If I must begin, again, I suppose here is as good a place as any to start; sitting in my shed with a fan blowing on me as the summer afternoon slowly slides by. Clouds are rolling in from the South. It’s been raining a lot and everything is lush and green. It smells like wet earth and pine. The Lady Lee sits metres away, visible in a haze through two windows and a fly-screen. It’s a strange spot we find ourselves in; secreted away in our home; bounded to these walls for work and play; sometimes restless yet disinclined to wander. This endless year – throughout which I have been unable to write, or read, or watch movies, or build anything; throughout which I have sat staring at a screen of one kind or another, for hours, days at a time – has finally ended, and here I am to write about it.
I sat down to start writing about my mental health journey as part of an experiment I’m trying but I’m gonna hold off on that for a while, I think. I realised in the last forty-five minutes it’s taken to write these few paragraphs that theres too much context to just bounce in there and start jabbering about what the meds are doing. Suffice to say, for now, that TikTok is both an incredible time-waster and the best thing that has ever happened to me. If I had to be watching screens for hours while the world fell apart, at least I could find a community there. At the very least, I could find explanations there, and understanding, and forgiveness for all my failures.
The thing about 2020 is that it’s always going to be more than one story. It’s the Before Times and whatever this is, which I’m still trying to figure out. There’s euphoria and fury, delight and devastation, on both sides of that line. I’ve come out the other side of this utterly changed – how could I not? I may not be a person who can write through trauma. But perhaps, if everything works out, I can write about it in 2021.