For more than six weeks I have not allowed myself to cry.
Every time I felt a salty sting behind my eyes, a flush of heat through my cheeks or a lump of dread begin to form in my throat, I would hold my breath until the tears disappeared like water down a drain.
Basically, my life had turned into the equivalent of standing in a kitchen and holding my hand over the hissing lid of a shaken Coke bottle.
I was stopping the explosion from taking place, but now all my energy was directed at keeping that lid from bursting.
I didn’t cry as the borders around Sydney closed and I was cut off from my family or when I waved goodbye to my friends in the office as we packed up our things to work from home, not even able to exchange a quick hug before I walked into a world where I would not touch another human being for months.
Watch the moment Sydney found out it was going into lockdown again. Post continues after video.
I didn’t cry when my mother was admitted to hospital in a state I am no longer allowed to enter or when my little nephew blew kisses to me over the phone and then asked when I would visit him so we could hunt for treasure.
It was both an act of self-preservation and an unfortunate learned behaviour that comes from being a single woman who lives alone, in a world where people still like to share 'you go girl' quotes on Instagram while also quietly clutching their pearls in private, echoing your aunt's concerns that you 'failed to marry'.
There's a sense of being proud of the independent life you've built while also knowing that if you were to crumple onto your bed and cry into your decorative pillows, it would elicit the one public sentiment you've tailored your persona to avoid - pity.
On the other side of the no tears spectrum is the new conversation rule that the COVID-19 pandemic has enticed us all, singles, couples and parents alike, to follow.