I have come to the realisation that my journey has been akin to the seven stages of grief, I have explained my experiences these last few years to reflect this.
When I first heard that the Prime Minister was deliberating whether to go into a nationwide Lockdown I was in shock. It was the first time I had truly taken notice of the government because this decision would heavily impact my everyday life.
As a student I had taken an interest in politics, but to be honest to myself, it was very much about peer-based acceptance. As I grew older my interest faded. I like many of us became entrenched in the day-to-day life of working and waiting for the weekend! However I was now being told that there would be restrictions on visiting my family, this was incomprehensible to me.
The situation was so bizarre that I thought I must just be having a very long bad dream. When discussions were being had that we may go into a lockdown I thought no chance we will do that, close the country down, it just didn’t seem possible. I was in denial. I think on the whole there has been a societal apathy when it comes to politics, most of us are consumed by our responsibilities in our daily lives, that we do not have the time or head space to really look at how we are being governed and to even consider that the elected authorities would not have the public’s best interest.
Anger started to set in. How could this be happening it can’t be right, it’s not right. I would find myself shouting at the news on the television. Then came the censorship, professionals including many scientists who had been prominent in their fields for many years were not able to get their voices heard. The mainstream refused them airtime so they used social media as their platform. Then social media began censoring these many voices simply because their information was opposed to the narrative being pumped daily by mainstream news. Surely this isn’t right, I thought.
The more I researched the deeper I fell in the rabbit hole. A lot of what I learnt I found initially very frightening. What could I do? How can I escape this? The bargaining started. I tried to find people who had ideas about how to exit this nightmare. I wanted the world to stop so I could get off.
I had no control over the events that were unfolding. Decisions were being made by people we thought we could trust that were paving the way for a bleak and dystopian future. I became mired in depression. I couldn’t see my family and felt increasingly isolated. It seemed few people were even willing to have a discussion or consider an alternative narrative other than the one continually being played out in the mainstream media.
Reconstruction and Acceptance
I finally had a moment where something clicked, much of the research I was doing led me to realise that the answers I was looking for I could only find in myself. Despite the shrouding uncertainty I have now been able to carve out a path for myself and I have more focus and inner standing than I ever have before. For me the clarity is that whatever we are experiencing, and there are so many angles to come at it from, that the one simple truth is that by looking within we will all come through this and thrive.
All of us have experienced the seven stages of grief in our lives following trauma. However, I would say that this is the first time in recorded human history that we are experiencing these stages almost in unison, globally. How has your journey defined you?