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  • Writer's picturehopecaitlins

These four walls - lessons from isolation

It’s strange really, to be so well versed in a situation you and the world never wanted to fall into. But here I am, with 7 and half years of experience on all of you and I’m weirdly feeling compelled to share the lessons I’ve learned, even when I still feel like I have such little knowledge. I was 11 when I first became ill, so I went through this period in one of the most tumultuous times in life, one thing I want people to know is even those of us who have experience in managing our mental health during times like this, still do not escape untouched. This will hurt, maybe for a while after it’s gone, and that’s ok. None of us have impenetrable armour, there are things that can help but the most important thing is to set realistic expectations of yourself. I struggle, I cry and I have made more wrong decisions and been more imperfect in these seven years than I’d like to admit. You don’t need to create outstanding projects and use your time to build a better you. You have to survive, find ways to be happy and focus on your goals without looking to the lives of others. You have to be ok with being imperfect. Just as life is at this moment.

Write it all down and cry it out when you need to.

Seriously writing is the only thing I’ve really kept consistent with throughout this time in my life. On scraps of paper, in journals I swore I would finish (never have to this day) in my school sketchbooks but mostly, on my phone. It’s humbling, a little embarrassing but wholly enjoyable to go back and read the musings of 15 year old me in a time I still don’t know how I got through. There’s going to come a time when this is all over, and your faced with a situation that feels impossible to get through, you’ll need little you, going through quarantine to give you some lessons, and hey maybe one day like me, someone else will need to hear your words.

So this is just another little chapter in my guidebook, I hope it can help in some small way and I’ll try to keep more coming, just know you are loved and not lonely.

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