The moment you realise the ship you are standing on is beginning to sink.

I find it hard to imagine a more distressing and overwhelming feeling.

When a ship starts to sink, there is rarely a solution. It’s tough (if not impossible) to ‘unsink’ a ship.

The only thing in your control is finding ways to stop yourself from drowning. Whether it be clinging onto floating debris, desperately putting on a life jacket, or attempting to swim to shore. These measures can buy you time while you wait to be saved.

The battle of staying afloat.

For many people, including myself, that battle has started again.

Let’s portray the pandemic as a war. Each battle is against a new variant. As we win each battle, there is that initial thrill and euphoria that the war may finally be over. Then, just as we begin to return home, a new battle begins, and the agony of having to fight again deteriorates the morale of the troops. Our new opponent is Omicron, less deadly but more infectious. Does it matter? No. All that matters is the fact that we have to fight another battle when we thought the war was over.

The rollercoaster of emotions is draining. After the delta ‘battle’, I found it took me much longer to recover mentally compared to previous lockdowns. I only recently started to feel comfortable interacting with others in crowded locations, now to be in isolation again.

I’m exhausted. It used to be a daily ritual to check the case numbers in Australia and around the world. Nowadays, I try to avoid them whenever I can.

What’s the solution? Well, there isn’t one. That’s the reality – you can’t ‘unsink’ a ship. However, we’ve been here before and defeated every previous opponent. It’s those small actions that can help us to keep our heads above the water. Maintaining some form of daily exercise, getting some fresh air, using social media to speak with your friends and family, re-visiting an old passion like music or art. These are the things that can keep us afloat while we wait to be saved.

This is not the holiday period that anybody expected or wished for. For many of us, we are feeling incredibly broken. However, even in the most distressing circumstances, we can still find hope.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas – in whatever form that will look like for you this year.

We can get through this together!

You’re not alone 🙂

If you need extra support and someone to talk to – call Lifeline on 13 11 14

If you or someone you know is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else – call 000

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9 thoughts on “Staying Afloat

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