I think we can all agree that 2020 has turned out to be one heck of a year. So much has happened in such a short time, and most of us have had to deal with it from the confines of our homes. Like many, I've really struggled a few times over the last few months. I've broken down more than once, and I had a hard time coming back around.
I was furloughed from my day job for three months. At first, I remained positive. I had a set schedule with my dog and errands to run. I could try new things that I never had time for before, which was pretty great! Plus, where I live it was already sunny and 75 most days.
Then the slump happened.
I had one bad day that led to what I can only describe as going over the edge of the cliff. I was so overwhelmed with my emotions that I let everything in. I felt the pain of the outside world and somehow decided I could manage that. Well, I was wrong. I spent several days holed up inside with no motivation to do anything. I ate crappy food because it was easier to cook. I wouldn't go outside because I couldn't stand the bright, beautiful sunshine; I just wanted to be in the dark because I only felt darkness.
The thing about this kind of extreme slump is that, when you feel so overwhelmed by the darkness, even imagining being happy again can grate on your nerves. It makes it hard to even think about finding your way out of the darkness, much less taking the steps to get there. The willpower to get out of the slump has to come from within; it's not something anyone else can do for you.
After a few weeks, I had the realization that I didn't want this anymore, and I knew that the only way to change it was to make it so. To do that, I needed to work on creating some new sense of "normal."
So, I got myself some books to keep my mind occupied. I started getting up early to clean and run any errands that needed to be done. That meant I was able to spend my afternoons relaxing in the sunshine with a nice book. Soon, I started feeling more comfortable communicating with people again. Considering that everyone was quarantined, I was lucky to still have people to be around.
It has been a slow process to get back to "normal," just like the world around us. But I am confident that I have the right tools to help me from retreating into that deep, dark cave again. All in all, we as human beings are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. The world is a scary, uncertain place right now and you should know that whatever you are feeling, you're not alone. Be open and honest with yourself, and you too can find the sunshine again!