I am absolutely one hundred percent certain that if you asked anyone this time last year what they envisioned for the year ahead, experiencing a pandemic would not have made the cut for anyone's list, I entered 2020 with quiet optimism, mentally emotionally an physically I felt that I was in a good space or headed towards the best space that I had been in for a while after what had been a hellish year for our family in 2019, I thought in all my naïve and newly found optimism that 2020 was going to be a good year and yet here we are headed towards the end of what has been one hell of year for everyone and I cannot speak for everyone but my personal mental health, emotional and physical well being, its not in a good space right now, the anxiety above everything has become incredibly overwhelming amongst other things.
I can still remember sitting on my bed as the president announced that we were headed into lockdown, shrugging inwardly and thinking bleh how long could this actually last, I mean looking at it from my perspective having experienced swine flu and at the time that being seen as such a terrible thing(which it was), many people died and yet we didn't shut down, ] I didn't see it reaching even the lockdown point that it did and as we headed into stage 5 of the lockdown in a way I was thinking that being more of an introvert when it comes to the outside world it would be a welcome break, I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was for all of us.... and it was.
Looking back on the year...
My husband and I fell into a steady routine- wake up, make breakfast, start school work, stop for lunch, resume school work, start supper, go to bed, toss and turn, wake up and start all over.... every single day. As time went on the meltdowns started and escalated, emotions ran higher and being locked in doors not even being able to take a walk down to the park started to weigh quite heavily on my heart, my eldest sons behavior in particular started to escalate and the relationship between him and my husband completely broke own which put an enormous mount of strain on our relationship to the point where I honestly believed that we were headed into divorce, we had no access to therapy and being locked in doors all day with no where to break away this is something that I know so many families experienced during this time.
The day the president announced the extension I had an emotional breakdown, depression set in and hit hard and for the first time my husband was experiencing a depressive state as well, as selfish as it sounds, two people in a depressive state is a recipe for disaster, a person in a depressive state is not a good partner as much as you want to be, I know from experience; I am used to being the one who relies on my partner to pull me out of this state, I am not a very emotional or touchy feely partner I am sure some people would call me cold and I often find that I lack a sense of patience or emotional feeling when it comes to my partner, not intentional by any means, I attribute it a lot to past relationship experiences and the way I was brought up so unfortunately unless you are one of my children I can often tend to come off as uncaring- as a Sagittarian travel is one of the things that they make mention of in every zodiac write up, what I have found however is that is isn't about travel for me, its about movement and freedom without restriction and I was honestly feeling like a trapped animal in a cage, it wasn't pretty, my insomnia kicked into high gear, I gained weight which set off my disordered eating and body image issues again which further aggravated our relationship issues and the kids were really struggling with the lack of social interaction, my older kids did not see their father for months which affected them a lot, even my youngest who isn't or wasn't a social child at all was struggling terribly as a whole our household started to resemble a bit of a shit show circus to be blunt and I think we were all at breaking point.
When I was able to return to work and it lead to a role reversal within our home- from the age of 19 I had a child and a family, I was used to running the majority of household on my own and making all of the decisions that pertained to schooling, child care etc, now my hubby was at home full time and had to take over that role while I was at work and while he had to work from home, this came with its own struggles, being ocd control is a big thing for me as is routine and structure and now it was all up to my hubby who was still struggling so much and he had to deal with my own pile of crap as well, to his credit he has done an amazing job, his cooking has always surpassed mine by landslide and the kids managed to pass out their year- all 3 of them with a house that is still standing, I cannot explain how it feels to go from having to thing all day every day to coming home sitting down and supper landing on my lap and relinquishing that control in some aspects had led to me taking control in other areas that I would normally have taken a backseat in, it has lead to a lot of changes, I started seeing a psychologist again, we tackled the visitation schedule with my kids and so many other things.
In July I contracted covid myself and after 16 days I returned to work, my hubby started going back to work twice a week as well and the kids headed back to school twice a week as well, making changes to my sons visitation schedule meant that we were able to work on our relationship and home, I broke my ankle at one point as well but it seemed like we were headed towards the end of this nightmare, no one I knew had contracted covid and passed - until someone in our office did, an amazing man who loved to play golf and had a wonderful smile and sense of humor, healthy and lively the one moment and on a ventilator and gone the next, we attended his funeral via zoom and it was just the most surreal and heartbreaking experience, another loved one experienced an almost fatal health issue after her husband had to undergo an emergency bypass, what was more scary was the thought of anyone developing a health issue that would lead to a hospital stay as everyone I knew that went into hospital came out with covid, my dad works for a local hospital and every week I would listen to him talk bout how few cases they had if any and then it started to turn, they lost one then 2 then several and more including nursing staff and it has all become so real, we have gone from knowing someone who knows someone who had covid to knowing at least several people who have it, have had it and have possible even died from it, as someone in our ladies group said today, no one takes it seriously until it hits close to home or hits home, until you have lost someone or someone you love has lost someone.
Having said all of the above all I can say is that if you are experiencing any form of depression or a drop in your mental health, reach out and get help, you re not alone, if you are feeling sad, anxious or scared, you are definitely not alone, we can and will get through this we just need to hold on to each other, hold on to your loved ones and stay safe, this will end and we will come out the other side, there are those who have lost their jobs, their homes, their loved ones, to those whose mental health has been affected which I think is pretty much everyone; I see you, I see you all and my thoughts and love go out to each and every one of you as we head into the new year my wish for you all is that you remain safe and that you get to spend this time with those you love, if you cannot for any reason be with your friends and loved ones due to covid just knw that this will end and you will spend time with them again. May 2021 be the year where we all come out stronger.