Coping With Isolation

I’m very lucky where I live. We’re not yet restricted with how many times we can go out in a day, and I live beside a river path, so nature is close at hand.  Almost closer at hand now.  With the pre-Covid constant hum of traffic erased, the birds seem to be singing more sweetly, the river bubbling more peacefully, and some people, including myself, are able to take the time to slow down and listen to nature.

It’s the same walk I took every day for a year after my husband left me five years ago.  Did I notice nature then? I can’t remember but I doubt it.  Every day was a painful blur. I’d walk that river path with my hood pulled over my face and sunglasses covering my eyes so people couldn’t see the tears falling from them. It scares me to think how I would have coped then,  trapped alone in that over-heated apartment I had to rent, with only a view of the back alley, if, like now, we are being told to stay in our homes, only allowed out for exercise or to purchase necessary items, and not allowed close contact with friends and family. It was my family and friends – and those twice daily walks – that got me through those first days, weeks, months, years.

If your husband has just left you, for any reason, be it divorce or death, I cannot imagine the extra pain and fear these times are bringing you. At the one time you need close human contact, you are being denied it.

So what can you do?

Get through it as best you can….

…and getting through it the best you can means doing what works for you.  I have a friend who, after her husband left her, barely left her bed for a month. That worked for her. It wouldn’t have for me. Don’t let anyone tell you what you ‘should’ be doing to get through this. And don’t let them tell you that things will get better.  They will, but you’re probably not able – or ready – to hear that now, not when you are faced with the mountain you know you’re going to have to climb.  Unless they have been through something similar themselves, they won’t have a clue!

One thing that did help me was – believe it or not – something the Hugh Grant character said in About A Boy. Maybe that can help you.

And for those of you who have newly separated or widowed friends (and by ‘newly’ I mean any time within the past two years) please check in on them every couple of days and let them know they are still loved and valued.

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