What a year this has been. I started it off with the intention of loving myself. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have struggled with a lack of self love for a very long time. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions – which I always break by the middle of February at the very latest – I decided to dedicate the year to loving myself. I started off great, I was able to practice self love each day; that was until we hit lockdown in March.
That was when things went downhill.
I have CPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and had been in a hyper vigilant state for most of my adult life. I had gone through therapy that had helped me enormously, but I lost my ability to cope once the UK went into lockdown.
I became so paranoid and stressed, I was crying most days and really couldn’t cope with the threat of being stopped by the police or some other official anytime I left the house.
By my birthday I’d had a breakdown and was in a really dark place. I felt like I had failed at the self love project and started thinking very dark and scary thoughts. I eventually went to see a Dr. and got prescribed anti-depressants.
After a few weeks I began to feel better in myself. That nearly came to an end in late summer, I needed a smear and the first attempt failed – I was really calm and positive too. The second attempt was a disaster also. Flashbacks, panic attacks, massive triggers….they also couldn’t get a sample of cells. I cried all the way home. I felt like I was 16 again.
But out of that experience I felt empowered to help other women who have suffered any form of sexual violence, and domestic abuse too. I was so determined to put my own experiences to some use that I enrolled with the OU to study Psychology with Counselling.
And as we enter the final month of what can only be termed as a horrific year, I feel empowered, well, happy, determined, and I certainly practice self love.
You see, I now know that going to the GP to get the medication was an act of self love. I know that pushing through my trauma triggers and flashbacks has catapulted me forward to a place where I can try to make a difference to women who have suffered at the hands of rapists and abusers.
2020 broke me. But I rose from the ashes and I am rebuilding my life on my own terms.
This year the holiday season feels more poignant than ever before. This year has been dominated by loss. It has driven home the message for me that life is for living.
With only a couple of days left until the UK goes back into lockdown, I am sending wishes of positivity and kindness to all. Times are tough right now. Some of us don’t know if we are going to have jobs by the end of this latest lockdown. Some of us don’t know when we’ll see our families again, especially at Christmas. Some of us are living in fear for our health. Some of us have no choice but to go out to work on the frontline where this disease is hitting hardest.
We don’t have to agree with one another all of the time, but we can at least be kind. Kindness is free, sprinkle that shit everywhere.
Being kind to others won’t harm us, what have we got to lose?
I hope everyone stays safe and has everything they need.
There’s a huge debate going on all over England- in homes, online, in government, in the media – about whether England should go into another lockdown.
This isn’t a political post. This is my personal reason for why I do not want another nationwide lockdown.
My mental health buckled under the last lockdown. I was on the verge of a breakdown, all brought to the fore by lockdown.
Yes, I’m on medication now, but there’s no emotional support here once everything locks down. Everyone is dealing with their own personal crises once lockdown hits. Me saying “I’m drowning again, please help” feels very selfish when people have their own MH to worry about.
I don’t want to have to be in that dark place again. Fear having control of my life. Not being able to sleep because hyper vigilance is ramped up to the max. The four walls closing in on me, jumping at any noise outside and wondering who might be watching.
Yes, this all sounds selfish when you compare it to what’s happening with the pandemic. I just don’t know if I’ll survive another lockdown mentally.