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The silence is deafening

Alex's contribution to our Stay Home collecting project

I live on my own in a tiny flat with no outside space and depression.

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The photographer's legs, resting on a low table, wearing fluffy slippers, in front of a television
My tiny lockdown space. I work, watch TV, and sleep here. My sofa is now the shape of me, as if we are merging into one.

In what ways has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way you use your home?

I spend all my time sat in the same place, without my usual means of depression coping strategies (boxing, sharing a bottle of wine with my best friend). I don't sleep much any more; usually a couple of hours when I drift off on the sofa. The silence these days is deafening.

How do you feel about your home? How have these feelings changed?

I feel like I am in solitary confinement in prison.

How does staying at home affect your relationships?

I don't have a romantic relationship. However, I do have two best friends and a family, who I obviously can't see any more.

What do you appreciate most about your home? What do you find frustrating?

I struggled with lack of outside space before the lockdown, as I am a keen gardener and an outdoorsy type. It is unbearable now. However, I am grateful that I am safe and not in a difficult relationship (the neighbours downstairs constantly fight)

How has lockdown changed your habits or routines at home?

My cornerstone to managing depression and my main source of feeling 'alive' was boxing and kickboxing (ironic for a pacifist). I can't do this any more, so I feel like I'm freefalling. I drink more than I used to, to switch my brain off.

How is your sense of home affected by your neighbours or those living nearby?

I feel on edge that the neighbours below me fight all the time and sometimes smash their flat up. I don't know if/when to intervene, or to keep my head down and stay safe.

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