Week 1.

Hello, Oscar here.

This week has been a really interesting one for me. We have been really busy at Bear which has been awesome, but I have been having a pretty hard time mentally. I have been feeling quite overwhelmed for a while now, Bear is growing fast and thats really exciting/scary. There are big decisions to make and significant amounts of money that need to be spent. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I love this stuff. But this week has been a challenge. I have felt more panicked than usual, been very tired, and yesterday I had a very strange out of body like experience.

As per usual Nell and I went for a long walk in nature and had a good chat about all this. We started to work out why I might be feeling so rough.

The crux of the issue, I am really lonely. I love being in the countryside, and could never go back to living in a city. Usually, living in the middle of nowhere and working from home on my own, are things that bring me joy. I am able to choose how I use my time, and spend as much time as I like outdoors. However when you throw a pandemic into the mix, everything changes. Of course, I am very lucky to see Nell everyday when she comes home from work, but for the best part of 12 hours a day I am alone with my thoughts. I am very lucky to have friends to talk to on the phone, but it’s just not the same as the real thing. I actually take my parcels to the post office instead of having them collected, as it gives me a reason to be amongst people, even if it is only for a few minutes.

Anyway, and I am sure this is similar for a lot of people, Christmas was going to be the first time in a while when I would have some significant human interaction, and I think I was hoping that it was going to give me a chance to get out of my own head for a while. I also work and live in the same space, so essentially I never stop working.

We actually cancelled our plans before Boris made his announcement but it was only after his announcement that I really started to feel very bad. I think I suddenly realised how brutal this is for me (someone who is, relatively, very privileged), and how totally shit it must be for those who are not as fortunate as I am. This feeling overwhelmed me and when I feel too much emotion I have a tendency to dissociate. This is actually pretty natural and is a way of your body and mind defending itself when it is too stressed. It becomes a bit more of an issue when it effects you for a longer period of time. I have had experiences of this throughout my life, sometimes for long periods, often it’s fleeting. It’s only recently that I have come to understand it though. I used to just think I was a really cold person as I rarely felt emotion for extended periods of time, but I was probably just really stressed. However, yesterday was the first time I experienced depersonalisation. I felt totally disconnected from my emotions and sometimes even my body, it was super weird.

Anyway, having talked it out with Nell, today I feel much better. I am going to spend the next couple of hours packing and shipping out our last orders before Christmas and then spend a couple of hours getting soaked and covered in mud on the bike.

As always, I am here to chat, as you can probably tell from the above, it’s for me as much as it’s for you. If you know someone who is struggling right now, please feel free to forward this on to them, it can be useful to know that you are not alone.

All the best,

Oscar

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