Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but I am ready for this year to roll over. It's been...interesting...to say the least. At the same time I also can't believe the year is over. March feels like it was 8 months long, and it seems like everything since has just flown by. It's been the "time of no time," time keeps going, but I've felt...paused.
The last couple of days I keep seeing posts asking "what is one good thing that happened to you in 2020", or "what's your biggest accomplishment this year", or "what's one positive thing that happened in 2020". I know that I had a lot of good positive stuff happen this year, but honestly when I see these posts, the only thing that comes up is that I made it through without my depression ruling me. And it seems like a silly answer to some, but for those who do struggle with depression, this was a rough year. Not only is there the stress of the pandemic, and worry about you or your loved ones getting sick, but there's the added stressors on top of that. Some of us have financial worries because our jobs aren't happening, others have to homeschool their kids when they are also trying to work from home. Still others are suddenly isolated and without people to talk to, not able to see their loved ones, and not able to do any social activities. For those of us who struggle from depression, these are all things that could send us spiraling. Which is why I am proud of myself for not doing that. Sure, I had some rough days, but I always let them go, and made the next day better.
I see you. If all you did was make it through this year intact, I'm damn proud of you. Whether you realize it or not, you made it through a lot that could have stopped you. That could have put you on the floor in the fetal position. That could have made you give up. And if you're reading this you didn't. You did not give up. There may have been days where you sat and cried because it was nothing else that you could do, trust me I had a few of those. But the at the end of it you picked yourself up, you dusted yourself off, and you kept on going. So if you see these posts about accomplishments, or positive things that happened and you really can't think of any, Remember this. You made it through this year. You made it through so much trauma and stress and you're still standing. Be proud of yourself. Hold on to that. Because it's a really big deal. My mantra since March when our hockey games were canceled has been "I cannot control what's going on around me, but I can control my reaction to it". Some days I don't hold true to that, but honestly it really is what's gotten me through the last ten months.
Actually, now that I think about it, there is something else I am proud of. It's still a work in progress, but I feel like I've made huge strides. What is it? I have been working on loving myself. Treating myself like I treat others. It's hard. One of the hardest things I've done. But so very important. Because how can I expect others to love me when I don't actually love myself? How can I be proud of who I am when I say mean things to myself about my looks, or get down on myself for not being as productive as I think I should be? As awful as the pandemic has been, and as hard as it's been being isolated, it has given me time to work on these things. When I look in the mirror and I see myself looking tired, and maybe heavier than I would like to be, I used to say that to myself. To put myself down. Now I look and I say out loud "you're beautiful" and I smile. When I am stressed or feel like I am not doing as much as I think I should be I remind myself " you are doing a damn good job. There is so much going on, and things aren't normal right now, and you are doing a damn good job every single day." At night before I go to bed, along with going through some things that I am thankful for, I also remind myself that I am doing a good job. It all may sound silly, but it's working. It's helping. I still have a long ways to go, but I am finding that loving me, being kind to the person in the mirror, makes me feel so much better than putting myself down or berating myself for not getting enough done. Duh right? Seems like such a simple concept, but I know I am not the only one who forgets to speak to myself as if I am speaking to someone else. Rule of thumb. If you wouldn't say it to someone you love, don't say it to the person in the mirror. So next time you find your inner voice saying something mean to the beautiful person in the mirror, shut it down. Replace it with something better. Slowly it will become a habit.
Thank you for reading. I hope my ramblings help someone who may be dealing with the same thing. Happy New Year, be safe, stay home, and keep taking care of yourself and others around you.