The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

This is a brutally honest account of living on a sailboat during lockdown – lockdown in Albania (2020) and lockdown in Montenegro (2021).

It sucked! There’s the truth. It was lonely and frustrating. Yes, even with someone else in that space. Actually, sometimes more so. Even though constantly being alone would have been worse not having any space just for me was really challenging. It was hard even. I constantly had to deal with myself, my reactions, my over-reactions and then my monthly hormone-reactions. Poor Steve and yes, poor me. Sometimes I really couldn’t stand my own company.

I’m sure there are many that can relate, and you weren’t living on a sailboat.

Looking back to that period of lockdown I can say I was depressed and despairing. There was a very real struggle between not wanting to be alone and needing space. It was super confusing and confronting having to be with and deal with myself day in and day out. Plus doing the same with Steve.

We bumped up against each other, stayed away from each other. We tried to do things separately and sometimes together. To give each other space but also spend time together. But the strain and restriction was constantly in the background like an annoying mosquito buzzing around your head. You swing out at it but miss it every time.

That was our existence for months. It was like dealing with the different stages of grief – denial, guilt, anger, depression, the upward turn, working through and acceptance.

What did I do to cope?

Initially I allowed the situation to overwhelm me and sunk into a funk of bad food and binge-watching movies.

When I eventually got sick of myself and my stinky farts I started to look for and find ways to cope, better.

Step 1

I created a workout for myself. I got dive weights out to use and set up exercise stations for myself.

Actually, I did my warm-up and was pooped after just that.

But I ploughed on. It almost killed me, but I ploughed on.

The plan was to do four rounds of the workout.

I even set up a camera to film myself, which didn’t work by the way so there is no evidence I even did this.

Believe me, I did!!! I’m telling the truth!! I managed two rounds and called it.

Then I stretched and showered and continued on with my day feeling better for the effort.

BUT the next day and for three days after I was so sore.

I could hardly move damn it.

All in the name of feeling good, what the!?!?!

OMG! I found evidence of my workout!!! I screenshot the video – lol

Step 2

The Calm app my sister introduced me too became my new best friend.

Each morning I started and continue to start my day with a 10-minute-lying-in-my-bed-meditation.

Sometimes I listened to the Calm-ing music during the day and also the bedtime stories before bed.

Mind you I don’t recall ever hearing the end of a story I started because I would fall asleep. LOL


Step 3

We watched less TV and moved more.

This involved walking each day, either to the shop or just around the marina while in Albania.

In Montenegro I walked briskly around our section of the marina listening to music.


Step 4

Food. I started thinking more about the food I was eating and how it made me feel.

Based on that I cut out foods that didn’t make me feel good i.e., sugar and bread for starters.

It certainly wasn’t easy and yes; I fell off the wagon and still do. But every day is a new day, a fresh start to honour the temple that is my body.

Step 5

Thank good for technology!! I organised regular video and phone calls with family and friends. This was an absolute lifesaver for both of us. Being able to see and share and giggle with people on the other side of the world made such a difference.

It also highlighted that everyone was struggling and coping in their own way. Thank goodness for video chat is all I can day. Thank goodness.


What did Steve do to cope?

Watching and knowing Steve the way he coped included agreeing with me – b’cos I’m always right…ha! Noooo, truth-fully what I noticed was he resisted at first and we bumped heads. He spent a lot of time reading books, articles and things he found on social media. He has such a big brain so there is always something ticking away in there. He focused on boat jobs that he could complete and got frustrated with those he couldn’t.

He complied when I suggested it was time for a walk and looked forward to happy hour each day between 4 and 5pm. A shot of sambuca and a bowl of chippies always bought a smile to his dial.

I was challenging for him too.


What’s next?

The lockdowns ended in Albania, and they will end in Montenegro. Who knows what the next six to 12 months will hold and what covid will be doing?

The positive side of all this is we have learnt a huge amount about ourselves and each other. I’m sure that will continue as we travel and sail.

How did or are you coping?