When Covid-19 seemed to be making a beeline for the U.K I don’t think anyone I spoke to was prepared for the chaos it was going to cause, despite the fact we had seen the impact of it in other countries. We somehow seemed to think we were invincible and how wrong we were. Covid-19 has been the strangest thing I have lived through in my 35 years and a situation I never imagined I would see.
The hardest part of this whole ordeal was the week or ten days leading up to lockdown. The uncertainty wreaked havoc with my anxiety and I definitely went into survival mode. While I wasn’t one of the moronic people who began hoarding toilet paper in vast quantities, I was someone who visited a myriad of different shops to make sure I had all the supplies I needed for when lockdown inevitability commenced or God forbid if I should suddenly have to self isolate due to illness, which thankfully I have not had to do.
I worked the entire week leading up to lockdown, due to a fellow colleague being in self-isolating and picking up her shifts. As most folks probably know now I work in a busy restaurant, a popular choice for many folks and I am used to my workdays keeping me well and truly occupied. Those days before lockdown were peculiar as fuck though. Some days I was given an early finish, which as the only chef in the kitchen is rare. Our managers are multi-talented though and can indeed cook up a storm when needed, but it’s not often quiet enough for them to not need a chef in the kitchen.
I watched as colleagues discussed what might happen going forward, with many panicking about income, bills and rent payments. Observing the general public was an experience within itself as so many folks seemed to be totally unaware of what was happening and couldn’t understand the new hygiene measure we’d put in place, our reluctance to handle cash or why in general everywhere was so quiet.
Every day before lockdown my anxiety was through the roof and I was amazed my actual tally of anxiety attacks only came to one. I think because I was very aware of anxious I was and allowed myself to do what I to my mind was proactive, like stocking up on supplies and preemptively planning what would happen should various situations arise. I had a plan for if money was scarce, I had a plan for if I got sick, a plan for if little one got sick, a plan for lockdown and a plan for a whole host of other scenarios that were very likely to unfold. I did what I needed to do though to allow my brain to make space for my anxiety without it taking over my life.
I know that a lot of words on the pre-lockdown phase, but I think sharing what pre-lockdown was like for me is important because I know actual lockdown has been hard on so many people and I feel as though I’m being thoughtless when I say lockdown has actually been pretty nice for me. Though not without its tough decisions.
Myself and my ex share custody of our little boy in a very relaxed manner, we are very lucky that this works for us. We have no formal agreements in place and he just comes and goes between us both quite happily. With lockdown looming though I knew we would have to make a decision as to where he spent his time. With a step-brother of a similar age and two parents instead of one we decided that it made a lot more sense for him to go to his Dad for lockdown. If it kept him safe, look after and stopped boredom setting in I would have made do with video calling him for as long as lockdown lasted, even though I would, of course, miss him terribly.
As it happens both our households are very well quarantined and we made the decision to allow him to still spend time with us both, just with less frequent changeovers. This perhaps isn’t a decision everyone will approve of, but this is a long time to expect an 8-year-old not to see one of his parents, especially when life is already strange enough and we are taking all the precautions we can and being very mindful of this all needing to change should any of us catch the dreaded ‘rona.
This did, however, leave me home alone with lots of food, whilst having a boyfriend also home alone with a tragic lack of supplies! Again we made a decision not all will agree with, but Mr F came to lockdown with me. Which on my part was a decision made for my mental health as much as anything else. I do not think I would have come out of lockdown as a functional person if I had done it alone. Having Mr F here has kept me bright and chirpy and it makes my little boy feel better about being away from me because he knows I’m being looked after, which is very important to him.
Which finally bring me to how I’ve spent lockdown … living with a dude!! Whaaaaaat? I honestly never thought I’d find myself living with another grown-up again but oh my goodness I’ve loved having him here. I love knowing he’s close by while I do my own thing, or getting cosy together for movies, eating together, sharing the cooking, watching him in the garden, listening to him play games with his friends (online of course, so social distancing is adhered to) and of course I’ve loved the morning kisses, the nighttime snuggles and OMG I’ve loved the fucking.
Despite the upheaval, my libido has been very healthy and three weeks of masturbation just would not have made the grade. I do however know I am incredibly blessed to have my person here with me, not only for the joy that is sexy fuckery but for cuddles, closeness and all the things my pals in LDR’s are currently missing and so desperately craving. I’m not sure a single day has gone by where I haven’t thought about how lost I’d be without him here and my heart is with those of you who are separated from your loves until this whole ordeal is over.
When I told Mr F he should spend lockdown with me I figured one of two things would happen, it would be a big mistake and our budding romance would be done by the time we went back to normal or it would be a marvellous adventure and I wouldn’t want him to leave. Honestly, I didn’t really think that the first outcome was likely at all, I was far more convinced that I’d get to end of lockdown and not want him to leave. I was absolutely correct.
At the time of writing, we are at the end of the initial lockdown period and eagerly awaiting the government’s review on the situation. I suspect though that lockdown will continue, in some form at least. When life does start to revert to some kind of normality though I think it will be a big shift for me and I am already preparing for how strange it will be to have Mr F back in his own home and work, friends and outside life being part of our relationship again.
When we left work only a few people knew we’d begun dating. When we return it’s likely everyone will know because it’s on Facebook. So there will definitely be an adjustment period where our very private and for a long time secret relationship is now public knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, going back to normal is absolutely something I want and I know the current situation would not be sustainable or suitable for a healthy relationship, but I cannot help but consider how I may well feel a little bit befuddled as we return to normal and navigate our relationship out in full view of everyone we know.
With all that said though I am excited for lockdown to be over. I miss my work, I miss my colleagues, hell I even miss doing the school run and truth be told I do want to be out in the world Mr F, I totally want to show him off and sicken the world with how disgustingly into each other we are. I also want us to go on all the outdoor adventures especially if this gorgeous weather continues once we are allowed to play outside again.
Lockdown has offered us an opportunity to spend an unexpected amount of time together though and while I wish the world wasn’t going through this turmoil I am grateful that I have been able to make the most of what is a very bizarre situation. I said to myself at the beginning of lockdown if we made it through lockdown, not only still very much together, but also happy and excited for a future together then it was probably very likely we could make it through all kinds of things together and I still believe this to be true.
This stretch of time has definitely highlighted for me who my people are and it is a very small circle of people. My ex-husband and his fiance are right up there though. We are always a team, but C-19 has pulled us together and we have had each other’s backs in all the ways, and we are so far lucky in that we’ve all remained healthy, but I am confident that if shit hits the fan we will all find a way through it, side by side.
I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how well connected I’ve remained with some folks from work. Work friendships can be a funny thing, often falling by the wayside when you aren’t seeing each other on the regular, but my phone has been filled with lovely work folk and I can’t wait to see their faces again. I am also blessed with long-distance friendships that have been invaluable and I can guarantee that when this is all over I am getting my ass to London to see some faces and collect some hugs.
It also wouldn’t be an honest lockdown review if I didn’t mention my blogging and Twitter chums. In the early days of all this kicking off, I was tweeting a lot, I needed a place to get my thoughts out and the responses were so helpful and my DM’s were filled with so many wonderful people and kind words. When people doubt online connections I know they’ve just never found the right folks to show them how supportive online friends can be.
No matter how much time passes I think our experiences during the ‘rona pandemic will stay with us and I will never stop being thankful that I was fortunate enough for it to create some moments to treasure in amongst the chaos, uncertainty and sadness that it brought forth for all of us. I hope as time moves on and our new normality resumes some other positives transpire from this for other folks too and for society in general. I think a lot of truths have been unveiled and lessons have been learnt and I dearly hope those things are not forgotten in our hurry to get back to the old normal.