At the beginning of the month I had a much needed opportunity to be myself. I hadn't been feeling amazing emotionally for a little while.
It's been a constant uphill battle to get through each day so I can just return to my bed and cry it out, so I can start all over again in the morning. I think it's been the rinse, dry, repeat of each day and being lonely that has got to me.
Losing a sense of who I am
Yeah, I have my wonderful children and they are everything to me. But my children cannot replace my need to interact with someone else on a friend level. Someone who doesn't call me Mom or treat me as a patient, but actually knows who I am outside of that.
And the past couple of weeks I feel like I've lost that sense of who I am so much that I don't even know what I want to do for myself to make me happy.
The vaccines made me feel more confident
When I got my second vaccine, I felt really confident about going out into the world again. At the time, infection rates were dropping, people were still required to wear face masks. And most people seemed like they were still doing their part to keep everyone and themselves safe.
So it felt like I had an extra layer of padding against the virus, which was great given the anxiety I had around catching it. And potentially relapsing again or giving it to my asthmatic son.
I felt able to go out and have the chance to interact with someone else and be myself for a while. And I was looking forward to more. Maybe not always as grand as going out and being dressed up in my £1.50 charity shop dress. But just being with other people would be enough.
The rules relaxing makes me feel nervous
However, it feels different now. More people are starting to catch the virus again, as it's easier to catch. But this time, instead of rules tightening to prevent the spread, they are relaxing.
Instead of people being told to wear masks, they are now being "advised" to and are able to mix more freely which makes me nervous. It makes me nervous because it feels like the measures that were there to keep people who are at risk safe are being stripped away. And our safety is now being put into the hands of the general public with no real enforcement.
I understand it’s hard to be locked in
It feels like an accident waiting to happen. I can understand the frustration that some low risk people have felt during the restrictions. Their lives have been turned upside down. They haven't been able to go out as they normally would. They are more isolated than they have ever been and masks aren't the most comfortable things to wear.
They are tired of feeling trapped. So all of these rules ending must seem like a relief, and thinking about how that might affect others might not be their first thought.
I’ll take extra care when I step outside
But really, the pandemic has just given them a taste of how I have felt even before COVID came along. Only for them it was a shared experience with billions of others that now has an end date.
That end date to me feels less of a reason to celebrate and more of a date to become even more careful when I step outside again.
You're not alone
We're here for you.
Our medical advisers have come together to make recommendations around people with MS's levels of risk of COVID-19.