Dear Reader, How Are You?

Hello You. Yes, You, reading this now. How are you?

Are you safe and well? Are your loved ones safe and well?

How are you feeling right now? What emotions are you experiencing?

Are you self-isolating / under lockdown / in quarantine / in hospital?

Who are you with? Partner / family / kids / housemates / alone?

Do you have everything you need? Food? Medicine? A safe place to stay?

How are you really?

Are you still going to work? Working from home? Lost your job?

How are you surviving / coping with *gestures vaguely* all this?

What are you doing to keep busy? Are you trying to keep to your usual routine? Have you picked up any new hobbies? Have you reignited your love for an old hobby that you never had time to do until now?

Are you exercising / eating proper meals / drinking lots of water / sleeping well?

How are you today?

What are you reading / watching / listening to?

Are you catastrophising / staying positive / trying to be blissfully ignorant?

Do you have somebody that you can talk to daily, on the phone / over Skype / by email?

Writers / artists / photographers / musicians / creatives: are you able to create right now? Are you creating more art than before or less or none at all?

How is your mental health right now? Is it better or worse than usual?

What, if anything, have you realised (now that you can’t have it) that previously you took for granted?

Who / what do you miss?

What are you planning to do when it’s all over?

How are you?

Please feel free to use the comments section below – at ANY point over the next weeks – to check-in with your feelings, to share your situation, to recommend wellness tips or great books or an amazing recipe, to express your thoughts or worries or positive news, to let me know what you’ve been up to, hope you’re feeling, how you are.

I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that you and your loved ones are as okay as you can be. We will get through this together ♥♥♥

27 thoughts on “Dear Reader, How Are You?

  1. We patched things up, and I feel much better. Plus I keep reminding myself I’m lucky I can work from home- even if it’s draining!

    I get what you mean re: unfocus. I’ve started illustrating a picture book I wrote for my little cousin. Doing something drastically different has really helped!

    You have lots of inner strength, H xxx

      • Oh no, that sucks :( Have you patched things up now? It may help to remember that you are DEFINITELY not alone in your feelings r.e lockdown taking its toll and tensions in the household.. unfortunately/fortunately we’re all in the same boat.

        I’m doing okay for now, but feeling a little unfocused with writing and generally unhealthy (junk food, alcohol, smoking too much) but these are things that can be turned around – if only I find the inner-strength! Thank you for asking xx

  2. It’s been terrible. I have smoked more than a pack a day for the last five years and the government has suddenly banned cigarettes. The withdrawal is excruciating. Luckily I managed to get some nicotine gum today. Fucking horrible shit. Other than that, our supplies are dwindling and we’re surviving on ramen and bread and eggs. We eat rice sometimes though. The cases rise from 50 to 200 in a day and it’s all one big clusterfuck. I wish this virus would go away and torment the bats and leave the humans alone (if it did come from the bats). Okay I’m rambling. I’ll stop. Stay safe Helena. You’ve been on my mind ❤️

    • My dearest Nitin, thank you for commenting – I’ve been thinking about you and how you’re doing.

      Your Gov has BANNED cigarettes?!?!?! WHAT/WHY/HOW? Good lord. I can’t imagine. Withdrawal + general sense of doom and anxiety = FUCKED UP. I wish I could send you some?!

      Watching the number of cases and death toll rising every day is terrible – I’m sort of obsessed with checking those stats while also managing to bear in mind the fact that the stats aren’t entirely accurate (in the UK anyway).

      Have you been writing? Curious to know if you’re still able to create beauty amid all this horror. Please check in again soon. Much love to you, dear friend, and best wishes to your nearest and dearest. XXX

      • Send me a pack of Marlboro Reds. I can’t tolerate anything else lol. The entire country is under lockdown and except servicemen, nobody is allowed on the streets. And the gov has banned cigarettes and alcohol during this period because people who smoke and drink are more susceptible to the virus. But for us mental illness sufferers, it’s a burden. General sense of doom – yes, you described it perfectly. I kept bashing my head against the bedhead the other day because of the withdrawal. To be honest, Helena, I’m sick of my country. It’s become a Hindu nationalist, authoritarian state. Muslims are lynched, churches are vandalised and our leaders have this sickening cult of personality about them that makes people vote for them over and again. Inhumane laws are passed, children are raped, and women can’t walk the streets safely. Just recently the gov launched a pogrom in the capital. The police joined the murderers while the powers in charge allowed it. Watch John Oliver’s episode on India if you get a chance. It’ll give you a better idea of the situation here. I want to leave to the UK or Europe or some other place (if I can). I have been writing. I’ve been wondering if you’re getting my latest posts. I’ve written a lot of new ones. Some people complain that my stuff doesn’t show up on their feed. Lemme know. Also would you be interested in writing for a collective. I launched it with a friend a few years ago with a friend. It grew rapidly, but it’s become stagnant now because many of its writers don’t blog anymore. I know you already write for another one. But lemme know what you think. Our posts are evocative and full of raw emotion. theliteratimafia.com

      • Good god…. I…. don’t know what to say. I have no words that could make anything better for you or your country. I just. Speechless. Horrified.

        Please don’t hurt yourself. Please. How about if I don’t know hurt myself (I slipped up last week), you don’t either? Deal? Wish you I could give you a big hug and a million Marlboro Reds.

        I must admit I’m using an old version of WP so it lags behind, particularly on the Reader feed. Can’t seem to update it. But I shall catch up and indulge in your brilliant words as soon as I get a moment, and I’ll also check out TLM – thank you for thinking of me, and for the invitation <3 please take care of yourself and stay safe xx

      • Okay deal! Let’s not hurt ourselves. I’ll take the hug and the Marlboro Reds. As far as India is concerned, we’re going down a dark road but I know you sympathise which makes me feel better. Sure, take your time and read my blog. I went private for a short while yesterday because my mind started spinning with all the information I get from WP. I see both beauty here (in blogs like yours) and some ugliness which I’m not fond of. Do consider my TLM invitation. We’re a collective that gives writers both artistic freedom and the space and time to complete their work. Contact me sometime once you’ve thought it over. Take care Helena and you stay safe too❤️

  3. It’s been hard. All the global chaos brought up painful childhood memories today. So I wrote about it. I am fortunate to have a loving supportive partner to help get through all this.

    • I wish you didn’t have such bad memories in the first place, but I’m glad that you were able to “write it out” and have your partner. Wishing you both well xx

      Actually, while we’re here, I have been meaning to ask you for YEARS… “42 Days Younger than Kylie”… Minogue??? X

      • We’re all ok. My son and I are the only ones working and I’m the only driver so I’m busy. My daughter (who I share the flat with) is keeping herself busy with loads of things. I’m proud of her for that. Xx

  4. I live out in the “boonies” and am retired, so life is not much different, day to day. That being said, I am doing my best to avoid the news, to avoid seeing what our “leaders” are (not) doing in this crisis. I’m holding all those affected “In the Light” as the quakers say, and doing my best to care for elderly parents. Remembering wise words of one of my teachers: “Don’t worry, everything is perfectly out of control!”

    • Your teacher’s quote is a truly excellent one! Avoiding the news seems equally wise. Holding people “In the Light” is a beautiful phrase, a beautiful concept: I’m going to make a note of it in my little book :)

      I’m glad that you are safe, and relatively unscathed (that is probably the wrong word – every human being IS affected by a global health crisis, whether directly or indirectly) and I truly hope that you and yours are healthy.

      Check in soon and let me know how you’re doing xx

  5. And how are you? Yes, You! Hope you’re coping ok, as for me, I’m just living in paralysing fear & panic, but otherwise”same old” let’s hope we all get through ok, do take care, meticulous & scrupulous extreme measures my dear <3

    • I’m doing okay OF, thank you for asking <3 It's weird that this whole crisis hasn't affected my mental health very much at all – this horrible anxiety-fear-uncertainty that the world is suddenly experiencing is how I've felt most days for many years. I'm an constantly in crisis, worrying about people/money/safety/humanity/NHS/security/the government every day before this. Self-isolation is a coping mechanism I employed regularly before it was enforced. Nothing has changed for me. Other than the fact that now (sadly) the general population has experienced a fraction of what it is to be mentally ill or feel unstable.

      We just gotta keep on keepin' on, my friend. Sending my very best wishes to you and your loved ones xx check in again soon!

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