianism.

Then they started dishing out fines for non compliance and when the heat got too close, I caved and obtained one (so much for principles!).

So I pedal around wearing my silly helmet - hasn't ever seen a day of service beyond being a beacon on my head, but it keeps people happy and undoubtedly will serve its purpose when I least expect it.

My point is, you need to feel comfortable in your choice - mine was based on financial deprivation and ego, but on a deeper level, I like to think that I can save someone the guilt if they happen to send me flying off into a ditch - we are all responsible for each other's welfare whether we are right or wrong; and to expect to do things because we always have, sometimes needs a rethink.

Open up to your wife about your fears and hear all sides. These are troubling times and the rules haven't been written on how to feel about it.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi, Crash bandicoot,

Firstly welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing how you feel. I hope you felt a sense of relief 🙂

I completely understand how overwhelmed and annoyed you feel about the NSW lockdown. It can really demotivate you and make you feel useless. I also lost my job. Have you tried to apply for the COVID disaster payments?

By the way, that's amazing that you started trading on your own and I'm sorry that the lockdown ruined that.

Talking about how you feel to people you trust will really help your mental health. Especially to your wife, she won't judge and she will always be there for you.

Stay safe!

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi crash bandicoot,

I’m sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time due to Covid, NSW (and Vic) is doing it particularly tough at the moment. it’s clear that you love your job and you are paying a heavy toll. The government has mandated that the way out of this pandemic is with vaccination. The way I see it is that you have two choices, not have the vaccine and subcontract your work out as you are currently for as long as this pandemic runs, which will likely be in the years. Or concede and have the vaccine and be able to return to your livelihood. I understand your fears of not wanting to be an experimental guinea pig, but at this stage over 360 million vaccines have been given in the United States and another 50 million in the United Kingdom have been vaccinated. I understand you hesitation about being an experimental guinea pig but I would probably question whether you can still be considered experimental at this point. That’s more people than many of the drugs that you get in your current pharmacy. If you do all of your research and still decide that you are unwilling to being vaccinated and willing to sacrifice your job, livelihood and future happiness on that belief, then that is fine. But I would also question that belief to make sure that the sacrifices that I am about to make for it aren’t in vain. That’s just my two cents.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Gidday Crash bandicoot and welcome to our forum!

Your post took some courage to write, but it says plenty about the inner strength that you have.

Man you have an amazing wife, three amazing kids and are good enough at what you do to start your own company and not only that, win a decent project! Congratulations!

I can absolutely understand you feeling 'broken and useless' but here's the point - this is not your doing but entirely due to a decision you cannot control over a pandemic you can't control either.

It sounds like you kept lead position on the project but subbed it out to others - in itself a minor victory for which you should be patted on the back.

Yes absolutely I think you should discuss how you really feel with your wife. It's what relationship experts call 'the good stuff'. I would be amazed if she didn't love you for it - marriage is all about love and support 'through thickness and thin'. It is highly likely she will respect and love you for opening up and might even make some good suggestions on preparing and fighting your way back out of this pandemic.

I have been where you are right now and it hurt - a lot. I had my own company and warned my kids not to expect too much from their Christmas wish list as my income had disappeared in October. At the time they were eleven and thirteen. I opened up with them one afternoon and boy, did they respond like the champions the were! My wife encouraged me to plan ahead, keep chasing new business leads and keep busy every day with a checklist of actions. Their ongoing interest in how I was going was amazing.

Guess what? I two months, just before Christmas, not one but two big lumps of business came my way, each better than the one I has lost, and we had a great Christmas! Sometimes today my kids and wife remind me about it and how they each took inspiration from how I fought, and they apply that to challenges they have today.

So I guess if I can make any suggestions - share how you feel with your family or they will wonder why you are not talking. Keep fighting like the achiever you are, set up new leads and projects and go in hard and confidently.

I believe we learn from adversity - there is a very high chance you will look back onto this period some time in the future and realise just how much you learnt from it.

I hope my thoughts have helped just a little. Best of luck, I feel you will power through this.

Please let me know how you get on, I look forward to hearing.

Bye for now, The Bro