COVID-19

What are we left with? – COVID-19

I wasn’t sure about taking part in Brigit’s prompt of Love and Life in the Times of Corona. I felt that I had written enough about COVID-19 and how it affected me at the beginning and I have sort of run out of steam with it, but really, that should not be the case. This is probably the single biggest historical event that will happen in my lifetime. It is always hard when you are right there in the middle of something to see what it means and it is easier just to get on with being, with living it and with existing in a new normal. It has left us all feeling a bit powerless. It has ripped the routine and the control of our own lives from right out of our fingertip,s and all we have been able to do is to respond.

That said, we still own our own responses. And so, after some thought, this is mine.

The Best and The Worst

The is nothing like a crisis to allow you to see the best and the worst of people and this situation has shown me that in extremes. I have been humbled by the humanity that I have seen in others. I am not talking about the celebration and recognition of those who have made sacrifices, although that has been warming to see; I am talking more of the gestures, the kindness, the thought that some have shown, not towards friends but towards strangers. I am speaking about the little things which could so easily go unnoticed but which have been felt by those on the receiving end and have made all the difference.

I am fortunate to live in a community which has pulled together. I have always been a person who enjoyed doing things for others. My life is set up in that way and I am proud that I have been able to be useful and contribute positively during this situation. Whether you are shielding or not, everyone can do those things for others in a way which fits their own circumstances and there have been so many instances of that playing out quite clearly. It has made me feel good in a situation where there is so much which is not.

I have seen people come together and support each other in a way which is much more altruistic than usual. I think that life has become simpler and it has encouraged people to focus on the things that matter to them: relationships and friendships, for example. I have been so lucky to have strengthened a number of friendships and I think that because the pace has shifted, there is more time to appreciate those check-ins that people make with you and to reciprocate them too. The feeling of paying it forward has been strong.

Sadly, I have also seen the worst. I suppose that being under pressure doesn’t always bring out the best and I have seem examples of people who really just seem to want to pick fights and have a go at others. While I suppose this is understandable, the pressure cooker that we are all existing in right now has made this more difficult to deal with. Where usually people can be avoided, this has seemed harder to do during lockdown where there is a captive audience through social media to call people out under the guise of one thing or another.

Rather than focussing on those who need help and engaging energy into that, there has seemed to been an attack culture around decisions which are made and differing personal circumstances. I know that everyone deals with things in a different way but on a personal level, I have found this tiring and have tried to step away from much of what is going on, so that I can protect my own mental health.

Mental Health

I think that all of us have struggled in this area. Those who were already managing mental health difficulties have found them exacerbated and others who usually enjoy fairly good mental well-being have seen that dip through the loss of their familiar coping strategies. The world has been shaken. It has felt frightening and unstable and uncertain. ‘Not knowing’ is one of the things that is most stressful on the human mind as we tend to find safety in certainties. Currently we sit on shifting sands.

Due to my job, I have worried about the effects of Covid 19 on mental health from the outset. I can see that to prioritise physical health over mental well-being has been necessary but I expect the effects to be far reaching and, to some extent, hidden for some time yet. It worries me and trying to support others from afar during this time has led me to struggle myself. The usual boundaries are not there for me, so the work is in my home. I am waking each morning after only a few hours of sleep with the feeling of panic that you get when something bad has happened. I work through my commitments and priorities for the day and use that to try to reassure myself, but for this to happen for such an extended period of time, would not be usual for me.

I have noticed shifts in mood too. One day of every three will involve a dip followed by a period of mania as I try to right things inside my own head and take control again. I try to wait my time as I have lurched into so many projects as a means of coping that I recognise now that I am in a pattern. I throw myself into my relationships and am glad for the sense of stability and comfort that they bring. I am fortunate in so many ways that much of my life is online, and I have taken solace in this.

Dominance and submission

Our D/s trickles on but not in any really valid way. I know that may sound disrespectful but I do not mean it like that. Although HL takes responsibility for things being ‘less’, that makes no real sense. A power exchange is circular, based on give and take, and so my behaviour and responses play into any lessening as much as his do. Our work situations have left us somewhat emotionally unavailable to each other and this has meant that, while we still continue with much of what we have, our connection is not as strong as it sometimes is.

Where we might have used our dynamic to support us, somehow we have not reached for it as we usually would. What tells me that something bigger than us is at play is the fact that we are both content with things as they are. There is a sense of biding time, waiting for things to right themselves, for life to return to its more predictable, more manageable reality. We shift on in a comfortable slipper, rather than reaching out for our glad rags and kicking up a stir.

Anger

There is anger. There is so much anger around. It is palpable at times and it has affected me on a personal level. I am angry with some of the decisions being made which make no sense. I am angry at the loss and the waste and the mess that everything is in. But most of all I am angry about my work situation and the things that I can’t speak about. It eats me up and I try to push it down but it bubbles and it rumbles and I want it to stop. I feel fiery and saddened and it is difficult to explain to someone who is not in this situation why, although I know that I am not alone.

As a profession we are asked to do the impossible, the unworkable, the impractical. We are set up for failure; we know that things will not work and we know that we can’t do our best to support those who we are there to support. It makes me angry to see stories of teachers going ‘back to work’. We have been working all along and I have worked as many hours as I would usually, many of them over evenings and weekends due to my new online availability.

Work is no longer at work, it is in my home and it has made made it difficult to create the boundaries between the two which would usually be there. The vulnerability that I usually show at home does not stand me in good stead for dealing with the emotional impact of the type of support I offer through work. Young people are struggling, mentally, socially and emotionally and those in the very worst of situations, and the very worst of mental states, are not able to be supported in the ways we would usually do where there is nurture and reassurance through the face to face contract and the stability of routine.

Love

And through it all there is love. I mean that. I know that this is pretty doom and gloom but I wanted to document the way that I felt without diminishing how terrible some of this has been. Overall though. I do see good and that comes from the love and the care and the complete dedication and commitment of those I am surrounded by. For my daughter who works for the NHS and puts herself at risk for others, for my colleagues who twist themselves in knots and go so many more miles than anyone would ever imagine and for HL who supports his own team giving his all and putting his own needs on hold.

For my friends and family who weather their own individual storms but always make time to check in and focus on the others who matter around them. For the readers of this blog who take time to empathise and encourage and offer a hand of friendship. For a community who thinks outside the box and finds ways to ease the pressure for those who need that, and for all the unseen people who play their part, not because anyone has asked them to or because they are required to, but because they want to because it is part of who they are.

Out of all of this, let love be the strongest emotion and the final word. Let love be the thing that will lift us all up and out of this.

Erotic Journal Challenge
Sex Bloggers for Mental Health


Other posts about lockdown life and COVID-19
The Worst Week
Ideas and Ideas and Ideas
7 Days in April – Day 1
D/s on lockdown – Dealing with change
Is my libido on lockdown

Posted in Submissive Journal.

28 Comments

  1. I feel like you’ve covered so much here and touched upon a lot of things that most of us probably struggle with in one way or another. You’re not alone Missy. We’ll all pull through this together and everything you feel is valid

  2. “the feeling of panic that you get when something bad has happened” and “One day of every three will involve a dip followed by a period of mania as I try to right things inside my own head and take control again” – I can identify with that!

    • I should not feel that I am glad it is now only me, and yet, there is some reassurance in that isn’t there? Everything is so confusing and I feel I am dragging my heels and trying to work myself out and counteract it. Thank you for being someone whose comments on my posts make me feel connected and also make me think more deeply ❤️

  3. I also have been struggling with changes of mood during the quarantine… The hardest thing is that those changes take place several times per day…

  4. We’re having the same struggle with D/s in the times of C19. So glad to know we’re not alone!

    • I think it is common and as I said, felt in some ways that I didn’t want to drag over it again but it will be good to be able to lol back on I think ?

  5. Beautifully rounded of the situation missy, your post is so very relatable. It is reassuring that although our situations differ the views are the same, we are not alone.

  6. You’ve pretty much covered every aspect of the challenges this situation has brought to the surface. I admire you for finding positives. I think those in the teaching and counselling professions are unsung heroes of this. Your post truly resonated. You are coping well it seems, as an outside observer.
    ‘Not knowing’ is one of the things that is most stressful on the human mind as we tend to find safety in certainties. Currently we sit on shifting sands.
    These lines – in particular – spoke to me.

    • Thank you Posy. I think they like lots of people I try to focus on what I do have and what I can do, but I am challenged by it now ❤️

  7. The anger, the panic, seeing the best and the worst in people… all of this I recognize. Over here too work is home and home is work and the lines seem to be totally blurred, and after weeks I have finally managed to have some kind of structure with that. Because of so much anger going around, my mental health is not as good as it was, and it worries me, as I sometimes feel weak, even though I know I am not.
    And then love… the most important of all, and not only love for others, but also self love.
    Strong post, Missy, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    ~ Missy xox

    • Thank you Marie, and also for seeing it as strong. Like you I don’t feel good. This has all taken its toll on me and I can feel quite unstable at times. As one of those who has been there for me, thank you for your support ❤️

  8. I appreciate how you’ve laid this out…and I could mirror your responses in each of these categories. I, too, have seen the best and worst of people (online and in the news and in my own community). There has been more stress, and yet more time to relax. I guess it’s a strange juxtaposition. Some of what we have learned, I hope we keep as we carry forward. But there are things that I can’t wait to leave behind. So much of this is just mentally and emotionally exhausting. I’m ready for summer vacation.

    • I am with you there. I think that my responses have mirrored yours in a lot of ways. I have learnt and grown but I am ready for a return to what I know and can do well. Alas that is not to be. Crazy days for the rest of the year and beyond I feel ?

        • Ours are unbelievable. I never thought I would see education go like this. And it seems pointless when outside of school it is like as per usual! x

  9. Hi, I am a single Mum – kids are now teenagers and I feel ready to embark on a new relationship.However this lockdown situation has really kicked off my wish to be dominated in the bedroom and perhaps beyond? I read a little about how you landed up in this relationship style missy – my experience of a brief marriage was where life would be a whole lot easier alone and so that’s what I’ve done – raising 3 children from very tiny by myself. I’ve had some other relationships but nothing serious – the problem I’ve found is that I know that I have this kink but the guys I’ve met who want that are not respectful and wouldn’t make suitable partners or role models for my kids. I love the idea of the relationship you’ve described but I’m afraid of pursuing the kink in a relationship because I’m afraid of it kicking off an abusive situation (my marriage was heading that way when I got out- but I still had to deal with some stalking behaviour). I worry about who I m attracted to and who I attract- it seems to be men who want reassurance as I come across as a very independent and capable person and a good supporter- I’ve tried to go against my instinct in who I am attracted to and it’s got me dependent folks who want a lot of emotional support and very vanilla sex. Or I go with the gut instinct and I seem to attract the cabrons , the shag about casual lacking in commitment types.
    I think I have been managing on my own for so long that I’m not sure how to give out different vibes and also I although I’m very good at giving out advice to my young adult son about not rushing headlong into relationships but get to know someone well first – that is definitely my MO. Your opinions would be appreciated 🙂

    • I was lucky to be in a relationship so it was just the case of adding to it. I don’t really have much experience of finding people with a view to being D/s from the start. I know that there are events etc on fetlife where you could meet other subs and well as Doms. Perhaps being part of a local group would help? I think in terms of personality knowing yourself and what you want should be a big part of it. While submission does mean doing things for the other partner, it also means that they are meeting your needs. Red flags would exist in the same way as vanilla relationships as you need to feel respected and valued etc. I am happy to email if that helps. There are also some single subs at the SafeworD/s Club who would be happy to chat about their experiences. Missy x

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