The year that almost broke me.
2021 has not been kind.
To think I looked forward to this year so eagerly as 2020 slipped into the rear view mirror. Its funny really, I was so optimistic in 2020, we are all in this together and all of that malarkey.
I thought (rather naively) that once we were released from our lockdowns covid would leave just as quickly as it had arrived. I followed all the rules, vaccinated as soon as it was available to my age group. I dutifully wore my mask everywhere, sanitized and stayed indoors. Never once a complaint.
Then 2021 arrived.
There was nothing festive about the occasion, no party to announce it’s arrival.
But 2021 did bring something with it, a feeling I can only describe as grief. Although I was relieved to return to work after working from home with reduced pay for a year, I didn't realize how being in a store exposed to people who I didn't know - walking way to close to me, would spark my anxiety stirring phobias both old and new.
There was a point this year where I couldn’t walk out onto our spacious showroom floor without breaking into sweat. My small exposed desk my only refuge at work. As more and more people became comfortable once again adventuring into local shops and restaurants, I was the opposite. When out in public, my breath would catch at the most unusual times. I developed new neuroses. My anxiety which had been very well managed for over 15 years went into high alert and hasn't come back down, no matter how much therapy or cbd I try.
I hate my job, I hate walking into my office every. Single. Day. I despise the crowds of people talking through the doors. They feel too loud, too close and too normal. Nothing feels normal to me anymore.
I hate that my husband got laid off his job and now I am the main bread winner. But mostly I hate that I cant quit this soul sucking job and find something else, anything else that would be good for my mental health.
This year has brought me to my knees, I search for peace almost feverishly. Recently I started a garden, nothing big. Tomatoes, eggplants and cheerful sunflowers are among my favorite harvest so far. Each morning I plant my feet in the soil connecting with nature while tending to the plants. Some days the vegetation and flora, plant little seeds of hope in me. I promise myself that things will get better. I listen to my body when it says “today we rest”.
I rest a lot.
If I am honest, most days all I want to do is crawl into bed and rest. I want a salve to spread on the uncomfortable bits and time to nurture the parts of me that grieve what I have lost in the rubble of the last year and a half.
(Full disclosure there are times that all I want to do is scream and run through the wilderness, naked and trembling, giving up all illusions of being in control. To crawl on my hands and knees through the dirt into a dark cavern and cover myself with turned leaves. Hibernating until this season has passed.)
I have also started working out twice a day, just walks in nature but they bring me back to my body- which sometimes I feel so disconnected with, its like I am floating far beyond the earth, leaving covid and this year far behind me.
I don't know what 2022 has in-store for us, but goddamn it will be good to see the back of 2021.