May 12, 2020

From Riches to Rags: How I’m coming out of Lockdown Stronger.

Check out Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon


Who were you before Coronavirus coiled around the neck of your country?

I have to say that my life was quite different before infectious days. I swanned from one exotic location to the next, sipping cosmopolitans whilst simultaneously having my picture taken in five-star hotels.

Now I find myself completely barefaced, back at my parents, cooking dinner for my mother and retiring to bed by 11 p.m. on Saturdays. If I saw me now, I wouldn’t know me; the page has quite literally turned from riches to rags, though it’s no Cinderella story—it’s a Coronavirus tale.

March was a bit of a mother f*cker; a lot happened all at once. Coronavirus induced an early move back across the pond to England, after living in Canada for four years, where I lived without rules and relied on my wild heart to guide me. Upon my arrival to a sicker, sadder world (in the United Kingdom), I had restrictions—I’m unable to socialise with family and friends, or explore, which is usually my life. It was an odd enough feeling—not to mention being back at my parents after leaving home 10 years ago.

I had 99 problems and they were all Coronavirus.

Sucking dick to cure my depression? Not quite, but it’s worked in the past. I’ve often used sex as a remedy to numb sour elements of my life. Let’s face it—in the moment, sex makes you forget everything, even your own name, yet as my COVID-19 drought reaches 50 days and nights, my inability to connect physically has empowered me to connect mentally with some self-discovery.

After spending a couple of nights overthinking until 3 a.m., in my old bedroom where everything seemed blue, I decided to ditch my entire life crisis and take a different approach to the shock horror of my changed world. I figured that throughout April, if I was going to rise every morning, I may as well shine.

Coronavirus happened and there’s no gain in crying over spilled milk; the revolution lies in my ability to react to it—that’s something I can control.

As I had previously visualised how to disappear, I put my thoughts to peachy use and visualised what I can do with what I do have. I started to dream. At first I was fresh out of f*cks, but then I had a random thought that maybe the doors to other dimensions are open (by that I mean, maybe the virus is reducing the world to a new starting point, that gives everyone a new opportunity).

I gave it another go—I’m not talking about castle-building or wishing; I took my dreams seriously, set goals, and started to act on them.

Two cents’ worth of my Coronavirus to-do list: If I wrote the whole list it would bore you, so here are the main points:

I decided to become a girl to kill for and get a figure like a doll. Working out may have become an obsession, but I don’t mind because I imagine Chris Hemsworth on the sidelines, rooting for me, with a cute puppy in hand.

In all seriousness, exercise releases endorphins that combat depression and thinking of exercise in this lighthearted way offers me a pleasant break from reality as I reach my goal of “killing” my gut. Post-workout, I may or may not retire to my bedroom to masturbate depending on whether Chris was shirtless that day or not.

I decided not to half-ass anything and be sure to use my full ass. If you think about it, lockdown gives the gift of time, to work on things we actually enjoy. For me, that’s writing, getting high on the smell of books, and choosing optimism because it just feels better. I’m finding that watering my purpose enlarges my bloom, and I’m ticking off goals with efficiency.

I decided to be grateful for it all. Yes, even though I was a cry baby in the beginning, I flipped it around. There’s silver linings in everything; you only have to grasp them. For me, it’s finally noticing the natural beauty in my hometown, listening to my mother chat my ear off about plants, and seeing my grandmother’s crinkled hands. Parents aren’t around forever and to see my mum feel like a mother again now I’m home is a gift I’d honestly overlooked the last 10 years. It’s an intermission that’s led me to find gold in the little things.

I decided to keep dancing—even when it’s dark, I’m staying positive, persistent, and productive. Coronavirus is what it is, I can only control my response to it, and, as nothing kills or creates like the mind, I’m staying on the constructive side of mine. I know it can be unfamiliar and uncomfortable to be positive all the time—positive people can be so annoying when you’re having a bad day—but it might be what you need (FYI it takes the same effort and energy to be negative as being positive).

We’ll never not be amazed by what can happen in the world. It’s full of surprises as well as curveballs, and I think it’s important to credit our ability to adapt. In time, we’ll tell the story of how we overcame COVID-19 and it will be somebody else’s survival guide.

The virus has taught me that there’s nothing more powerful than thought, by deciding to stick with the outlook that what is coming is better than what has gone, helps me to look back at my dreamy “pre-corona” life fondly but not long for the wilted flower to stand tall again. I’ve traded fear for freedom, and I’m training to embrace excitement of the unknown.

I’ve learned to give thanks for my sh*tty little town in all its glory, for my family, and for time as I’ve slowed down and appreciated the little things—like the taste of coffee and the enthusiasm in my mother’s face. The pause has allowed me to uncover truths about myself—that I used sex to alleviate issues, rather than dealing with what I will now face head-on. I feel I’m restoring my inner equilibrium that I had lost in the course of my usual nonstop life.

These are the things I’ll take with me beyond the virus. I’ve lost experiences and a few trips—but I’ve gained a new mindset. Therefore, after all of this, with persistent power and use of my brains, I’ll be standing on the ashes of Coronavirus victorious.

What I want to know is, will you be there with me?


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