I could care less, but only if I really, really tried.

by Pseud O'Nym

Right now, as I type these words, I am holed up in my bedroom for the simple reason that I can’t tell if I’ve suddenly been overcome with an episode of depression or if it’s a particularly low mood. Either way, I do what I always do in these situations, which is to remove myself from the society of other people and wait for it to pass, the sooner the better. I’ve always been selfish with these, unlike some people I’ve known, who all of a sudden become quite selfless and want everyone else to have their share of unhappiness. They don’t stint, and they make sure everyone gets some.

This bout came over me as I was standing at the kitchen sink and doing the washing up after having made LMS and I porridge for breakfast. As soon as the fun element of breakfast was over – the eating bit- she ran off to her room to watch something on something. And as I was washing up, I became aware of three things, the first of which was more pertinent to my immediate situation, namely that the draining rack was piled high with things, so one was forced to play a kind of reverse kitchenware Jenga, where you try to find places to put things without the whole lot collapsing and smashing around you.

The second, is the fact that this self-isolation or social distancing, call them what you will, they both amount to basically the same thing for lots of people. Sure, a lot more will find this a new, unsettling and disorienting experience. But to many, a sudden loss of contact with friends and the inevitable reduction in social interactions and activities this entails, in effect the removal of all vibrant colour from your life until all that remains is dark, is a reality they’ve had to accept for years, decades in some cases.

So I’ve got no time whatsoever for people who bitch and complain about the temporary inconvenience of their isolation. It’s for their own good, it isn’t a permanent state of affairs, and it wasn’t suddenly foisted on them by a series of unfortunate events in their lives. I just think ‘Are you taking the fucking piss?’ Because it seems to me as if they are, as if they’ve suddenly realized what the everyday reality of life is like for people, who, for whatever reason, have fallen through the cracks in society. It’s only been less than a month and they’ve had enough.

After my brain injury, all but two of my friends vanished, not immediately, not all in one go, but over time and when it became apparent to them that me reverting back to the old me wasn’t going to happen, they did. I feel like emailing them and asking them how it feels, asking them what they’re doing with their day, what their social calendar looks like now. How if, after this rude awakening, will they join a befriending service, volunteer to visit the housebound, do something to help reduce someone’s isolation, having a brief taster of it themselves. Or, will they resume where they left off before this unfortunate hiatus interrupted their ordered lives?

Right, some music therapy. Sustained and loud music therapy!

Well that was the plan. LMS has just dashed that plan, by dashing in to the sitting room excited and talkative. Goody-gum drops!