Lockdown One Year On. Hey everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a reflection of Lockdown One Year On. The 23rd March 2021 marked a year of the Global Pandemic. I had done a Six-month Lockdown Reflection previously, and I thought I should write a round-up post about everything and how it had affected my family and me. I can’t believe a whole Globe can be Lockdown for an entire year! This is the first time to experience it, and I will never forget it. Just like everything else in life, everything in life there is either a blessing or lesson.
Before you I go on, I want to share abundance gratitude to all our key workers and Doctors and Nurses who have risked their lives, their freedom and their family to make sure we are safe and fed and keeps the world is still moving.
Lockdown One Year On Reflection
I lost my dream job at a law firm as we went on lockdown. I was immediately into depression. You all don’t understand, like, this was my dream position. I have worked extremely hard since I left Secondary school back in 2006 to work in an office environment co-operate position. Plus, this was in a successful Law firm. For a woman like me, with no law background whatsoever, working for a law firm was a big deal. I felt proud and powerful that I was working with professional criminals, properties, and civil lawyers.
I was very proud of myself as I was waking up early with a happy heart and a big smile on my face in the morning, just because I was going to work. Put on a pair of trousers, a blouse, some heels, blazers, and a coat over it, let’s not forget my overfilled handbag. I was taking my daughter to school. Grab a nice hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows on the way to work. Opening up the office, and start working. Taking an hour and a half of lunch, and I went to a nice restaurant, sometimes KFC.
I was walking proudly with my head up high back to the office. Then after work, I head to pick up my daughter from school and head home. I loved the lifestyle I was living. It was a very short one, but I loved it. It was the best experience I have ever had.
The Bright Side
Let’s look at the bright side of this reflection, and I used the Lockdown as an opportunity to work on my blog. Revamped and transformed everything on the blog, and I am proud of it. I learnt new things I never knew about blogging, and the big one, I have worked with CEO ladies and more companies than I have ever worked for my whole life. This is an excellent reflection as it makes me feel empowered.
My family was a mess. During the Lockdown, my dad had gone to work in Nigeria, leaving my mum and my younger siblings alone. My mum stressed out, and she even had emotional and mental meltdowns. We weren’t allowed to visit anybody, but I tried to be there for her by calling and listening to her talking. My daughter and relationship grew more assertive. It was hard to keep her entertained while worrying about what might happen or what my next move will be.
Then BLM protests started. It was a lot to deal with. I am not going to lie, and the whole chaos has scarred me for life. I am holding my daughter hands tight when I am taking her to school and back home, in fact, everywhere we go. Sometimes, when the police car drives past me, I panic and freeze until the siren stops. Although, as a black African woman who has lived in the United Kingdom majority of my life, I have experienced racism. I have been or seen or heard of a situation where the police kill me or someone.
Like I was confused, these people are supposed to protect us, not kill us. And the different stories from survivors and victims families were devasting and heartbreaking. I just couldn’t. Every day on the news, social media, and radio stations, a black man was shot by a policeman.
As if the world was not going through enough, Nigeria, my own country. Our security officials were taking matters into their own hands and killing their people in their own country. Like at this point, my mental health was off the roof. So many deaths, every single day, there was no way out. My mum couldn’t take it anymore and decided she wanted us to leave the country. I nearly left the UK. I changed my mind at the last minute because, based on my condition, my daughter and my health issues and everything that was going on was not the right time.
Please read: I am Nigerian, and My Country Needs You.
The Bright Side
On the bright side of this reflection, it brought my family together, and we were in contact with family members back home in Nigeria and the USA. Unfortunately, it took a tragic event to pick up the phone and call families member back home, but at the end of the day, we now know that we are there for each other if needed. I also got closer to my biological father and my younger siblings, whom I have never met. Hopefully, when things are a lot better and safer to travel, I plan to visit Nigeria and, this time, visit my younger siblings too.
The Lockdown has put our health to the test. I am a young single mother living with HIV during a pandemic. Can you all imagine what I went through? I had stopped taking my medication due to stress, and sometimes I took five per day instead of one per day. I was just worried, like what if I caught Covid? How does it affect HIV? I didn’t even want to know the answer to that. I want to wake up, and it was all a dream.
There was no way out. Everywhere you go, you are reminded of the reality of what is happening. There was social distancing, face masks, sensitisers. I became more aware of the environment more than what you are doing. For example, going to the shop to buy milk, instead, you are looking around you to make sure you are standing 2 meters apart from everything and everyone in the store. Do you understand how that can affect mental health? Taking Sasha to the park was another nightmare. Parents had wipes to clean the playground instruments before the kids go on them.
The Bright Side
On the bright side of this reflection, it was a perfect opportunity to look after myself by practising self-care. I listened to music, read books, wrote in my journal, watched comedy movies, ate junk food and snacks. Wine, there was a lot of wine! However, I have decided to control my health and make sure I can live a long and happy lifestyle from now on. I think there should be a free counselling section for all Covid related mental health issues. Due to lockdown, the domestic violence rate increased, the self-harm rate increased, and the suicide rate increased. People developed eating disorders, sexual abuse rate increased. I could go on and on.
Thankfully, Covid vaccines are out, and I have taken mine (23rd March 2021). My health is back in control, as well as my mental health. Sasha-Ann is adjusting slowly to be back in school. She doesn’t like it anymore. There are some restrictions in classes that she is not comfortable with. I assure her that things will get better, but it will take a little while. My mum has decided to move to Nigeria, and she’s moving next week with my little sister. That means I’m here all alone with my daughter. It’s scary, to be honest because I have always had my mother around if anything happens, and now she’s going. I’ve got no one else to ask for help. I have no friends either. Due to the pandemic, it will be hard to make new friends or find somebody to trust.
However, I have decided to go back to college to study HNC Administration and Information Technology. I have applied, and I am waiting on an offer. I am excited to go back, and I believe this will bring some joys to my life, keeping me very busy, and I will share my journey with you on the blog.
Now is the time
If I took anything from the lockdown and this reflection, it would be to live your life. Do not take anything for granted. Stay away from negativity. 2020 we were fighting for our future. 2021 we are taking what is ours. 2022 we will be rebuilding our world. Life is like a long maze that has no end to its journey. Change your mindset, and the rest will follow. No more excuses, no more doubts, no more worrying about what people think. If you are angry with someone, tell that person, and sort it out. If you can’t sort it out, move on and move on quick, do not waste another minute worrying about things you can not control or solve.
Spend more time creating memories with your loved ones. Enjoy the peace of mind you have at home. Set your goals and make them your priorities. Work hard, do not get comfortable or settle for less. Look after yourself, get all the test you need to get done. Make sure your health is on top of the game.
I hope you enjoyed this reflection. I enjoyed writing it.