I feel lost in lockdown – but my love of Arsenal keeps me going says Jake Coare

Jake Coare, who has Asperger’s syndrome, shares his fears about his mental health during lockdown. Read what the passionate Arsenal fan has to say as he gives tips on how he copes – which includes watching videos of Arsenal beating Spurs

I feel lost in lockdown – but my love of Arsenal keeps me going says Jake Coare

Jake Coare, who has Asperger's syndrome has had issues with his mental health. In order to stay positive during lockdown he's picked his favourite Arsenal XI to try and raise money for the NHS. PICTURE: Jake with his heroes Thierry Henry and Tony Adams. CREDIT: Jake Coare Instagram

I feel lost in lockdown.

Being in lockdown feels confusing and frightening because you don’t know what is going to happen next.

As someone who has autism in a form, Asperger's syndrome, I like having a routine and order to my life – which is not happening at the moment for obvious reasons.

I feel like I don’t have control of what I can do.

Social distancing has made it bad because I can’t see my friends or my family. I really understand the need for lockdown and I think it is important that everyone sticks to it. But it is still not very nice to be in isolation.

The only activity I really do at the moment is when I do the weekly shopping for my nan. I miss seeing my family. Because I live with my nan I can’t see the rest of my family or walk my dog Rolo who lives at their house. I miss Rolo who is a Lhasa Apso. He's very cute.

Living in lockdown feels like there's a massive wall 

Living in a seaside town you always feel sort of cut off from people but at this current time it feels like there’s a massive wall between me and some of my friends who live in London.

I think it’s important to talk to friends and family every day. I haven’t used mental health services in ages because the waiting list in my local area means you can’t get counselling or see a specialist and when I was under mental health services they just gave me medication which made me sleepy and fat.

It is really important to think of positive things

I actually wrote my dream Arsenal XI to cheer me up. That would have been a good side. Arsene Wenger or Mikel Arteta would be manager. Not Unai Emery because although I wanted him to do well he was not very good.

Jake’s Arsenal XI: (4-4-2)

Lehmann; Lauren, Campbell, Adams, Winterburn; Pires, Vieira, Fabregas, Ljungberg; Henry, Aubameyang

To take my mind off the lockdown I also run Arsenal Players World Cup to give me something to do while I’m locked in the house bored. I do it to raise money for our amazing and hardworking NHS during the coronavirus. And also to see who Arsenal supporters think is their favourite all time Arsenal legend.

I would now like to give you some tips for lockdown that have helped me if you want to know about them 

Only consume what you can handle

If, like me, you suffer from mental health issues, try not to watch too much news. Maybe just watch the lunchtime news because watching news before bedtime could make you worry. Or maybe just watch the government’s daily briefing to keep tabs on what is going on.

Also, try not to dwell into something you may have read on social media – because it’s not regulated like the news, and fake stories for someone with anxiety issues can make you worry.

Go for a walk – but don’t take your phone

Try and make use of the government guidelines that allow you to take a walk once a day. I look at it like an outing. I like to walk in quiet areas of town, near to fields. Don’t take your mobile phone though. I would say use your walk to get away from the real world and the online world on your screen for an hour.

Re-watch your favourite film – or favourite DVD showing Arsenal’s best wins over Spurs

Arsenal is my world. Despite the coronavirus outbreak Arsenal FC means the world to me and I think about all aspects of the club and the players, managers and staff a lot. To cheer myself up sometimes I watch my favourite clips of Arsenal goals or players – and I really like watching Arsenal’s victories over Spurs.

I also like re-watching classic TV shows. My favourite classic TV show is Doctor Who and my favourite Doctor is David Tennant’s era.

The Arsenal Family will meet again

It’s difficult to be positive sometimes. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic. But I try to think that this lockdown won’t last forever and that when this lockdown is over and it’s safe for fans to attend games again, I’ll be able to go back to watching the Arsenal men at the Emirates Stadium and watching the women’s team at Borehamwood.

My favourite players for the Arsenal men’s team are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli and my favourite players for the Arsenal’s women’s team are Leah Williamson and Danielle van de Donk. I really enjoy going to watch the women’s team because Joe Montemurro has got the team playing the game in a great way and also because they have no airs or graces about them.

It’s nice being able to go to the Borehamwood ground and watch the great football they play. I also like eating burgers from the burger van behind the goal. It is my personal belief that the women’s side should be able to play games at the Emirates Stadium one day.

I’ve been lucky the club I love has played a huge part in my life

I’ve been lucky to have made so many friends watching Arsenal Football Club and also I have been lucky to meet so many players and legends.

I know I have Asperger’s syndrome and suffer from mental health issues but I chose not to let these things stop me living my life. I know it is tough for me and everyone during lockdown but we have to keep going and try and think of positive, happy things such as Arsenal to keep you going.

Arsenal is a way of life

When you support Arsenal Football Club it becomes a way of life it becomes a way of life and you commit to a lifelong relationship. There might be ups and downs and bad days when you become angry because they aren’t doing as well as you want them to. And you become frustrated with the team – but you know your love of Arsenal Football Club will never die.

I have good and bad days like everyone and I know my bad days are not good for my mental health – but I also know the club I love, Arsenal Football Club, will always be here in my life.

Follow Jake on Twitter and Instagram

PS Here are useful numbers if anyone wants help during these difficult times. Please feel free to share.

Childline: 0800 1111
Samaritans: 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
The Survivors Trust: 0808 801 0181
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Age UK: 0800 169 6565
Calm 0800 58 58 58

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  1. markymark

    Apr 29, 2020, 19:06 #116805

    Jake - that’s a great article, I think your definitely onto something about over consumption of news it can wear you down . One favourite for me is the littlewoods cup run in 87. Clive Allen thought he’d done it at Highbury and the Spurs announced how to apply for tickets to Wembley at half time during the reply which turned out to wind the Arsenal players up and gave us cause to never say die. I also remember giving Chas and Dave appalling abuse ( lol ) during their pre match entertainment. So many Arsenal choices to go through . Otherwise I’ve also been watching Gary Linekar’s match of the day with Ian Wright and Alan Shearer . Found it surprisingly good. Stay safe and it will get better

  2. Cyril

    Apr 28, 2020, 20:05 #116800

    All the best Jake- check out that invincibles chelski away - 2-1. Great game- TOO GOOD. Ofcourse it’s the beginning of the dark arts of Abramovich etc.. BOBBY PIRES - Great. Henry - bad game - sadly I think he started to work out the gravy train was going to end. People started closing him down and ofcourse he wouldn’t want that. When the big money came in - the bullshit ended sadly!! Great while it lasted - come on the Arsenal!!!