I’VE FELT pretty helpless ever since this blasted pandemic started. It has put my whole life on hold and cut me off from my family and friends.

I realised quickly that I would need strategies in place to stop me from falling into the big, black hole of depression. I’ve been there before and have no intention of going back if I can help it. But what can you do to stop yourself from feeling weak and vulnerable in the midst of a situation you have absolutely no control over?

Well, for me the answer was to create a space that I could control. That’s why I started this blog and nicknamed it my pandemic panic room. I knew having something I could dive into would be the only thing that could help me, and I decided to write a brutally honest account of what solitary confined does to a person’s sense of self and self-worth. It was a good idea, and I am actually working on it, but as it turns out you can’t avoid falling into a black hole if you spend all your time exploring the black hole.

I needed to do something that would actually make me feel good in the midst of this bloody misery. The solution I found was to reshuffle my to-do list and start working on two things: A fantasy book I’ve been prepping for years, and a research journey into the world of storytelling.

Starting with something I’d never understood, vampire fiction, I tried to approach the titles from a new point of view. Looking at the actual story and the way it is told to try to understand what it is that makes me tick in one story and puts me off another. It’s a more self-centred way of looking at storytelling than what I was taught to do when I studied English literature at university. Using myself as the reference point and questioning my own feelings and opinions, I tried to remove the academic lens I’d been trained to apply to the review process.

This blog is still young. I wrote the first post in March 2020, barely two years ago, and I’m so grateful that I did. Combing through hundreds of hours of film, tv, audiobooks, games and ebooks has been entertaining and it has helped me keep my mind off the depressing reality. It has also encouraged me to keep working on my own storytelling. 

Something positive came out of this horrific experience. I guess we need to hold on to whatever we can when life spirals out of control. Learn to accept the things we cannot change. I don’t like it one bit, but I know from experience it is the only way forward. Now, let’s pass the ball over to you:

– When did you last feel helpless?

Let’s talk! You’re welcome to drop links to your posts using today’s prompt in the comments below.

See you tomorrow,

//E.  😘

© Evalena Styf, 2022

Writing prompt from #WordPress 365 Days of Writing Prompts: 7 January, Helplessness. That dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that – and what did you do about it?

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