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Does anyone else feel like this post lockdowns?
49

LizzieWallace · 06/08/2022 14:53

OK, I admit I don't think I feel in a great place...I'm just going to write about how I'm feeling and maybe someone has some advice on how to feel better or has been through similar.

January 2020. Myself, DH and DS (10months), all happy. DH had to go away abroad with work for 2 months which was awful but we got our head round it. While he was away covid hit along with lockdown. He had to stay longer due to not being able to travel/changes in his work due to covid. Basically due to everything the 2 months away turned into just over 5 months. We don't live near any family.
DS was a wonderful baby and I honestly enjoyed every second, but at this point he was still BF and up 5-6 times every night. I was coping ok though so I thought. We just plodded along, nice walk every day, occasionally going out to get shopping etc. I didn't work at that point due to mat leave, then I couldn't go back to my job as husband was away, so it was literally the 2 of us. Contact naps, up a lot at night, and playing.

I feel like I just spent the whole lockdown just thinking "Thank god were still alive, I don't need anything else. Thank god my family are safe, I can wait to see them. I don't need solid sleep, my baby waking up means he's healthy" etc etc. I must have been running on pure adrenaline constantly. But I honestly felt OK.

Then DH came home. He wasn't in a great way mentally due to being away, missing so much of DS so that was hard. My parents struggled a lot not seeing DS as much too (although we now get to see them monthly). I started to feel so worn down.

Things are much better now. Everyone is happier...and it's like it all just hit me. I know, I'm so so so lucky not to have lost anyone due to covid, but I honestly feel like I'm in fight or flight mode constantly. Whenever I hear certain music (the opening/closing credits to moon and me on Cbeebies) I just can't stop crying. I heard that music a lot when DH was away and it just takes me back there again. I'm crying now as even thinking about it just upsets me so much.

I look awful. I'm fatter, I look older, my hair is awful, my IBS is constantly flaring up. I don't smile as much as I used to. But I can't quite pinpoint what exactly is bothering me.
We're all back to normal now. I can see my family, dh is much better, ds is thriving, im back at work. Yet I just feel so overwhelmed and exhausted....and every time I hear that fucking song I lose it!

Why is it only now the dust has settled that I feel like this?

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7Worfs · 06/08/2022 14:59

You had to hold on then, so you did.
Now there is no need to be very strong and resilient, so you’re finally allowing yourself to feel.
I think it’s quite normal - I’ve had similar in stressful jobs where I’d carry the world’s weight on my shoulders then on weekends collapse and unable to get out of bed.

I don’t know what the solution is, but you probably need time to process and feel, and when ready, move on.

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ChairOfInvisibleStudies · 06/08/2022 15:04

A bit, yes. DS1 was born just before the first lockdown. I didn't have the same challenge as you as my DH was home but DS had some health problems in his early months (now resolved thank goodness!) that we couldn't get any help with and contributed to him being a very high-needs baby. I think I ran on adrenaline tinged to a greater or lesser extent with fear for months and months.

Everything you've written resonates so much. I try not to think about it too much but even that makes me feel very conflicted - it was the first year of my baby's life and in many ways it was joyful, and it pains me that I can't just have those memories without all-the-other-stuff.

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EternalPoinsettia · 06/08/2022 15:05

I feel for you and sort of understand some of that for different reasons/circumstances during pandemic. I would recommend whatever you can find to help calm your nervous system, meditation or something, speak to someone if you can, be kind to yourself, take small steps to improve the things getting you down (change to diet/exercise), get enough sleep and just give yourself time to accept it's over and move on.

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ChairOfInvisibleStudies · 06/08/2022 15:09

I also find it confusing that I have no idea how much of the 'new me' is attributable to becoming a parent and how much is due to the effect of the lockdowns etc, the two are so intertwined.

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KangarooKenny · 06/08/2022 15:13

We aren’t back to normal though, are we. People still shopping in masks, I still have to wear a mask at work. It’s probably all going to kick off again to some level over the winter.

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CakeCrumbs44 · 06/08/2022 15:26

I know, I'm so so so lucky not to have lost anyone due to covid
The vast majority of people didn't lose anyone to COVID. You don't have to downplay your experience because someone else you don't know might have lost a relative. You went through a very stressful experience and that shouldn't be downplayed.

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EtnaVesuvius · 06/08/2022 15:29

I totally get this. I feel the same. My 3 kids are older but I am a single parent and it was hell trying to home school them and work from home. Plus the isolation.

I find that now although I am so grateful that we can do stuff and get out and about I find it hard to enjoy those things. I feel older, I’m more glued to my phone, I’m lethargic and unmotivated and I don’t look forward to anything, even when we do something nice.

I don’t know how to go back! Sorry this isn’t a solution, but sending hugs of solidarity to you OP.

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rumplestiltskinp · 06/08/2022 15:29

You were psychologically terrorised. SAGE documents specifically referenced instilling a sense of personal threat around covid, a virus that most people were healthy enough to fight off without complication.

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LizzieWallace · 06/08/2022 15:52

Thank you all so much for the replies. I was too scared to come back here as I thought everyone would tell me I was being ridiculous.
Thank you all for helping me feel validated. I will have a look at meditation, diet, movement etc.

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Festoonlights · 06/08/2022 16:07

You have got through it when you needed to one step at a time and it’s all come flooding to the surface now you are ‘safe’
Have you shared this with dh and others?
Self care is what you need. Massage, rest, play that song and release the emotion. Have a holiday - a proper holiday and time off. Bring your nervous system back down to normal levels.
Try to view the bonding time with ds as a good thing that came out of the pandemic.
Your body and emotions are trying to be heard. Take some time out.
We are all changed in some way, but we can recover in time.

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TheBikiniExpert · 06/08/2022 16:13

Yes. I think you (and everyone) is still recovering. I felt okish during lockfown but we had a very strict lockdown where I am - we were in our flat for months with young kids, police stopping us from going out. Now I get nightmares about it and I wake up gasping for breath. I think a lot of people are the same.

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Crucible · 06/08/2022 16:19

For what it's worth, I think you have definitely had a difficult Covid, losing daily physical contact with your partner with such a young baby must have been incredibly hard. It is catching up with you - the shock and the strain of it. I hope you start to process it and feel better soon. Good luck

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Mysteryallergy · 06/08/2022 16:27

Lockdown baby here too, I also tear up when I think back to it, it's because of what we lost (time with loved ones during baby stage, that vital support we were all promised when baby was here) and the stress and worry of it all. When we were in it we were just dealing with every day, now it's a trauma that comes back if we are reminded of it. Honestly I try not to think about it but that's probably not dealing with it either. It's totally understandable. You had a tougher time than alot of others (including me) with your DH being away

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Freckl · 06/08/2022 16:30

I was at home with my DH (both working from home and financially comfortable) and our 4 kids. My youngest was just turned 1 at the time and my parents live 5 minutes away, although we were unable to obviously see them we would have had support if one of us was hospitalised etc. So, on paper, much "better off" than you.

I am absolutely traumatised by what happened during lockdown. I have to leave the room if it is joked about. I feel extremely guilty that I can't remember many of my darling "baby's" milestones. I wore my wedding dress during a Zoom quiz about 3 weeks in and now I want to throw it away. I have made some radical changes including moving house as I could not bear to be in our former beautiful home any more. On the day the kids went back to school after lockdown 2 - 8th March it was - I had a massive breakdown including back to back panic attacks (which I've never had before and didn't recognise) for 36 hours - including ones that woke me up - in the end I had to call an ambulance as I was so frightened.

Yanbu to feel traumatised and triggered.
What happened was awful and the costs are still being counted (and will be for decades).

I'm so sorry for what you and DH went through.

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user1471538283 · 06/08/2022 17:24

It is a response to trauma and many people are experiencing it.

I think whilst it was happening we were all just terrified but kept going. I worked long hours throughout lockdown whilst coping with horrible noisy neighbors and very little sleep. However, after we had moved and things were getting better my mental health and anxiety took ages to recover. Even now I'm exhausted.

My bf described it as being on a train that stops suddenly yet everything behind keeps coming.

Everyone needs time and peace to process it.

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LizzieWallace · 07/08/2022 16:25

Thank you all so much. This has actually been really helpful. Myself and DH had a huge talk last night and got everything out in the open. I feel a lot better now I've been open about how I'm feeling x

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ApplesandBunions · 07/08/2022 16:56

I think it's very common to have unprocessed and unresolved trauma from what was for many people an awful experience.

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Festoonlights · 07/08/2022 17:10

That’s going to feel like a huge weight has been lifted now you have shared how you feel. You supported everyone else when they needed it, I am sure they will want to be there for you and help get you back to feeling more like yourself. It’s been so much harder than we sometimes admit even to ourselves. 💐💐

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Sartre · 07/08/2022 18:21

Lockdown understandably affected lots of people’s mental health, even people who had never previously struggled or who hadn’t struggled for many years.

I had agoraphobia over a decade ago but overcame it and thought I was a million miles away from that version of myself. Then I was pregnant and told to basically lock myself away for months to ‘stay safe’ so I did. We literally didn’t leave the house, DH went out once every other week to do a food shop and I went to midwife appointments but that was it. Absolutely insane thinking about it now, I was too scared to go for a walk incase we had to walk past someone! It took me a long, long time to get over this and feel comfortable leaving the house again. I wouldn’t go in shops alone until a few months ago, I had to have counselling for months too which I never thought would happen to me again.

I mostly feel back to normal now but not 100%. The second lockdown really hit me hard, homeschooling my older DC whilst juggling a 2 year old and breastfeeding a baby around the clock was just too much for me mentally. Anyway, you’re not alone with this and it’s actually very common.

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Gruffling · 07/08/2022 18:25

ChairOfInvisibleStudies · 06/08/2022 15:09

I also find it confusing that I have no idea how much of the 'new me' is attributable to becoming a parent and how much is due to the effect of the lockdowns etc, the two are so intertwined.

Wow - I never thought of it like this but that is such a good point.

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Mulhollandmagoo · 07/08/2022 18:31

I think so many people have some sort of PTSD from lockdowns, at the time we just got on with it (you more than most with such a young baby alone) but now we look back and it hits us what we went through. We were robbed of so much, so much time and so many experiences because of lockdown, and I don't think it's helped the stories that have come out since lockdown, that the government had parties etc. Because it's an extra layer of anger and frustration on top.

I imagine it feels better to get it all out of you system, to us and your husband? You may not have lost anyone, but you had a really rough deal. Would you maybe consider some counselling? Just to unwind your feelings surrounding the whole thing. You're an absolute hero, keeping going whilst your husband was away and you had small child and were in lockdown, that must have been really isolating. My heart goes out to anyone who lived alone, or single parents through lockdown, it must have been awful.

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B1rd · 07/08/2022 20:21

I feel exactly the same, but come from a different perspective where I had to work for the NHS. It was a very frightening time and many people were anxious. I've found that staff can no longer really cope with the complex patients and will happily do anything to pass them on to my service or continually ask for my guidance about what to do rather than take the responsibility on themselves. We are also short staffed and we cannot recruit.
Once back out into the real world, I found my confidence had drastically reduced within social circumstances. I find the smallest thing sets my fight/flight off.
I've been off this week and I've enjoyed doing sod all. It's made a huge difference, but it's Sunday night now and I'm back to work tomorrow and I can feel my anxieties rising again. You are not alone.

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glamourousindierockandroll · 07/08/2022 20:34

I really understand this. I feel like i've got no tolerance for being cooped up with my own children in the house. I can feel myself becoming bad tempered very easily and it feels like constant groundhog day. I had a toddler and a newborn when lockdown 1 was announced and found it really intense. DH was still working normally, including nightshifts and so it was just a lot of me trying to get us all through the next hour without screaming.

I hated the irony of knowing that had I not had children, I would have found lockdown absolutely blissful. I'm such a homebird and am never bored in my own company.

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ThreeRingCircus · 07/08/2022 20:35

I completely hear you OP. Looking back it really was a huge trauma. DD2 was also a baby during the first lockdown, DD1 was only just 3. I was so frightened I didn't step foot in a supermarket for two months....DH did it.

I didn't see my parents for almost a year as they lived so far away and DH and I lost two family members in that time (a parent and a grandparent). For my grandfather we couldn't even attend the funeral as it was the rule of 6 so my mother and her siblings were the only ones there.

It's time I won't ever get back and I agree with the PP that there's a sense of loss and of real anger when the "partygate" news came out.

I think the only thing that has helped is talking about it with friends and family. Sharing how we felt and giving it time. Finding peace through caring for ourselves and one another. I'm glad you've shared how you feel OP, you are not alone and you'll be OK.

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Notcoping90 · 07/08/2022 20:40

I understand where you're coming from. There are certain paths and parks locally to me that I really struggle to use because they remind me of that awful time. You may not have lost anyone but your feelings are still valid and it's ok to feel sad about it. As your thread has shown, I think it's quite a normal way to feel.

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