Patrick, one of our Guests, has a unique insight into emerging from lockdown. He spent the first seventeen years of his life in an institution, only allowed out to go to school. We asked what he’d want to say to others at this time.
“You may have been feeling very safe in your own home during lockdown, and be very fearful about change. But do you want fear to rule you? Or do you want to be yourself and be free? I know that these aren’t easy choices, especially if you’ve been shielding. I remember how scared I was. I had no family or other support, was institutionalised and totally unprepared for the wider world. Many people today have become ‘institutionalised’ in their own homes, their mental health may have suffered during lockdown, and they too are feeling unprepared for a very changed world. But there are things that can help.
You may feel secure in your lockdown routine, but try to find a new routine. You can gradually increase time outside your home and contact with other people. Do this at your own pace. Don’t feel ashamed if you feel you need to back away at times and then build up again. Ask your support networks to check in on you – and be honest with them! You’ll need more support some days than others. You can ask God for help too. My faith in God got me through when I had nothing and nobody else in the world. He is still there for me today, especially through my church and The Well. Ultimately we all have to make a choice. Will we choose to live again?”