I woke today with a heavy head and a heavy heart. I felt exhausted and I just wanted to go back to sleep.
I have now been at home with my four young children in Melbourne for over six months - and for who knows how much longer. It has hardened me more than I ever anticipated.
I’ve always been a highly sensitive, emotionally raw person.
But now I feel an abrasive armour has formed. An unwanted but necessary new skin.
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A friend asked me early on in the pandemic if we should be worried. “Nah,” I said.
“Nah.” That word haunts me. A stupidly simple word to play over and over in my mind. I suppose it’s because the woman who spoke that word no longer exists.
That woman who was flippant and care free. Her hands were blissfully unsanitised and her face remained uncovered, breathing freely.
I had felt a wave of emotions in the beginning, drowning in each new headline pulling me further from the life I knew.
"Normal" was changing at an alarming pace.
But we were all in it together. It felt like it was us against this virus.
Until we weren’t. Now the very words “together” and “us” feel like a mocking insult. Because we are not.
Victoria was hit with a second wave. Hard. And that is a unique new isolation to feel.
Now I feel like I’m in a calm sea, very, very far from land. Which is worse than the waves. I’m just floating here, stagnant, waiting, overthinking.
I now feel bitter anger at those who don’t live here and say things like “keep it up!”
I used to smile and nod but now the bitter voice of a stranger screams in my head: “EASY FOR YOU TO SAY! YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT.”
I feel immense gratitude that my family is healthy and my government seems to care more about people’s lives than our economy.
I feel sadness at the tiny circle my children now have to function in.
"Mum, remember when we played sport and could see our friends?" they say.
I smile at them sadly and with welling tears I reply, "Yes, I do."
I feel exhausted deep into my bones at trying to stay positive and keep things as easy and fun for them as possible, googling indoor craft and YouTubing exercise classes for kids.