Sarah here again! Doing one more fill in for Kelley this week before she returns back with us for her usual Friday posts.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that 2020 can suck it. I am not feeling optimistic about the months ahead. I’m drained. Uncertain. Emotional. Edgy. This entire year has made me lose a lot of my usual hopeful beliefs about humanity… which has been a struggle. I always like to believe the best in people, and that normally when people do harmful things there is an explanation of some kind. When I show up at the store for groceries and am one of the ONLY ones wearing a mask though, it’s really, really hard to feel that there is a logical explanation for it. It’s really hard to feel supported or cared about in a general sense when you watch everyone around you blatantly disregarding something like, oh I dunno, your life and your health. There’s no way around it, it’s just HARD.
I’ve spent so much time this year trying to be proactive about how to cope with everything going on this year, while also trying to help my family and friends cope, that I think this past month I just ran out of steam. I noticed myself slipping into some extra isolation and maybe needing to. I wrote a post last Sunday about the negativity creeping into my mind lately, and have reflected a lot on things since sharing that. Sometimes, for a short time, it can be good to get quiet and spend some real time with ourselves. What I’m finding is a build up of emotions that has probably gone a little bit unchecked this whole year. I’m expert level at distracting myself, after all. I can be proactive to a fault… to the point that I am doing all of the good THINGS to get through something, but not enough feeling. Sometimes it’s like having a tiny director living in my head that is always saying “Action!”
To that note, I decided last week to do something for myself that I usually won’t do until it is a last resort kind of situation. I decided to get a counselor. This was not new, I’ve been to counseling my whole adult life on and off. What was new though, was that I didn’t wait until shit hit the fan and I’m having a nervous breakdown. Instead, I am noticing some signs that I am beginning to get overwhelmed and going to get some extra support BEFORE it spirals out of control. I am proud of myself for that. For noticing earlier, for taking action to take care of me, and for admitting that it is okay that I need some extra help. I mean if there were ever a time any of us needed extra support, now seems pretty legit.
There will be hard days ahead. There will be days where it feels unending or too much is piled on top of already too much. For all of us. I know that world. I’ve been through that before… and maybe that’s why I’m taking a step right now to have extra support. When Drew died, I gathered all the support I could muster and I do truly believe it helped me to navigate the pain. Grief has taught me not to wait until there is a raging storm, but instead to seek support out when the clouds first begin to thicken. So now I know, having all the support I can get will help to ferry me through this whole year in a better state. Better able to manage, and better able to find my joy and share it with others.
For now, I am trying to spend time asking questions that will help steer me as I navigate the fog that lies ahead… What small joy can I add to each week that will help me? How can I better care for my heart, so I can be there more fully for myself and those I love? Are there any things I am doing that are making this worse, and how can I change that? Can I be more patient with myself or others? What can I do to “be love” in the world right now and still stay safe and healthy?
These are all things I am trying to ask myself more lately, and hoping some of those will resonate with you, too. Hang in there, I believe we will make it through this and that we will learn valuable things along the way. If we ask good questions, we can learn beautiful things from even the hardest places and times.