2020 was a Terrible Year for Everybody
This dreadful year has finally come to a close and I’m proud for all of us for surviving through it. From the moment this year started, we received bad news upon bad news of devastation here in the Philippines and around the world. From the Australia fires to the Taal Volcano eruption and ash fall. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly forced us to be quarantined inside our homes for long months.
We were made to adapt to a new normal of face masks, face shields, social distancing, and mindful sanitation to protect ourselves and lessen the spread of the virus. Front-liners and healthcare workers were worked beyond exhaustion trying to tend to the needs of the growing number of patients, families went hungry and hundreds of employees lost their jobs and livelihood.
The pandemic has taken away so much from us already, but what do we hear from the news once again? Bad news upon bad news of evil men taking advantage of the critical situation for their own financial and political gain. Then, more devastation hit with the typhoons Rolly and Ulysses. We were left once again to fend for ourselves, and help our own fellow countrymen with donations drives and support for rescue operations. And, I’m sure a lot more bad things happened.
2020 vs My Mental Health
Reading and learning about everything bad that kept happening, I couldn’t help but feel hopeless. I wasn’t only stuck inside the four corners of my small shared bedroom, but also held prisoner of my own mind. This year truly tested my mental resolve close to a breaking point, and I really tried my best to be okay every single day.
Daily journaling has been my crutch, helping me get up and continue moving forward. Aside from that, my blog has also been a place of solace for my mental health. Having a platform to help people by sharing what I’m going through gave me some sort of purpose and urgency. If I had a lesson that I could share to people in need, they deserve to know about it right now. I will forever be thankful for everyone who’ve come across my blog and taken the time to read. I really appreciate it. I’ve always been honest here, because I believe in the power of acknowledging the truth of your situation in order to figure out your options, and decide how to take action.
Kinda pushed myself too hard this year…
Being an over-thinker who always despised uncertainty, I tried to gravitate to the things that I could control instead. The world may be ending all around me, but here in my room, I still had my laptop, the internet and my words. I had to continue my life in some way.
This year, I worked harder than ever. I launched this blog: Christian Foremost, Your Gay Best Friend and continued to write quality blog posts every week. To ramp up social media engagement, I put out more frequent posts, trying to come up with fresh and exciting content. I worked on rebranding and relaunching my old site Sewer Rant, into an open platform for aspiring writers. Throughout the year, I’ve met a handful of writers with a lot of potential, and it’s been a delight to be able to have friends to share my passion about blogging with. Apart from my blog, I also channeled a different style of writing when submitting a bunch of articles published on Thought Catalog, a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to people’s unique stories.
And no, I did not stop there. I always had a project one after the other, whether it was for my blog or for my life in general. Even the gyms were all shut down, I continued exercising at home. I got more aggressive with my workout routine, but might still have to work on my diet. On top of that, I tried going on online job interviews and was fortunate enough to find a new company that I’m just super happy to be a part of. I also picked up a new hobby, and built some productive routines around my every day. Even when I was at home, I was busier than ever. Then, the minute the quarantine restrictions here in the Philippines loosened up, I focused my energy on learning how to drive which I never thought in a million years that I would choose to do.
If I wasn’t working on my projects, I was learning. Learning was the theme I had planned for the year, and I didn’t allow myself any excuses. The amount of courses I took and trainings I underwent were a ton. Do I remember everything? No, I do not. I do know that they’ll be useful someday. It’s just frustrating at times because even after all that, you still don’t have the answers to magically fix all your problems. There’s always something to learn, and I guess this will be something to roll over onto the new year.
Why did I do all of these things?
I always hated waiting so I decided to stop. I started the quarantine, painfully waiting day by day for the pandemic to end, for things to get better. Look at us now greeting 2021, with this problem still among us. We have yet to come back to the normal life we had before. Now, it’s like we’re left to co-exist with the virus. That fact alone breaks my heart and brings my blood to a boil.
So yeah.. All of the work I did for the year was simply to distract my mind from going to very dark places. Every time I stopped moving, I would be consumed by depression and anxiety because of our dreadful situation. I would lay in bed for hours and not have the willingness to do anything at all. Every time I sensed myself getting close to that feeling, I just pulled myself out of it by doing more work. I worked on top of work and where did that get me? It made me burn out big time. At the end of the year, i finally ran out of fuel and enough motivation to continue the things I’ve already started. I suddenly didn’t see any reason for anything. It’s a difficult place to be in and right now, but I haven’t totally given up. I’m allowing myself more patience and hopefully, I’ll be able to find that passion and drive again.
We’re all struggling through this pandemic in our own ways, and we handle uncertainty differently. I just hope that we find the strength to continue going on. Let’s take care of ourselves and pay attention to our needs. Let’s continue fighting for our survival or take a respite if things get a bit too much. Even when everything seems to be against us, we shouldn’t lose hope.
A lot of things happened in 2020, but we shouldn’t take everything along with us on to the new year. If we can leave the trauma and the hurt, let’s try to. I’m thankful enough for the memories I made and the lessons I’ve learned and hopefully, it will guide me to a year more open for better possibilities.
So, What Will 2021 Be Like?
2020 was the longest year of our lives, but now that it’s come to a close, it seemed to pass by in a snap of a finger. I don’t want to pressure myself or anyone with hopes and expectations anymore for 2021. At this point, I’m just wishing that it’ll be a better year for all of us. The COVID-19 vaccine should hurry its way over to our bodies so that we could do more with our lives again.
2021 will be a year of more adulting and tough decisions. I will continue writing that’s for sure, but I may try and focus on fiction. I’ll take every chance to escape this current reality we’re living in. I’ll also be less forceful on myself and allow some rest days from time to time. There will be more learning and a couple of things to let go and leave in the past.
At this point in my life, I feel like I also need to figure out the things in life I value the most, and realize what success means to me. If success means doing what I love to do, and helping people’s lives, I shouldn’t care about anything else… Right?
I am not thankful for the pandemic at all. I wish it never happened in the first place. The year and all of our lives would have been better off without it. Please stop toxic positivity because optimism will not get you so far. We have to accept that our situation right now is dire, and take responsibility to make things better. For now, let’s continue trying to stay at home as much as we can, and be extra careful whenever we do have to go outside. We are still alive and there will be a future when all of this will be over. But until then, don’t back down.
And also guys, please vote on 2022. Remember the names of the people you heard from the news who’ve done nothing but bad for this country, and do not vote them. Research and write the names down of people who actually went out of their way to help people on need. This is how we fight back. This is one of the things we can do to make things better. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, click this link and get to it!
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Categories: MENTAL HEALTH