All Dressed Up with No Place to Go

At the height of lockdown, I was an unkempt mess. With hairdressers and clothing stores shut, and university transitioning to online learning, there hardly seemed any point in getting ready. I slumped around in tracksuit bottoms and with unwashed hair as my mood plummeted. I stroked my patterned dresses with a sigh, lamenting that I couldn’t wear them anymore. Then I saw something on Twitter.

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Week Four COVID-19 Lockdown 2.0 Movie Project

Welcome to week four of this project. To be honest, this week has been a tough one. After the figures of new COVID-19 cases reached record-breaking heights, Melbourne has been put into Stage 4 restrictions. On top of Stage 3 restrictions, we’re now only allowed one person per household out per day, no travel outside a 5km radius of your home, and a curfew has been implemented from 8pm-5am. There’s no going for drives together (only one person per car), or staying out for more than an hour, or even heading to the supermarket with your housemate. We’ve been given one hour of exercise time outside per day. Things are pretty bleak. It’s lonely. And although the lockdown has been extended, this project will only continue for the original six weeks. I need to take as many things off my plate as possible, and unfortunately “eating” trumps “writing a blog post that 5 people read”.

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COVID-19 Lockdown 2.0 Movie Project

Here’s the deal: COVID sucks. I’m currently in Melbourne where our numbers of new cases are the worst in the country. We’re experiencing the so-called second wave of the virus with a vengeance. As a result, our Premier, has rightly put Stage 3 lockdown restrictions back in place, starting Wednesday 8 July and continuing for six weeks. This means no leaving the house unless it’s for work, food, exercise, or for medical reasons. Here’s where I insert a disclaimer: Obviously I am aware that there are much more pressing consequences of COVID-19 than the fact that I can’t go out to the movies or eat at a restaurant, but for my immediate concerns, I wanted to find a way to not go insane for the next six weeks.

So, I’ve decided that for the next six weeks I’m going to watch a movie every night (yes, every night), and write up my thoughts of them. Sure, some will be re-watches, and I might even cheat and throw in a TV series or two, but it’s my challenge, so my rules.

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Buying the Milk: Working with Mental Health Problems

Content Warning: Depression, anxiety, suicide, abuse.

I went to a job interview not too long ago, for a job I thought I wanted at the time, but I now view not getting it as a blessing. I was so anxious throughout the interview that my social anxiety of not wanting to drink the water they gave me for fear of being ‘too much trouble’ gave through to drinking the whole thing and asking for more. My throat closed up, my brain was foggy. I didn’t notice until I got back in the car that I had completely sweated through my dress. One question in particular threw me: “So these gaps on your resume, what happened there?”

There’s no easy way to answer this question. Saying, “Oh, I think that about covers two suicide attempts, three emotional breakdowns, and a general sense of futility about life” wouldn’t lead to them offering me the job. “That’s when I went back to study,” I replied, only partially lying (there was time spent studying, dispersed with depressive episodes).

If the panel knew that my mental health had caused me to abruptly leave a job, that my anxiety about answering the phone meant I wouldn’t be able to be very good at the job they were interviewing me for, that my depression could flare up at any moment and would put me at serious risk of abruptly leaving the position, they wouldn’t have hired me. Well, they didn’t end up hiring me anyway, most likely due to the excessive sweating.

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