Monday, May 09, 2022

Lost, and found


Even though we know we need community, it is hard to take that first step. It takes a lot of courage to rock up to a church or a running club. And if we have become disconnected over the pandemic, it can feel twice as hard to come back.

You’ve lost confidence. But so, pretty much, has everyone else. So, while you imagine a gulf that has grown wider between you and others, it is perhaps more like a drop in water level when the tide goes out. And we can rise again, together.

You’ve lost appetite. But depression suppresses appetite, as does scarcity. Over successive lockdowns, our appetite for social connection has contracted, first as a necessity, a survival instinct, and in time a tipping from healthy to unhealthy. But we still need social contact, just as we still need food. The nature of our engagement might change. We might need to reconnect in a different capacity, carrying less responsibility or limiting the activities we re-engage with; but we do need to reconnect.

You’ve lost contact. And our mind games tell us that no-one has reached out to us, so no-one can have missed us, and if we aren’t missed, we aren’t wanted, and perhaps the friendships were not as real as we thought. But we haven’t reached out, because our capacity, our energy levels, have been depleted; and what is true for us is true for others. When we get together, we can look out for one another, but to keep looking out for those who stay away is a huge ask. Chances are, people have reached out to you, and you have reached out to others, but it is hard to sustain. When we come together, we find that people are glad to see us.

Yes, it feels hard to reconnect. But you have done it before, and you can do it again. Let’s do it together.

Mental Health Awareness Week


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