Living through the last two years of the world with Coronavirus has changed me...

As we return to 'normal' Julie Helen says she has decided to build the life she  wants now
Living through the last two years of the world with Coronavirus has changed me...

Julie Helen, who writes a weekly column for WoW! in The Echo, every Wednesday.

HAVING had Covid-19, I still feel a bit ‘off’. I feel very tired and it seems to come in waves. Fatigue is something I have always dealt with because I have cerebral palsy, but at the moment it feels like a whole other level of exhaustion.

I mean, I am back at work and doing all the ordinary things each day but it still feels like I am wading through water and not managing things as well as I normally would.

Then I got to the end of the weekend and realised I went out into the world on Saturday and Sunday and started a brand new week all over again. 

As bizarre as it may sound, I genuinely cannot remember the last time I ventured out on both days of the weekend, it was certainly way back in 2019 at some stage so I can absolutely be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed!

So the shadow of covid extends further than just the last couple of weeks where I have actually experienced the sickness, to the way I can manage every aspect of my energy and physical and psychological wellbeing.

When I see that last sentence written down in black and white, it all sounds a bit dramatic and ridiculous, but whether I like it or not, living through the last two years of the world with Coronavirus has changed me.

The thoughts around those changes has led me to an interesting conclusion. There is a lot of talk about ‘going back to normal’. Aside from the obvious things like going out and meeting people and generally being more social, I do not know what that normal really means for me and I have decided I should just let it go and build the life I want now.

It almost feels like a relief now that I have given myself permission not to go back to anything, but to build things the way I want it to be now. 

If I think about it in a logical sense, even if I took Covid out of the equation, my life was really different in 2019 anyway. I didn’t have any toddler and my whole job was entirely different. So regardless of the wider Covid context, life would never look the same again even if I wanted it to.

At the weekend, I had a lovely afternoon tea with some of my friends and at the start I could hardly remember how we used to operate together. 

Then the conversation began to flow and we started to catch up with each other and it felt so natural and great. I felt it hard to leave, it felt like such a lovely interlude.

Then on Sunday we went for Sunday lunch and we met plenty of people we knew. It felt like it was the very first time that friends felt comfortable coming up to the table to say hello and have a general chat. It felt good to to be able to relax around people a bit again while still wearing a mask when needed.

Like everything in life, there is a balance to be stuck for each of us in how we move forward and I feel there is a bit of marker in terms of before Covid-19 was in our lives and after it was. I hope in the future, the impact of that will fade and that will happen over time. For now I am going to take it day by day, happy that we can shape things and make plans about life in general.

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