Let me just start by saying : “What the fudge 2020?” Ok, out of my chest and off to a new post!
No, NONE of us thought we would be here today. This year came to prove that all the Biblical theories of life are facts! Whether you are an atheist or christian, you need to admit that we are both in the same boat and in need of a Savior!
Since the beginning of the Pandemic in the US, I have experienced all cycles of life, from birth to rebirth, from anxiety to numbness, from life to mourning, from high energy to depression; and guess what? I believe you have experienced them too. Don’t you dare tell me I am all alone in this, because if you do, we can’t be friends! Joking, we can, but not really!
With all that is going on around me I have come to the realization that I am not the same Camila I was back in March of 2020. The impact of the uncertainty and constant feed of negative news have deeply influenced my mental health. Until March, I was a “happy-go-lucky” average mom next door, who had recently found her career path in child development, working as preschool teacher, having alone time between kids school pick up, getting ready to travel to Turkey to visit family and friends, planning Christmas in Brazil, having ADD/anxiety under control with therapy, exercising and looking forward to a year of personal growth. Then COVID-19 arrived like an avalanche of deep sadness…
I paused. We paused. I feared. We feared. In a blink of an eye, we were all mourning the deaths of thousands of strangers that could not say their goodbyes to their loved ones . The fear that we could be next, took over our everyday lives, yet, we had no idea how to avoid it. After living for some many years thinking that I could control anything in life, COVID-19 unknowns, blinded me and left me mentally paralyzed.
How am I supposed to have a “me” time, when nobody can leave the house? How am I supposed to celebrate my kids’ birthday, without hugging no one? How am I supposed to work on my marriage if we are both at our thin ends? How am I supposed to celebrate life, when thousands are mourning the death of loved ones? How am I supposed to buy groceries, when thousands lost their jobs? How am I supposed to quarantine when thousands don’t have the same privilege? How am I supposed to feel safe, when I can not even keep my parents safe, who are overseas? How am I supposed to provide social-emotional development to my kids if we can’t have playdates? How am I supposed to embrace one national cause, when hundreds of other causes also need my attention? How am I supposed to look forward to Christmas after my uncle passed away with nobody by his side? Etc…
So I stopped!! I finally admitted to myself I cannot continue to behave like the Camila of pre-pandemic and expect the same outcome. Admitting that my life has changed, was the first step to admitting that I should not behave the same. Although I was not prepared to go through so many changes all at once, I am happy to have come to this realization point. Do you know what change means for a person with anxiety/ADD? It means doubling the anxiety and mental reorganization!! My everyday life is based on me constantly questioning my motherhood/person capabilities and working on overcoming my anxiety. So, how have you changed Camila, you may ask.
I went back to therapy. I no longer care about my weight gain. I no longer mentally embrace all the world’s causes. I am no longer available for my family 24/7. I have learned to stay away, virtually, from people that I consider toxic for my life. I have finally embraced my passion for child development. I have learned to remember the qualities in me. I have done what I can handle.
While I certainly have to work on my anger towards the uneven load I carry everyday, I am very proud of myself for being true to who I am. Admitting weakness was always a tabu growing up. Not asking for help was partially the reason why postpartum depression turned to be simply depression, because I waited far too long to seek treatment or to recognize my weakness.
Maybe you don’t struggle with anxiety. Maybe you have reached this far of 2020 with an amazing support group by your side. But, if you have questioned who you were pre-pandemic and who you are now, I am now giving you a chance to think about yourself with care and slowly open ways to your new self, without resentment. You have all the reasons to feel what you feel and beyond. If anything, let’s follow each other on Instagram and send each other private messages of funny parenthood/life posts!
Thank you for reading, I mean, listening to me! 🙂