My melancholy

It has been 10 weeks since I got hit by that car. 35 since I was struck down with COVID. Most of those weeks since suffering with Long COVID complications. 42 since I got back from Oslo and went into quarantine the first time.

Mentally I feel like a shadow of myself. Physically there is significant expansion of that shadow. If I had any head-space to worry about anything else my diabetes would be a concern.

The vaccine news is a glimmer of light but honestly it barely cut through the gloom and – selfishly – I’m finding it harder and harder to see the bigger picture. It is all so abstract now. My world is so small. Will I be able to walk properly on this foot? When will I leave this flat? Will my knee ever stop hurting? When will I sleep through the night again? When will I get the vaccine? When will my parents? If all these things happen how long will it take me to feel like myself again?

Because, reader, I am on the floor.

The energy it has taken to hold it all together, to put a brave face on things, to go back to work and contribute, to make the most of Christmas, has exhausted any reserves I had and the totally arbitrary milestone of the calendar ticking over to a new year just triggered my complete mental collapse.

Since March I have been to the pub with friends twice (I’m so thankful I had a great first week of March!). I stayed hunkered down throughout really. My parents have been amazing as my support bubble but even for someone as digital-first and anti-social as me it is hard to go so long without seeing anybody who you do not share DNA with.

I’m back to work tomorrow. It will be a good distraction, provide some structure and it’ll be nice to interact with some people but the energy to reboot the Work Jukesie persona again after a couple of weeks of downtime will take everything I have. Hopefully it is enough.

Plenty of people have it worse. I know that but that doesn’t make it any easier. Like I said I’m in a selfish space now.

This isn’t a cry for help. I don’t need offers of sounding boards or Zoom chats or advice about mindfulness. I wrote (and published) this to quiet a corner of my brain and because I can’t be Mr Open and skirt the hard stuff.

Anyway – January 20th is my next milestone. It is my next appointment at the hospital and hopefully I’ll get some positive news (at least the green light to start my rehab). Also the small matter of Biden’s inauguration. I’ve also started the process of having my knee looked at privately so fingers crossed I’ll have some movement in that as well this month.

There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.

So onwards.

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