"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"


A keyworkers story of struggling with the lockdown

Elizabeth Kemp is a keyworker with ASCERT's DAISY service in the Western Trust. In this article she shares her experiences of struggling with the lockdown.


Having been in lock down with my 2 girls since mid-March many emotions have been felt in my heart and body. Daily worry that if something happens to me who will look after my children. Thoughts of how will I entertain the kids today. Do I have the energy to work, do school work and play and normal mummy 'duties'. Often these thoughts can accumulate and consume me.

What I have learnt is to slow down, to tell myself there is always tomorrow, and see where the day takes us. Some days are productive and I feel great (supermum me lol) other days I struggle with energy and classify that day a good day, if we get dressed, eat properly and play. It doesn't sound like a lot but it's all we could manage without feeling overwhelmed.

I've had many other stressful events happen but I tell myself "you can do this Lizzie", or "everything will be OK just trust in the fact that you are trying your best".
I have learnt to trust that I can manage the various roles of mum, Teacher and worker. I have learnt that if I don't get everything done it's OK. The house can wait. I tell myself that my family are healthy and that's all that really matters. Whatever happens after this I can handle it.

I believe everyone has a challenge through this Covid-19 epidemic regardless of your situation. I believe people struggle as they have time to think and often unresolved trauma which can be avoided by working or keeping busy can come to the forefront of a person's mind. What you can do as a person if you are struggling is to remember that people are there to help you. If you do not have family or friends to support you then you can reach out to other people in organizations’ such as ASCERT. (If we c

an't help we'll find you who can). To engage, to talk or connect with your worries. I read a lot and utilize my skills to help me regulate my emotions but even my ability to cope can be challenged. Know this; the most important thing is taking care of yourself and your family. To believe that you are capable of coping, knowing that you matter and are lovable, will hopefully help you through. I know that these thoughts have helped me and I say the same to my kids at night (even if sometimes I don't feel that way, I force myself to make them feel protected and safe). Remember that when this is all over you can applaud yourself for having come through this emotionally difficult time and hopefully feeling stronger and more proud of yourself as a mum or whatever role you are in.

The picture I chose to represent this blog illustrates the weight of parenting but also shows the love and care that parents have for their children regardless. My wish is that everyone reading this stays courageous, continues to try their best and stays safe. 

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Co. Antrim
BT28 1XZ

Tel: 0800 2545 123
Fax: 028 9260 3874
Email: info@ascert.biz
Charity Number: NIC101239