Coping with lockdown 2? Not really!

Ok, so I may have said that I was prepared for another lockdown. I may have been confident that my coping skills were ready to take anything another lockdown could throw my way. And I was prepared and confident, I really was. Until my six-day silent retreat was cancelled, the government said we couldn’t swim in outdoor pools and lakes and my neighbours decided to spend several weeks ripping out and replacing their bathroom that backs on to our bedroom. Then things might have gone a little bit to shit.

So we’re nearly two weeks into lockdown 2 (in the England, at least), and my tinnitus is in full-on meltdown – I woke up three times last night to the piercing whine that has now been joined by an intermittent jingly bell. I am not someone who copes well without sleep, and as I rarely get a full night’s sleep anyway, I’m really not coping now there is an unwanted soundtrack to my slumber.

The whining and ringing are also a constant reminder during the day that my stress levels are higher than they should be. Tinnitus is a great barometer for stress.

For the first ten days, I was walking a lot, finding places to escape to, or just putting on my bone-conducting headphones and listening to a podcast as I bimbled around the streets, happy to have some time to myself. Then I injured my foot and have been unable to walk – bye-bye peace, bye-bye lovely endorphins, hello increased pissiness at the world. I’m trying to cut down on the mumbling of murderous plans, honest.

There are positives such as being able to jump in some very cold water in fourteen days (not that I’m counting!). I’m also grateful that I am in a position to be able to get in my car and drive somewhere quiet and plan for the next available silent retreat or cold dip. I’m currently researching noise pollution and the links between poverty and access to quiet spaces – as shitty as I think things are where I live, I know they could be a whole lot worse.

Another positive is the hearing therapy appointment I have booked for the beginning of December. Good for me as I’ll be able to unload, not so good for her – I might send her an apology in advance (or some gin). I was hoping this time I would be able to sign off with her for a while, go back to our arrangement of ‘call me if you need me’, not ‘let’s make sure we have regular sessions booked in.’

I would like to promise that my next post will be more optimistic, more upbeat, more about how I rock lockdown and have whipped my tinnitus back into its box. I would like to, but with two weeks still to go and that damn bathroom nowhere near complete, well let’s see.

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