Those dreaded words, it’s a Pandemic. Never in my life could I have imagined that moment when the world suddenly became even more enclosed and frightening. It was a reality that we all had to face up to quickly and one that actually showed me signs that humanity could lift above all the negatives we faced.
Five years ago my world changed when my sister fractured her skull and then I was in and out of hospital for 9 months with an undiagnosed neurological disorder. I was dealing with extreme uncertainty, a complete change in my lifestyle and PTSD to boot. It was hard.
I fought back to some kind of normality managing limited amounts of work but I did it nevertheless. Work for me was always my drive, along with pushing the realms of possibility. I jumped out of planes, I ran through the most severe mud runs and I dared to dream of mountains to be conquered. That changed in the space of several years but it was a change I had to face head on.
When the first lockdown was announced those feelings of hopelessness returned but it also provided me with the tools to cope with it. Limitations may have been imposed on me by my own body and the world but I found hope in new ways.
The human spirit and good in people has been my saviour. For every friend who disappeared at the words mental illness, a stranger has opened up their heart and given back. It’s been inspiring as well as shattering and it’s important to allow yourself to not be okay but also try surrounding yourself with positivity when you’re up to it. I won’t lie, sometimes you won’t feel up to it and that is nothing to beat yourself up about but when you see the sun break through the clouds or a deer skipping in the field it reminds you that life goes on.
The way I’ve tried to get through some tough obstacles is immersing myself in nature. A short walk amongst the woods or looking at the night sky on a beautiful winter night.
Never underestimate the power of reaching out either. People have been amazing during these last 9 months. It’s easy to focus on those that haven’t been but try not get lost in that and welcome the hand of anyone who cares enough to prop you up.
Once again, it’s okay to not be okay but don’t ever think you’re alone because the kindness of strangers will surprise you.
A bit about Melissa Wharton
I’m a media guru who deals with the written and spoken word. I have over 20 years of experience in the media sphere but more so a person who has suffered from mental issues. I’m not ashamed of that and want people to know you’re not alone. A radio presenter, writer and more my main concern is people who are suffering.
I’ve worked for Real Radio, William Hill Radio, Fresh Radio and a number more. I’ve written for the Yorkshire Post, various local rags and online but more so I care about my fellow humans.