Friday, 5 March 2021

Words I wish I had written

Most people have too many words arrive in their Inbox each day, and many of those words are trying to sell us something we neither want or need (and have probably survived extremely well without up to now!)

I think I am pretty good at unsubscribing from the junk, and nearly all of the mailing lists I choose to remain with go straight to my Junk folder to be looked at once or twice a week to make sure I have not missed anything. I do make exceptions and one is for subscriptions from Substack. They come straight to my Inbox and the writers I follow are always worth every moment of my screen time.

Today's piece from Anne Helen Petersen is a fine example and I only wish I could articulate half so well. The introduction to her fourth paragraph stopped me dead:

Here’s where I remind you that we have endured nearly a year — a year! —
of sustained, slow-motion collective trauma.

Some days might not have felt recognizable as such,
but our brains are very adept at flattening trauma,
day-by-day, hour-by-hour, into something survivable.

followed by

Depending on your situation, you have endured unspeakable loneliness,
deep anger at those who couldn’t be bothered to care about others,
enduring financial precarity, . . . . .

If you would appreciate something a little more substantial than fluffy kittens or a TikTok loop, then I recommend the whole read.


{No affiliation, Ms Petersen does not know I exist, I just liked this enough to want to share}


  1. Very true words and so well put - thanks for sharing this - I will bookmark the link to read later (new washer about to come at the moment).

  2. True words Jayne and I will read from your link later, thank you for that. You know what I have endured this past year and I call it the worst year of my life. I am thankful to have been cared for extremely well and yes, it does me angry that there are those who just not care.

  3. Beautifully written piece and that photo you've chosen beneath is gorgeous.
    My life has changed but things are by no means awful, I'm one of the lucky ones. xxx

  4. "collective trauma" Oh so true and it will show its influence on all of us as time passes. Take care, dear girl.

  5. The second line of the third highlighted paragraph resonates with me, especially as I have a friend (previously mentioned) who just doesn't seem to care about anyone other than herself. Your photo is lovely, the colours in the sky are gorgeous :)

  6. Thank you for the link, it's an interesting read and I was only wondering to myself just yesterday how this will affect everyone in the long term. X

  7. An interesting read. Thanks for linking to it. For me, things aren't as bad now as they were. It was horrible for a few months last year when J was working at the hospital with no PPE, and no social distancing was possible in the department ( it still isn't, but at least they have some cheap, substandard PPE), I could see KL's mental health sliding backwards again due to having to work from home, my mother was ill and was admitted to hospital, and people were telling me I shouldn't be criticising the government's incompetence. For me, I dont think there's any lasting trauma from that, or from being under restrictions for all but 4 weeks of the last year. Maybe I'm a hard cow, maybe I'm resilient, maybe it's because, for us as a family, things were far worse in the years leading up to the last one, or maybe it will come back and bite me when I'm not expecting it.

  8. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to leave a little comment. Good to know this wasn't a complete waste of a post 😉

    I hope that the article gives everyone some comfort; I think it helps to be reminded that all of us have endured trauma at one level or another over the last year, even those who appear - from the outside - to be perfectly well and coping fine.

  9. The term "unspeakable loneliness" made me think about the fact that the pandemic has had very little effect on a great many people whom we generally do not think about at all not just in a pandemic - those who live in unspeakable loneliness all the time. I'm sure that the number of people is huge. We have a Befrienders group on the Island. I look at my life and I often feel guilty. I am too busy, even in lockdown, to commit the time needed to be a Befriender (there are other reasons too). The pandemic would have been the perfect time for lonely people everywhere to reach out to each other. Of course loneliness is far more complicated than that for many people who are not used to it but it's a thought.

    1. You are absolutely right Graham, for some lockdown has been "easy" because it was not so very different from how they lived before Covid.

      The lonely souls who might not talk to someone from one week to the next will see very little differece after all the restrictions are gone, theirs will not be a cause that gets the attention in the same way as food poverty, lost jobs and mortgage arrears does.

  10. I've gotten by fine enough, though I grumble. It hit my son's career hard, he's surviving on a wing and a prayer, but at least he knows he has a safety net with us, but what 32 year old man wants to think about their parents as a safety net? My older daughter who already lives with depression and anxiety has had a hard year-when the gyms closed, her huge outlet, she had to figure out things an d spent money on home work out items-so yes resilient. What Graham says above is resonating with me.

  11. Some people have had terrible hardship over the last year, my heart particularly goes out to those who have been separated from their loved ones who have had the virus and have not been able to see them before they died. I think there will be repercussions in the coming years from a mental health angle. As you know, my dad died last year, not Covid related, and I did get to spend time with him in his last days. I don't know how I'd have coped if I hadn't been able to, it must weigh on the minds of those who were less fortunate.


Thank you for leaving comments, I love receiving them; sometimes they are the only way I know I am not talking to myself . . . 😊