Let me explain.
When I left my job at the end of last year, it was going to be a good thing. 2019 saw a few things happen: A 48-hour suicide hold led to a partial hospitalization program. A partial hospitalization program led to processing my trauma in therapy. Processing some trauma in therapy led to a blog post being retweeted by a celebrity. Taking a few months off would allow more growth that wasn’t possible while working full-time.
2020 started out great: I started a new therapy group for women with PTSD; my meds were working; I wrote five moderately-popular curated blog posts in a month.
At the end of my Freshman year of High School, my Earth Science teacher wrote in my yearbook “You will do great things.” 2020 was going to be the year of great things.
But, life has a way of not going as planned. When the Corona shutdown happened, I, too, shut down. Physical distancing turned to complete distancing. I stopped texting friends. When therapy appointments were canceled, I waited weeks to reschedule. When my meds ran out, I waited weeks to call and get a refill. I moved out of my apartment and into my grandparents’ house. I was living on unemployment and couldn’t find a job. I stopped writing. I stopped processing. I just stopped.
The depression I had been able to handle became too much to bear. I became paralyzed. The anxiety I had been able to keep at bay came roaring back. My mind ran full speed ahead.
The weight of what I thought I should be doing outweighed what I was capable of doing. While my circumstances changed, the expectations I placed upon myself did not.
I’ve felt like a failure more times than I can count. I get caught up on where I think I should be that I forget how far I’ve come.
I’m leaving this year in a much better place than I left last year; I left last year in a better place than the year before. And I’m lightyears away from where I was when I graduated high school.
Maybe Mr. Baker was right after all: you are going to do great things. But maybe the great things you do are relative to where you are in life.
The greatest thing I did this year was getting out of bed every day. I didn’t always shower. I didn’t always get dressed. But I got out of bed.
And for someone who used to be so suicidal, I’d pray not to wake up in the morning, that’s a win.