Finishing the chapter: Covid, depression and the New Year

What a year it has been. From moments of admirable heroism in the darkest of hours to outright calamity, for the most part, 2020 has been, in a word, unprecedented. We have found idols in the elderly and our NHS, and we despaired at the sound of a cough or a list of the dead. As we look to usher in the new year and leave all of this mess behind us, the Government is here to remind everyone that our troubles will not stop with the chiming of the clocks on January 1st.

Covid will not disappear with 2020, nor will the dead that both have left behind. With infection rates rising and a round of fresh, tougher restrictions put in place over the Christmas holidays, it seems that the new year will get off to the worst possible start given the current circumstances with no celebrations to be had in a desperate attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

Subsequently, there is an inescapable feeling of numbness running throughout the world right now as people, usually so determined to celebrate and look to the future with mirth and optimism, are left in limbo, still remaining hopeful but facing many more months of uncertainty. This remains a hugely stressful situation for everyone, with Covid bringing about a spate of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression that have only exacerbated the situation.

As someone who suffers from both depression and anxiety and has done long before Coronavirus was ever a topic of conversation in society, I ask that this year, we all take a moment to try and understand what it is like to live the life of someone suffering from depression around this time of year.

For many of us right now, life might not seem worth living; Covid seems inevitable and looks to be the bane of our lives for another year at least. People cannot be blamed then, for feeling hopeless and wanting to ignore the festivities of the new year for there is that dark cloud hanging over us that is threatening to block out the warm rays of a hopeful future.

Imagine then, how a person such as I feels every year at this time. For most of us, these feelings are singular, and will be gone by the time 2022 rolls around, replaced once more with positivity as Covid (hopefully) becomes a distant memory.

Those of us who are long-term suffers do not have such luxury. For us, every year is brought in without celebration; it is only another shuffle forward into a cloud of ever blackening darkness. We live without hope, in a world where the worst seems inexorable. Every day is like the one before, a line of identical shards of glass standing in line, and in the relfection of each shard is the realisation that life will never be full of colour or love, only fear and sorrow.

So while we all struggle to come to terms with this alien world we find ourselves in, spare a thought for those who already live in it, have done so and will continue to long after everybody else returns to normality.

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