Wednesday, 30 December 2020

2020....

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 na├»ve 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.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

A simple message...

 This is not my usual type of post and I know I have not been posting much lately… I have just found it difficult to put words together lately with everything going on in the world right now and trying to come to terms with the fact that this is our new normal and everything is not going to just magically return to normal come January 1st.

There are so many special people in my life who have gone through so much this year, illness, mental health struggles, the loss of loved ones and my heart just aches as a friend, a sister, a mother… a person; to see someone you care for struggle personally or because someone they value and love is struggling or gone is so hard and finding the words or the actions to support them through their struggles is probably the hardest thing.

What do you say or do? What can you say or do when nothing can make that person come back or take away the pain or the struggle, when all we can offer is a shoulder and sometimes even space and an ear when that person is ready I think sometimes we fail to see how valuable that support and space can be, sometimes it means more than we will ever realise.

We are approaching a time of year which as a whole is already an incredibly difficult time for so many, when we add Covid, finances and any other struggles into the mix I believe that it is so vitally important that we be mindful of those who need our love and support right now and going forward and that we remember to be grateful for what we have and that this time of year no matter your religious beliefs or culture signifies a time of togetherness, a time for reflection and a time of appreciation.

I remember so clearly the first xmas period after the breakdown of my first marriage, I still have pictures of the table over laden with a million gifts most of which I couldn’t afford in the first place and that my kids would never even play with I was so sure that it would fix everything and would help my children through what was probably one of the most emotionally confusing periods of their lives (spoiler alert; it didn't!), as the years have gone on I have taken so much from this period in my life and through this I have tried to explain and encourage my kids to be mindful of what we have or don’t have and that there are so many people and families out there that are not blessed to spend this time with their family members, who have maybe lost family members or don’t have a roof over their heads or a meal on the table as we do, how blessed we are to have all of these things! 

This post is just a reminder to all of us (myself included) to be mindful, to reach out to those who need us even if they require space a simple message to tell them you are thinking of them or a simple check in is sometimes worth more than we will ever know, to support each other and to lift each other up, to encourage togetherness in what has been an incredibly dark time for not only our country and those who we love but to the world and the loved ones of others as well.

Take this time to let your children be children after an academic year that has pushed them all out of their confront zones and routines, a year that has pushed them in every way possible, they have made it through and we all should be exceptionally proud of them, the teachers who have gone of their way to help them and we should remind ourselves to be gentle on ourselves if we feel that we have failed them this year in any way; homes have become both classroom and office and even a jail so to speak when no one could leave their homes, we have all had to make the best of what we have and whether we have cried, screamed or delighted in every moment of this time we have all done the best that we can with what we have in uncharted territory and that is what is important.

Take this time to thank your spouse or partner if you have one and your support system as well without them where would we be. Take the time to ask them what they need and where they want to be or want to go leading into the future; is there anything we can do to help? What support do they need?

If you have the opportunity to spend some time with your friends and loved ones this year (safely) then do so because we will never know how much time we have with each other.

Take this time to do something for someone else- provide a family with a meal, join the Santa show box project or invite someone to join you during the holidays if they do not have the support system you have or they are missing a loved one at this time.

Reach out to those who are struggling

Love each other and hold each other close

I hope that every single one of you, your loved ones and the loved ones of your loved ones are doing ok and that the year ahead although abnormal or not quite the normal we are used to is paved with blessings and support be that financially, physically or emotionally and may we find comfort in the support and blessings that we do have and the people that we are lucky enough to have surrounding us.