Resilience. Patience. Gratitude.
These three words keep popping up in my mind when I am thinking about 2021. Year Two of a world wide pandemic and we’re still not through. But I hope we will be in the not too overly distant future.
As I was reflecting on yet another year without some of my favorite things taking place, I also went introspective about myself and my still on-going battle with my Inner Demons. And I can assure you, struggling with a plethora of mental illnesses while the world is still in utter shambles and chaos doesn’t exactly make things any easier. Trust me when I say I, too, want this goddamn Shit Show of a pandemic to end – don’t we all? But there is nothing more I can do (other than still social distance, vaccinate, yadda yadda), and yes, it is frustrating.
But, just like with the Road to Recovery, I have to remain patient. Even if it’s hard at times (when I want to snap because Karen isn’t wearing her mask properly and Susan’s best friend’s distant cousin thinks he knows better than actual scientists because he watched a couple of videos of Professor Bullshit of YouTube University iykwim).
I cannot hurry up the process of healing when it comes to depression, anxiety and all the other ailments. Healing takes time. And I am taking that time. If it means another stint in a clinic, so be it. If it means more years of therapy and medication, bring it on. Rushing that process won’t do anything good, on the contrary (been there, done that). Also, be patient with myself and not be beaten-up about not having finished something. It’s okay not to be okay.
In a certain way, this is also something positive that came out of the pandemic: if I have to wait somewhere in line to get served, it is no big deal. Slowing down can help you put certain things into focus.
Accepting the setbacks while working on myself. They do happen and they are nothing to be ashamed of. And it is also absolutely okay to say I need a break, something’s getting too much. It’s okay if I spend a whole damn day in bed because I am too exhausted to do life. I also don’t have to justify myself or apologize for that. It. Is. OKAY.
It is okay to feel what and how I feel, even if I am totally overwhelmed.
A relapse also gives me a new chance, in a way. A chance to find out what went wrong, and how I can do better next time. To learn something from it, too.
This is probably the most important thing that 2020 and 2021 taught me. Find joy and gratitude even in the most simple, trivial things. No matter how big or small, if it made you smile, gave you a moment of happiness in your day – embrace it. Be thankful for the colors Mother Nature is blessing us with. The yummy food you fill your belly with that day. The smell of a lush summer rain. Sunshine. Birdsong. In the end, it’s often those small things that at some point become the big(ger) things.
Yes, I often struggle, I have days when I barely function. But I will always try to find something I am grateful for in each day. The bumblebee looking for pollen. The sunflower. Two of my favorite things – and I kept watching the fuzzy friend for some time, during an overcast, slightly windy September day. It made me smile so much!
I am grateful for the people I have in my life and who are putting up with me, even more so when I loathe myself. Music. Bubble baths. There is so much more to discover and to be thankful for. And that alone is worth keep fighting for.
Patience. Resilience. Gratitude.
These three words are some kind of mantra for me, not just as a take away from 2021, but even more so while I am on the Road to Recovery.
Happy New Year, readers. I hope 2022 will be much nicer to all of us.