When I was going through my mental health breakdown, I learned A LOT about not only society and its views on the matter (spearheading me into doing what I currently do for mental health) but I more importantly learned about myself.
The teachings of this has somewhat given me a form of preparation into coping with the way the world is currently - the world of a viral tyrant and our long lasting efforts to defeat the enemy which we are one day going to defeat akin to David vs Goliath.
This is a post about my coping mechanism and how I continue to cope in the world of current unknowns.
Now one thing I learned about myself and my coping mechanisms is I have had to set myself some rules albeit personal and social - all in an attempt to keep control of the current situation and my life - Maintain personal normality. A lack of control (Broken rules) would usually, and still does, slowly chip away at my confidence and psyche until I am a crippled mess; although it takes more currently than it did back then, it still is a known personal trigger.
THANKS BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER!
So with that little nugget of information, I want to turn focus to the word "normal" and this thing we crave, especially in the current situation we are all in; the world of social distancing and self-isolation.
(dictionary.com (2019). Definition of normal | Dictionary.com. [online] www.dictionary.com. Available at: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/normal.)
The definition of the word "Normal" (as above) for me proves the word is purely subjective given that it relies on a standard, something we put in place. So really if we think about it the word which is current subject is purely subjective and is open to our personal and societal perceptions.
Therefore my, your or other peoples "Normal", may not be someone else's "Normal".
The current world population is just under 7.6 billion people; which if, as we have discussed is a word powered by standards and perceptions - there is currently just under 7.6 billion versions of "Normal".
"So why go into this? Isn't this what this post isn't about?!" I hear you cry.
Your quite right, but what I wanted to prove to you is that in this world currently, and the perceptively "normal" lives we had before pandemic meant more than a Hollywood sub-genre - This is a situation that no one knows what standards and normality will mean after we have conquered the beast of corona-virus.
Personal rule broken... Anxiety increased...
This lack of control = The Loss of traction into the new normal.
(see what I did there?...)
That's the heavy research and backstory out of the way... what can we do to help our mental health currently?
When driving and hitting a patch of Ice, we lose traction, the gripping force of the road thus putting a vehicle in a state of no control (Sound familiar?)
Now, to get out of this is to take the foot off the gas, steer into it and allow the vehicle to regain control.
"HOW DOES THIS APPLY TOM?!?!"
Bare with me... I know its a pretty niche metaphor...
On a day to day basis before Covid-19 was a "thing" we were driving along the road and getting on with our lives, what ever that personally meant to ourselves, doing what we needed to do which felt "Normal" to us.
Going about our day to day, we have hit this bad patch in our journey - the metaphorical patch of ice which is a global pandemic; we my friends have now lost control of what felt normal to all of us - now in a position which is not "normal".
Yeah that's right... metaphor within a metaphor
Right now we can do two things, we can adapt to the situation or do nothing and fully lose control - I have personally opted to adapt, arguably something in hindsight we have been forced into with social distancing, self-isolation and global lockdown.
Everywhere in the world, we have taken the foot off the gas in order to regain control . we have stepped back and adapted to change in the face of adversity - regain some form of control heading down the road to a new normal. That is exactly what we are doing - the past three/four weeks the United Kingdom has been on lock-down in efforts to protect our emergency services and our personal safety to further the loss of control.
Now looking into the future, this new normal - this is something I feel like no one is prepared for, purely down to not knowing what this new normal will look like - but my friends I want to share this nugget of information with you.
We have already adapted and changed to the situation to give us control of what we need to currently. we are still on the road and we are now in the controlled skid to help put our journey back in the right direction; and we have continued to do so for three weeks - if history proves us right, we can all do it again. we can help one another to regain control and what "normal" currently means to us.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with this right now but what I can say to you is this. We've got this.
whether its to follow rules/guidelines - make new personal rules - or to take each day as it comes. There is no right or wrong way to cope, just do you and what you need to do, to keep your selves, the vehicle of your life on the road.
My name is Tom, the mental health runner. I want you to know this:
We all have this no matter what, were all in this together - Whatever it takes.
Stay stong my friends, and stay safe. Once day less, is one day closer to being out of the controlled skid, and back on with the new normal.
Love you all