What 2020 Did For Me
This year has been tough for a lot of people, and I am thankful that I made it through with a roof over my head and food in my belly. I truly feel for those that are having a tough time with that right now, because security and comfort is such an important part of well-being, especially for children.
So much has happened since my last post… and not so much. Some things I can’t talk about… and some things I can. Clearing out unwanted and unneeded “stuff” – both physically and mentally – has probably been what 2020 has been all about for me – and that is a blessing.
This has been a year of healing, especially after having two surgeries last year. The aging process is difficult to grasp until it actually happens. When I had my major surgery 15 months ago, I had planned on being back to normal within a couple of months. In my mind, I could still recuperate like I did 20 years ago.
“HAHAHAHA!!!” laughed The Universe. “You’re not in your 20s anymore!”
It took pretty much an entire year for my entire body to feel somewhat normal again, even though I was told it’s a two-month recovery. I call bullshit on that, because I am extremely body aware and feel every cell that aches or isn’t up to par. My normally active lifestyle wasn’t as active as I’d planned for 2020, and getting back into shape took much longer than I was used to. Coming to terms with aging and knowing things WILL be going downhill physically from here on out is really difficult to process. It’s definitely a bit depressing, because my mind is stronger than ever, but my body is limiting, which is something I am not used to. This has been one of the biggest realizations in 2020 that I’d been silently denying. When something big happens, it’s an entirely new perception of life. Until it happens to you, you won’t fully understand it.
Besides physical healing, emotional healing has also been on the plate. Doing a lot of writing here has helped sort out my mind and emotions, notice patterns, and find ways to do something about it. Certain things still do trigger me to no extent, but those are things I am still dealing with. The worst part is knowing that some things may never be recoverable. Eliminating toxic people has been one of the best things I could do for myself. I’ve gone back to meditating, which of course is always helpful in any situation. I feel that my emotional healing has helped me physically, which brings me to something else…
I have drastically cut back on drinking, making me feel better overall, and being home and not around people helps with that. October was the 4-year anniversary of a friend’s passing – a friend who died from complications of alcoholism at the age of 44. At this very moment of writing, another friend’s brother (49) is literally on his death bed due to alcoholism, and by the time I publish this, he may no longer be here. Then there’s my mother’s neighbor (50s) with yellow skin and a damaged spleen – all due to alcoholism and looking at his life ending very soon, and one with lots of regrets. That’s enough in itself for me to deter drinking; however, my craving has been going away altogether, and I’m glad. More self-reflection made me realize that I was drinking away emotions so I didn’t have to remember painful things or because I simply didn’t have the support or know how to deal with them. Of course, with that comes a cycle of bullshit that never works.
My home is super small, and I only have one closet for everything I own, so having more than that makes my place look cluttered – which gives me anxiety and makes me unproductive with ADD-like symptoms. I have either sold or gave away so many things I’ve accumulated, and each time I do, I literally take a deep breath, because I can breathe again! Just clearing off my coffee table enables me to breathe deeply, so I’ve learned that clutter of all sorts can no longer be a part of my life if I want to be happy and productive.
Learning to stand up for myself to anyone, no matter who, is a part of a lifelong lesson since childhood. Transparency about certain people, whether or not I’ve written about them here, as well as clarity about certain things I’ve brought into my adult life from childhood that have come up recently. These are things to talk about another time.
Focusing on goals and organizing my thoughts and life in general has been a major part of this year. Putting my own needs first is always a learning experience, because out of habit, I still find myself catering to others. I suppose it’s my nurturing motherly instinct – BUT – I am getting better at it by simply saying no or by doing my own thing or nothing at all.
Even though 2020 has brought a lot of things for me, there are still a few days left that I’m sure will give more to write about before the New Year.
What has 2020 brought for you?