It’s day 32 of lockdown and day 15 of the stay at home order for the province of Ontario, Canada. It feels like day 1000 to some. I know for myself, I’m beginning to feel some cabin fever in ways and frustration in the fact that I am off work, while our province gets its shit together.
I was in a VASTLY different environment during our lockdown here in 2020. 2020 was unkind to the majority and for so many different reasons why. The environment I find myself in during this 2nd lockdown is healthy. It’s filled with support, care and concern. Truth be told, I was battling my mental health, heavy grief I had not acknowledged and with those, addiction during the 1st lockdown. I was a walking concurrent disorder until the end of August 2020.
I faced nuisances from human beings I trusted and cared about and learned allllll over again what boundaries are and that it’s ok to enforce them for myself. I did just that and still had nuisances fighting those boundaries. A sign of non acceptance on their part, not mine. Hindsight is always 20/20. When it all came to a head at the end of August, as angry and hurt I was by others, I couldn’t be anything but honest with myself about my reality. My role in my own demise in 2020 was equally as harmful as the nuisances of others because the fact is, we are what we allow and life is all about the choices we make. My choices sucked!!!
In the wake of the exploding head in August, September brought some new light. Fresh light to a very dark world I was living in. I got back into intensive therapy with a local agency to address my ever declining mental state, the grief I was carrying and stuck in and my newfound addiction with an illicit drug, rather than alcohol this time. Not knowing how or where to begin again was paining me. Harming me and the environment in which I lived and cared for my son. My circumstance left me no other option or choice. I was forced to address it all. Much like an incident after my infant sons passing, it was the best thing that could’ve happened amidst a very shitty situation.
One of the largest bumps for me to overcome was feeling like I had done this work all before, only to bring me where I was again. It was difficult to understand how I could’ve fallen so hard when I knew better or thought I did at least. This is where my concurrent disorder clinician came into huge play. Reminding me upon my initial assessment (a 2.5hr process in which my truths fell) that I had lived and endured trauma of great significance and impact to my life. Reminding me my PTSD diagnosis was diagnosed for a reason and that my responses to trauma were valid, even if not healthy. What I laid on the table with my clinician that day, it laid the foundation for the recovery and healing I not only needed, but, also desperately wanted underneath my numb and cold mind, body and soul.
I find myself today, sitting here typing with clarity. The clarity I had 2 years ago today when I first created “My Afterglow”. A blog I dreamed of writing to not only help me, but, others too. To share my story of living after loss. To help remind everyone that there is a rise to every fall. To bring awareness to grief. A topic with so much stigma around it, no different than mental illness and addiction. That therapy with a professional is the healthiest choice to make to address all the issues and illnesses we may face, be it body, mind or spirit. That admitting we are not ok, is OK!! That it’s ok to not be ok and it’s OK to ask for help! It is by far the strongest thing I have now ever done for myself. Ask for help. Times are trying at the best of times and during COVID times the struggle becomes even greater for some who may never have experienced things like anxiety, let alone anxiety to just go get grocery’s! Reach out to professional and personal supports! Doing it for the 2nd time in my life, it saved me.
Happy 2nd Anniversary to “My AfterGlow”…. I’ve never been prouder to live my truths, to live and share my story and I hope 2021 finds be blogging more than ever before.