70 Shielded and Bipolar

13 Jul 2020
Bookmark

Shielded from Covid 19 is like wearing a mental anorak that leaks when the rain is heavy. You gradually get wet mentally.

It started well. Lots of letters saying I was shielded. A kind lady delivered a food parcel. 3 small tins of tropical fruits. I hate the sweetness of tinned fruit. It is a poor substitute for fresh fruit eaten in the tropics. Another lady rings and offers milk and bread. A list is written of all the tasks to be completed. The major project is to paint the large kitchen. I have all the materials to complete the task. I move a large table out and commence rubbing down. But my nasty neighbour sloth arrives. No further action has been taken after 10 weeks. Sloth enters slowly.

The first few weeks he is hardly noticed. The family bring food parcels twice a week. There is chat when the parcel arrives. The wife complains about the husband and vice a versa. I nod and keep silent. But I have no other direct human contact. Video conferencing is not the same.

For the last 1542 days I have rigorously measured my mood on Moodscope. 20 questions give a scale from 0 to 100. Zero is suicidal and a 100 jumping off the ceiling. My average score is 54% slightly above normal. But now my score is well below 50% every day. I have watched Game of Thrones and Vikings. The routine of the day is lost. The TV becomes my social contact. Tears of loneliness appear. I start video conferencing. But what I am missing is the social contact. Seeing whites of their eyes. I try to write a poem about it:

I struggle with myself.

My thoughts. My self-love. My competitive nature.

It’s OK not to be OK

I was made to be the best version of myself.

Not my best version of someone else. Yet, we all try to be someone else.

I need to embrace myself. Not anyone else.

Love myself. Be strong the way I was made to be. Grow the way I know I can.

I won't be you. Or her. Or him.

But I can be me. And that's way better.

Love yourself. Because if you can't love yourself, how the hell will you love someone else?

My 70th birthday passes. Video conference affair - tears. But my son brings a hamper of exotic food. It helps my growing girth with wholesome things. The oven ready chips are dropped. But it starts the light shining in me.

Things have changed. Mental rain no longer passes thru’ the anorak. The change in shielding restrictions allows me to visit my allotment. Direct social contact with the Bolsheviks who put the world to rights over a thermos of tea.

I am resigned to being shielded until a vaccine is found. I have lived thru’ the storm and learnt from the experience.

Vintagecool

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Molly

July 14, 2020, 1:56 a.m.

Hi Vintagecool Is the Sloth depression? Couldn’t quite work it out. I liked the points you made, all things to remind ourselves of. I liked your writing. I’m sorry you have struggled with isolation. I ordered a mask tonight. I didn’t want to but it sounds like it might become compulsory to enter a shop. If I cannot go into my local co-op because I don’t have a mask on, I will probably lay on the ground and have a tantrum. If it’s announced as speculated, there won’t be any left to buy. So go get your masks folks. Good luck Vintage. Hope things get better. Molly xx

Reply

Daisy

July 14, 2020, 4:41 a.m.

Thank you for an interesting blog and beautifully written. How difficult for you well done for doing so well - the allotment sounds like a great escape.

Reply

Jane

July 14, 2020, 5:58 a.m.

Get some protective gear: masks and gloves and go out. Meet a friend and socially distance. Stop torturing yourself.

Reply

Ruth

July 14, 2020, 6:37 a.m.

It's not that simple. We have to shield to live. That's just how it works. If we catch it we die. That simple.

the room above the garage

July 14, 2020, 5:58 a.m.

Hello vintage, could you write for us once a week? I’d enjoy it very much, Love ratg x.

Reply

Molly

July 14, 2020, 2:45 p.m.

I would imagine so many blogs are sent in, I don’t think it would be fair for another person to have a weekly blog. There are lots of good bloggers on here xx

Daisy

July 14, 2020, 7:16 p.m.

I would like to hear more from Vintage!

the room above the garage

July 14, 2020, 6:02 a.m.

I didn’t mean to sound so blunt and direct, I’m running out the door. What I meant was, I really enjoyed hearing your story and I’d be glad for that not to end. Love ratg x

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

July 15, 2020, 9:33 a.m.

Hi Ratg, I don’t think you were being blunt....just a busy bee! Bear x

Ruth

July 14, 2020, 6:30 a.m.

I have been shielding for a long time now too. My Dad is also shielding. We have no choice. This covid-19 will kill us if we get it. I too am lonely. I do have carers twice a day but that's all. Skype and Zoom are not the same. My list of jobs also sits idle. My parents both did their 70th birthdays by Zoom. This is the only way I have seen my family at all. They have been married 50 years in September and my sister 25 years. We had such plans for this year. None of it is happening. My birthday is August. I don't really want a Zoom birthday on my own. I want it to end but I also want to be safe. As with many people, I now have a fear of going out. I will get there though.

Reply

Oli

July 14, 2020, 6:35 a.m.

Strange times VC, documented well, and belated birthday wishes. Yesterday I had a difficult conversation with my friend who is shielding. We talked about one of the topics you mention — shielding till a vaccine is found. She asked the question, “what will be different on 1st August 2020?” That’s a good question. I asked about her daughter, a young mum in her early 20s who so far has been staying in but is now struggling as she sees all her friends going out again. There are only two basic options here but I kept my thoughts to myself. And this morning I got an email from my son that his wife has “the ‘rona” as he called it. That means he can’t work while he isolates. Average scores. These are really useful but I wrote way too much and deleted it but the gist was that I take my average using the median of the last week or two. My scores show trends rather than jumps so this works for me. The average displayed on the graph, whilst technically accurate, probably becomes less and less clinically/ personally useful with time. (My graph average is way off my current situation.) Thank you for this blog VC. It’s quite a tough one but I really appreciate the way you’ve described the realities of this pandemic. I think we’re all getting our heads around the idea that for some people there won’t be a return to life before the virus arrived. And that’s okay; it’s reality. Reality is always right.

Reply

Molly

July 14, 2020, 3:06 p.m.

Reality is always right, what a divine statement Oli xx

Jul

July 14, 2020, 7:19 a.m.

Hello Vintage Cool What a wonderfully written blog. I am reading Anna Karenina at the moment, a long book, each page densely packed with words, Russian names and side plots concerning the Russian countryside so your reference to the Bolsheviks and your allotment made me smile. I am so glad you can at last dig the ground and smell the earth. A huge milestone. Oli's comment above that reality is always right is the best most reassuring thing I've heard so far about the new normal we're going to have to probably accept as our way of life in the future. (Thx Oli!) Thank you for the blog today VC. I shall read it again later. Jul x

Reply

Orangeblossom

July 14, 2020, 8:04 a.m.

Hi Vintagecool, many thanks for the very inspiring blog. It is very encouraging.

Reply

Valerie

July 14, 2020, 8:29 a.m.

Hello Vintage, You have done amazingly well to cope.I thought that all the restrictions on health/age grounds had been removed,so perhaps things have changed a for the better for you since you wrote the blog.I do hope so.My own feeling is that if we never try to get some normality back,then Covid has succeeded in taking our lives from us anyway.If the allotment you have is like the ones near my house,there will be quite a lot of community spirit and conversation going on.Do keep writing,this was great.xx

Reply

Jul

July 14, 2020, 10:34 a.m.

I like the way you are thinking Val. Jul xx

Molly

July 14, 2020, 3:40 p.m.

Yes I agree Val and Jul. Life goes on doesn’t it. As long as we use a bit of common sense. We wouldn’t go outside for anything regardless of the virus (oh hold on I don’t) but I feel (bit harsh maybe) that if you are going to get it, you are going to get it. We all die of something xx

Nicco

July 14, 2020, 10:42 p.m.

Thanks for your blog, Vintagecool. I feel guilty because I don't like going out much, don't really like meeting/visiting people, & have been spared the worries about financial income. However, it's odd when the freedom to roam is actually taken away. I drove out to visit my favourite trees a few days ago - then it rained but I didn't mind that at all. Some days I think I am coping, others not so well - nothing new there either really. My scores average in the 30s & 40s (lowest ever was a one time 1%, highest once was over 80% - both some years ago). Some days it tells me my mood must have improved & I get annoyed because it hasn't! I still like to do the questions & always make a comment, though - it reminds me how sensitive I am to my environment & others' moods & that that is just the way I am - I suppose acceptance & adapting is they key to most things. Am re-reading the book on HSP (highly sensitive people) which is proving a re-education - perhaps I didn't take it all in adequately the first time I read it some years ago, although there are lots of scribbled pencil notes - it's interesting to see if & how I have changed since. Thanks again for your blog.

Reply

Molly

July 14, 2020, 11:04 p.m.

I won’t be commenting anymore because I’m no good for the site. I know some people don’t like me and have made it obvious. I won’t mention names, as you know who you are. Thank you to the good friends I have made on here. I won’t name them either, you also know who you are. I believe my positive comments outweigh my negative ones. I much prefer to be honest personally. Good luck to all you lovely people. Keep being nice (whether you mean it or not).

Reply

Dido

July 15, 2020, 7:08 a.m.

Hi Molly, I've got to know your directness, I always read where you are. None of us really know each other, it's where we are in the moment and how we recieve what is written, which for me changes each time. If you did go I would miss your writing. x Dido

Molly

July 15, 2020, 4:58 p.m.

Thank you

Nicco

July 25, 2020, 7:25 p.m.

Molly, i've only just seen this so i hope by now you've had a change of heart & changed your mind. I value your honesty & do understand how emotions can sometimes overtake more rational thinking so it's a good idea to count to ten (or wait a while as i sometimes do!) before posting.

Another Sally

July 15, 2020, 6:17 a.m.

Whoa Molly, where did that come from? There were a bunch of valid comments and, unless I missed something, there were no snide remarks about you. I can feel from here that things are not too bright for you, but please do not give up. As you say, you have good friends on here and some who may not understand you. I disliked you for a while, a couple of years back and still might think ‘oh Molly, there you go again’ - but, you are part of the fabric of Moodscope now and it would not be the same without you. Hang in there Molly. Maybe sometimes count to ten before you post. (Smiley emoji) :-) Love, AS

Reply

Molly

July 15, 2020, 4:59 p.m.

Thank you

Bearofliddlebrain

July 15, 2020, 9:38 a.m.

Hi VintageCool, what a super blog...sorry I’m late reading and catching up...if you have more blogs 'in you' perhaps you could work on them in between trips to your lottie- you have a great way of writing. Bear hugs xx

Reply

Login or Sign Up to Comment