• Dr Kathryn Liveriadis

From Lockdown to Breakdown.

Even if you have a roof over your head, and food landing on your table, it's okay to feel broken by this.

If you are located in Melbourne you would presently be feeling the effects of another lockdown. Lockdown 6.0 to be exact. In Melbourne we have been hit hard, as has most the world. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually. With every lockdown, I fear our spirit looses strength. Unsure if we will get through another one, as our nervous system finds itself bound once more with the dark memories of the past.

For some, there lockdown experience has bought much newness and joy, and I am so very happy for them! Yet, for others, it did much the opposite. Finding themselves lost, craving social interaction that wasn't through a phone or a laptop, depressed, anxious, stressed and struggling. This prolonged period of stress, of trauma, on our nervous system, mind and spirit has been well engrained. The moment we hear the word "lockdown" our body finds itself wrapped in the state we fell into many months ago, as we sat through many months of lockdown life, unsure when we'd be able to see our loved ones again, sit down for a coffee, or head to the beach or mountains.

I wanted to note something here. Even if you have a roof over your head and food landing on your table, it's okay to feel broken by this. Just because you may not seemingly have it as hard as someone, from an outside perspective, DOES NOT mean that you don't have the right to feel stuck, broken, stressed, overwhelmed, or the myriad of other emotions that could be spiking for you at present. Just because someone else may seemingly have it harder does not mean you don't have the right to feel how you feel. No ones feelings are more or less valid, simply because of circumstance.

I have been seeing comparisons happening online, or in real life in conversations, comparing the struggles of our grandparents or great grandparents to the present experiences we are enduring. Understandably, these posts and conversations are trying to make light of the fact that lockdowns may not be the worst thing in the world. But guess what, that doesn't mean it's not the worst thing in the world for you. If it is, honour that. You are allowed to feel however you feel about these restrictions on our movement, our social interactions, our work. Just because someone may have seemingly had it worse, doesn't mean you aren't allowed to feel how you feel.

I don't want to get into splitting hairs. Trauma is trauma. I'm not in a position to quantify or qualify people's trauma.
Tarana Burke

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't feel bad about how you are feeling. How your mind, body and spirit is managing (or not managing). It is doing its best. You are doing your best, trying to navigate through another period of time in your life, which for many is now bound in the memory of what it felt like in the deepest depths of Melbourne's longest lockdown period in 2020. Don't compare your experience to the experience of others. Just because someone else seems to be doing okay, in the same or similar circumstances as you, does not mean you aren't allowed to feel as though you are falling apart. Allowing ourselves to feel those emotions without the guilt of "but someone else has it worse" is important. I've already said it, but I'll say it again. You have the right to feel.

dr Kathryn x

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