One thing I am thankful for is that I am able to write this post, since there’s so much time for self-reflection and hobbies nowadays. I’ve been feeling for so long (since around October to be exact) like a shell of myself. Like I’d essentially peaked at 30 and I was now somehow struggling back uphill to become something I used to be…
… because while 2019 was an incredible year for me in terms of how much I’d progressed in my life, since November (even without the pandemic) I’ve not felt like my old self. Where is bubbly, striving-for-more Amy? Why can’t I even summon her energy anymore? Getting encouragement for how well you’re moving forwards is fantastic – but what happens when that stops?
Looking back at last year, I see how much stock I’ve placed in my achievements and when they all but ceased during my bad mental health bout, I realised that I have been beating myself up for not being the person I was in the past. It’s only upon reflection and advice from loved ones, that I’ve learned that I should accept these lows as much as I accept the highs.
From November to February, I busied myself to the point of exhaustion despite my better judgement. I kept pushing onward, exhausted and anxious, in the hope that my own negative thoughts didn’t catch up with me. I felt like maintaining this outward appearance of functioning, would mask the feelings I was facing. I was treating my life like a sprint to the finish, rather than a marathon (not that I’d ever run in reality unless it was to get to the buffet first, let’s be clear.)
Now I’m sat in bed unable to leave the house because of the C word. Unable to distract myself with friends and social experiences that keep me happy and light, I’ve come to the stark realisation that I need to address how to accept my own darker thoughts rather than push them aside. I need to feel comfortable in reflection in my own thoughts, even if they turn to dark places, and allow myself to move through them back into normality.
Where I felt before that I’d fallen back down to the bottom of the ladder that I’d been quickly ascending in 2019, now I just feel like I’ve just paused to look back at my journey fondly. I’ve not gone backwards, nor have I reached the top. For now I’ll just clear my mind and take in the scenery, until a time that I can ready myself to continue on.
Just an extra note…
I hope that all of you are keeping well during this really strange period of existence where we seem to all be in limbo. Take care of yourselves and your mental health, and if you’re able, take a pause to reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go, when this is all over.