Powerless over Covid

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I don’t suppose that title will make this article a best seller. It certainly doesn’t seem to fit with a culture of self-empowerment and I don’t suppose it would sell many books! But bare with me; I’ll try to explain why admitting I’m powerless over this wretched disease is actually a positive step.

It isn’t a popular thing to admit our weaknesses or to proclaim ineptitude. But I’d like to do just that. When it comes to fighting covid and the effects it has on my body, I am completely powerless. I didn’t have a say in catching the disease (nine months ago now) and I don’t have a say in what it is physically doing to me. (Long) Covid will run its own course and I am forced to bow to it’s superiority. My goodness, that sounds bleak, I seem to have become the harbinger of doom.

But here’s why I think it’s so important to admit I am powerless over covid. So long as I assume to have any power over it, I pick a fight that I cannot win and which will likely cause me grief. It’s like my picking a fight with Mike Tyson, as soon as I step into the ring I am done for. When that bell rings, it will be a matter of seconds before I am knocked to the floor – likely never to get up!! If I fail to accept the limitations that covid has placed on me, I will continue to fall prey to its effects. I will continue to over-do things, bite off more than I can chew, spend more energy than I have and once again end up feeling beaten, exhausted and defeated.

It might sound odd to say that I need to embrace covid and its effects on my life, but like it or not, I’m a passenger on this journey. As I learn to accept this fact, I can allow my mind to open to what is possible for me at this time, and spend my energy there, rather than on fighting against what I can’t change. I’m still not at work, I can’t ride my bike in the hills and my brain is proper slow. But today I have had a difficult and necessary conversation with someone, and I’ve written a small blog. That’s up on yesterday when all I achieved was a (wobbly) walk to the local coffee shop Carolina’s, to eat cake and have a latte (yes, it was a real hardship).

You see, admitting I’m powerless over something helps me to let go of the things I simply can’t control. It enables me to re-evaluate my situation and then divert my energy to things over which I do have agency. I may be powerless over covid, but I am by no means helpless or useless.

I don’t have a choice about being a covid passenger, but I do have a choice in how I respond. I’m not the same as I was before covid, but for today, I choose to spend my energy on things which matter, things I know I can manage, rather than fighting an exhausting battle of denial which would leave me feeling broken time after time.

Day 40… Lights in the darkness

light-in-the-dark

Well I can’t quite believe it’s Easter Day and that this challenge is at it’s end.

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to this blog by sharing your story around mental health or wellbeing. You have been both courageous and generous with what you have shared  and a real blessing to those who have read your story. I’d also like to thank all those who have followed the blog in any way; it’s been really nice to hear that you have been encouraged in some way by what you have read here. This blog will of course remain open and I will always aim to publish your story if you feel you are ready to share it. I’d also like to say at this point that it is now safe to subscribe (below) to this blog without fear of a daily bombardment of email from me!! Continue reading

Cross Oceans

cross oceans

Day 39 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge, I really can’t believe there is only one day left! As I said before, I’ll post day 40 on Easter Day, however, if you have a story, in-between now and then, I will post it.

I often see sayings like the one crossed out above on sites like Facebook and Linked-in, and it always makes me a bit sad. I came across this version a few weeks ago (I think maybe a quote from Jay John, but it’s off the internet so not totally sure!)  and thought it was brilliant and wondered if it may have an application for this blog… Continue reading

Taboo

taboo

Day 35 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. So I am wondering about getting to day 39 and then taking a break until Easter Sunday. In the meantime I shall continue to collect new contributions (please keep them coming in!) and focus on getting more exposure to the contributions that have already been written. I shall also spend some time thinking about and planning what happens next, since this blog has attracted far more interest than I imagined it would. Watch this space!

Today, I’m going to reblog something simple I wrote a couple of years ago about the Taboo surrounding mental wellbeing… Continue reading

Sarah’s Postnatal Depression

postnatal-online

Day 34 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Still more space for contributions, please please do get in touch. Remember to “share” or “re-post” if you have been moved or encouraged by anything you read here. We need lots more hits on the blog to reach 5000 before Easter!

We know that postnatal depression is more common than we may be aware, but it can still really take us by surprise and leave us feeling isolated and inadequate. Today Sarah really kindly shares her story with us… Continue reading

5000 views…?

Day 32 of my 40 (46) Day Blog Challenge. In case you are new here, let me fill you in . I decided to publish a blog around the subject of mental health and wellbeing every day for Lent. Mental health is such an important subject to be speaking about openly, and I wanted to see what would happen if I started this. Very quickly, lots of people decided to join in and write about their own experiences of mental health. It has been such a blessing. And thank you everyone who has participated so far. There are now just 2 weeks left to go.

So now I’d like to challenge you! Continue reading

I Overcame Self-Doubt…

Dear+Self+DoubtDay 29 of my 40 Day blog Challenge (I found out today that Lent this year has more than 40 days, it has 46!! So my 40 Day Challenge is actually a 46 Day Challenge!!), who knew?! And if you did, why didn’t you tell me! 😉 This means there is plenty more room for your contributions 🙂

Today we have a lovely story from Susie about overcoming serious self-doubt:

I overcame self-doubt

Seriously, I think that as you grow, people’s perception of you can have a big impact on how you see yourself. As I grew up, surrounded by a family that had very little expectation of me, and not being pushed to do well at school or in any area, I never really had any confidence in myself or my abilities. Continue reading

Resilience: around the world on his bike!

Day 25 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. If I thought Id’d set myself a challenge doing this blog for 40 days, then Josiah Skeats is a challenge legend! I have been following his blog as he cycles around the world, from the UK toward Australia. As a keen cyclist myself, I know how disheartening it can be when you are  cycling into a bit of a headwind, let alone some of the crazy conditions Josiah has faced. So I figured I’d ask him about resilience, and he has so kindly written the following blog for us on the subject. Please do check out his personal blog, or follow him on Facebook, it is a truly wonderful story.

Resilience

Of the many lessons you learn on a 25,000 kilometre cycling journey around the world, learning to be resilient, and to overcome difficult situations is one of the most valuable. Contrary to what you might imagine, the physical challenge of cycling such a vast distance pales in comparison to the mental challenges. Continue reading

Not “OK”

Firstly, our thoughts must be with all those individuals and families affected by yesterday’s terrible events in Westminster. It has been a truly dark day. 

I had another blog lined up to post today but felt the need say something about the events of yesterday. Today’s will be a brief post. 

The events took place just less than 1/2 mile from my office in Westminster. I was in a team meeting at the time, oblivious to what what was happening. It was only when we checked the answerphone after the meeting that we all became aware. 

At first it was surreal. I called my wife to say I was ok. We all made our way out of the office and started our various journeys home. I got the 17.06 back to Sussex and the safety of my home and family, for which it feels I have never been more grateful. 

It was only during the evening that the reality began to sink in. I didn’t want to watch the news, and spent the rest of the evening feeling numb and subdued. 

That feeling remains with me this morning as I write this on the train heading back into Westminster. I could pretend everything was ok, but somehow, my small part of the world feels very different today. 

Thankfully I wasn’t caught up in the events yesterday; but they have certainly had an impact on me. I felt the need to share that, as I process what it means to work in the heart of a city which has no immunity in this era of terrorism. 

Of course, things will settle down and probably quickly return to “normal”. But for today, I acknowledge that I’m really not OK, and that is OK. 

Anxiety Attack…

Anxiety

Day 22 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. When anxiety takes hold full force, it can be a terrifying and crippling experience. Today, Jack boldly shares his experience with a period of acute anxiety.

Acute Anxiety Attack

I had got to the place where I accepted that mental health issues affect people, but I wasn’t ready to believe that I would be one of them. Third child in as many years and we were not sleeping well. I was run down and had a virus. It was February 2015 and I was not prepared for what happened next. Continue reading