With lockdown has come stress, anxiety and feelings of loss, but as isolation persists, a fire in me suppressed for more than two decades has been awakened.
In the first couple of weeks of confinement, I went through a period of mourning, which I imagine was quite normal at that time. I'd been studying a screenwriting Masters at IADT in Dun Laoghaire and the doors had closed, along with every college and school across the country.
Like many others, I knew I wouldn't be able to see my partner, who lives several kilometres from my home in north county Dublin, or catch up with friends over a glass of wine or coffee for some time.
I'm also asthmatic and had, for weeks, felt very unwell. It was suspected I was suffering from Covid-19, but was unable to get a test in the early days. I was advised to stay away from shops and crowds, and even to stay indoors.
The loss of normal life, as I knew it, was unbearable. I cried, every so often, struggling to contemplate this foreign environment where human touch and closeness was suddenly our enemy.
One day, as I tried to distract my mind via Twitter, I found a tweet from an award-winning actor, director and writer from Waterford, Emmet Kelly. Suddenly, through the darkness, a little light entered my world.
Emmet offered free acting and screenwriting classes, which would, of course, be carried out online. Suddenly, I dared to believe - there might be an actual road out of the darkness.
I signed up, half thinking I wouldn't 'show' up. I'm 41, a journalist, did I really want to embarrass myself acting in front of other human beings? I'd spent so many years hiding what I felt was a childish ambition - I'd almost forgotten it even existed.
I'd once dreamed of being on stage and screen. Along with writing, acting and singing were natural passions since childhood. I'd sing daily and at any given opportunity, I'd take to the stage, despite an overwhelming fear before each performance.
I remember my first school play so vividly. I felt such excitement and adrenaline, standing by the piano, singing songs as part of a chorus in Oliver. Actor Dominic Monaghan, an older pupil at my school in Greater Manchester, had played the Artful Dodger in the play. And almost miraculously, he went on to star as Merry in Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
As a teenager I took on strong lead roles, such as Maggie in Hobson's Choice and Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest.
I would sit on the sofa at home, learning my lines for each role with my Donegal mother, Bridget. She'd take on all the voices for the other characters and nudge me when I'd made an error. Such was her devotion to my dream, I knew my lines to perfection.
However, every single time I prepared to go on stage, it was the same. I had that nauseous feeling and an urge to run away. But it evaporated as soon as I set foot in front of the audience. I'd slip into my own world and take on the life of my character. A kind of magic surrounded me and time just faded away.
I gained an A for GCSE drama at the age of 16 and my Performing Arts teacher, Mrs Newton, wrote a letter, along with my results, asking me to never give up acting, to make sure I carried it on.
I went on to study performing arts for a short period at college, but lost interest in the method of teaching.
And when I became a mother at the age of 20, my priority switched solely to focus on my career along with motherhood. Journalism was the path I chose to walk, and I've never for a moment regretted it.
Despite all that, I figured I had nothing to lose by taking Emmet up on his offer. Attending acting classes via the Zoom app would at least offer a little reprieve from lockdown life. I've now been doing them for several weeks and though nervous at first, I've rediscovered an aspiration I've had since the age of 12.
I log on to my acting and screenwriting classes once a week and spend an hour consumed in a world where Covid-19 doesn't exist. To say this has freed my mind and destressed me during lockdown is an understatement. I feel happy and as though I'm on the precipice of finding the old me again, the one I'd left behind in a classroom so many years ago.
Emmet has taught me how to immerse myself in the Stanislavski method, the art of creating believable emotions and actions in our characters.
We spend time online writing our own three-act short scripts, taking characters we have created on journeys and then acting these stories out.
We also film ourselves with our phones during the week and then watch our work together to learn from each other.
The first time Emmet asked me to act on Zoom in front of the other actors, I felt extremely self-conscious and questioned if I was doing the right thing. Was I making a fool of myself? But within seconds, he had put me at ease - assuring me I was with friends and to take my time. Inevitably, when he took that pressure off, I learned to trust him and follow his instructions.
I felt ridiculous the first time I filmed myself on my phone, acting at home, portraying characters I'd created. Was I interrupting my daughter's study time? Was I giving the neighbours a laugh?
But once I followed Emmet's advice and lost myself in the lines I'd written, reading them over and over and feeling the meaning behind them, I soon let my inhibitions fade away.
The fact I was filming myself didn't seem to matter anymore. I even managed to get so emotional in one performance, I genuinely cried on camera, something I never honestly thought possible.
Connecting emotionally with a character like that was something I always admired in other actors, and now I'd achieved it and in such a short time.
Thanks to my teacher, I was able to connect so intimately with my character's life, I couldn't but help grieve when she mourned the loss of her father. I could never thank Emmet enough. Five weeks ago, he was a stranger on Twitter. But now he'd helped me rediscover that child-like love for performing all over again.
I'd given up on my ambition to act as a teenager when life and responsibilities kicked in. However, before the necessity to provide for my daughter as a young mother became my number one priority, I remember that bliss of immersing myself into roles.
Lockdown has brought sadness and isolation but thanks to acting and a kind offer from a stranger, I'm now wearing the armour of imagination and creativity to help me walk into the light.