Listener Q: Lockdown Life.
Q: Should I feel guilty that I didn’t really miss going to events and dinners etc. during lock-down? I always thought I was an extrovert but now I’m thinking maybe not...
Guilt is the emotional equivalent of an elderly man’s ballsack.
We wish it did not exist but in fact it is always there hidden in the metaphorical jockstrap of our psyche’s. In plain English, I don’t like old man balls and I don’t like guilt.
Guilt is an emotion that drives us to reflect and self-analyse how we have handled certain situations in life. In a sense this is positive, but often it’s so uncomfortable a feeling within our bodies that we either push it away or rationalise it. Guilt seems to be a feeling that is often hard to place and quite ambivalent. Should you feel guilty you didn’t miss socialising during lock-down? No. No one should feel guilty about anything. We just do. Do you feel guilty that you don’t feel guilty? Is your name guilty Gregory? Would you like to make a guilt quilt? These are all questions you should be asking yourself. Now to be clear and frank, nothing I have said so far is in anyway useful. So, I will now embrace a cup of coffee and try again.
It sounds like you are concerned there’s a change within you. Have you considered yourself somewhat of a social being? Is a part of your persona to be the life of the party, someone who ensures they’re attending most events and making regular appearances in social circles? Maybe lock-down surprised you as you found comfort in the down time. For me, I am a bit of both. I note as I get older I need time away from friends and social stimulation, and a balance of time at home eating Whittakers and sipping a comfy red. A few years ago I attended a process psychology workshop which taught me that introversion and extroversion are traits that you grow in and out of on a spectrum across your life. Many introverts become extroverts with the help of new social skills and life experiences, and vice versa. Explore the guilt with the same curiosity you explore your crush’s genitals, poke around and give it a good rub. If the guilt stems from a core part of your personality shifting, honour that. If the guilt is from not missing your mates, assess why. If both of those approaches are too tricky, simply sit on your bifkin and eat a Zinger burger.
For advice on how to return to normality after covid19 lock-downs, I recommend seeking insight from the experiences of people who have returned from silent retreats. You’ll find further practical tips in articles such as this.
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