“I’m finding this pandemic so depressing, and feel life is passing me by. I haven’t achieved very much at all with my life and have found it really hard to be in lockdown. I’m sure I’m not alone, but other people seem to be coping much better than I am, as I just don’t know what to do to fill my time.
“I been with my partner since I was 19 – that’s nine years now. Although he’s a good, kind man, I find it hard to believe he’s not going to leave me. He’s a lecturer and works at a college surrounded by young female students and colleagues. They’re all highly intelligent, whereas I barely passed my GCSEs.
“I was working in a shop when we met and I’ve been doing that since, and although I was furloughed to begin with, the business has now closed for good. Whenever he mentions one of the women he works with, I find myself getting frightened and suspicious. If he mentions having lunch or coffee or something with any of them, I convince myself he is having an affair and get upset.
“He is always reassuring me, and I know I sound paranoid, but I just can’t help it.”
“You are certainly not alone in feeling depressed and anxious at the moment – many people are struggling – but I think your struggle is more about your own lack of confidence than just the pandemic. I think this could be what is driving your anxiety.
“Other than that you have a partner, that he works, and that until recently you worked in the same place for the last nine years, I know very little about you. You don’t refer to children, interests, or what you do with your time at all, but you do say you feel it is passing you by.
“What do you do all day when your partner is at work? Could this time be an opportunity for you to change things? You say you ‘barely passed your GCSEs’ – could it be that, with time on your hands now, you could start studying something that really does interest you?
“It might be something academic that you could take further and help you towards further qualifications. It could be something vocational that leads you to a new and different kind of job. It could be something you do purely for enjoyment. If you could find something you enjoy and are good at – something where you really feel you are succeeding – then I think your self-belief would improve.
“At the moment, you are comparing yourself to the academics your partner is working with – and you feel you’re lacking something. Have you considered that he chose to be with you because you give him something that those women he’s surrounded by don’t have? He chose you for a reason; try and remember that.
“You have time on your hands right now and I really understand how hard it is to motivate yourself during lockdown, but you can do it. You need to succeed at something – and you can, you just need to find what it is that motivates you. It doesn’t have to world-changing, just something you have done that you can feel proud of.
“If you were only to feel your life is worthwhile again, I am sure your confidence will grow and you’ll start to feel more positive about yourself and your relationship again.”
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