2020 was certainly a trying year for most; actually just about everyone. Many lost loved one’s, which is unimaginable. Peoples livelihoods were affected as families struggled not only to pay rent or mortgages, but putting food on the table was extremely difficult. The true scope hasn’t even reared it’s ugly head, yet. All we know is it’s been disastrous and most of our leaders have done nothing to help; they do not care.
Spending all that time at home (yes I listened to the experts ie. scientists) and minus the 40-50 hours of work a week, “me time” became a big thing. That certainly had its ups and downs. Without focusing too much on the negative, this year gave me the opportunity to reflect and work on some things.
At the beginning I had put on some weight, it’s easy to eat ice cream and other vegan junk food every day and night when you sitting home alone. By the end of the year though, I am down to a weight I haven’t seen in years and for the first time in my life, I saw muscles I didn’t know I even had. It was hard work, but it gave me a sense of purpose. Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life. Though I haven’t run in over a year and really miss it, I am looking forward to the spring for sure.
Mentally, things were quite different. I became complacent in my proverbial hermitage and pushed away a lot of those that meant something to me. Spending all that time in ones head, things can get heavy. For the past year I was in and out of a relationship with an amazing and one of a kind woman, and she probably should have run away from me at this point but I am so glad she hasn’t. All the stress I thought I was under was unnecessarily directed toward her.
Minus the fact my behavioral health group at work pulled the plug early because of a network issue, I had started seeing a therapist. We only had one session but it’s wonderful what can happen when someone can see you for who you are, faults and all. We did a simple regression exercise to a moment that I saw as a happy memory. Once broken down, that moment not only defined some of the positive aspects of my life, there were some dark things laying under the surface. A part of me awakened that day and I began to understand certain issues I’d been dealing with as a kid and how I walled them off, just like I was doing in my relationship(s). I’m learning not to compartmentalize everything, or to overthink.
I’ve never been one for talking about my problems; it didn’t feel “manly” if you will. Defying gender roles I’d been so ingrained with was not as easy as I thought. Though it may be hard, change doesn’t happen by doing the same things. While I continue my research to find someone similar to the therapist I had seen, I will advocate for therapy especially as we continue on in these days of unknowing. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone, and it’s doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Sometimes just airing some grievances can help alleviate a fair amount of stress.
Caring for one another helps.