Sometimes life throws you more than one curveball, consecutively, or worse, all at once. 2018 was that year for me. Full of turmoil, trauma, and hit after hit, I felt KO’d by the end of it. It has gone down in my life history book as the worst year yet. My house might as well have gone up in flames, my cars somehow managed to both fail at the same time (multiple times), medical bills just kept piling, my husband lost his job, and I experienced the loss of my Dad. The short end of the stick turned into a pointy, stabbing end very quickly. Thankfully, it’s 2019 and I am here to reflect on all of it.
How did I make it? How in the hell did I survive the stress? Well, truth be told, I didn’t. I struggled - and I mean it when I say that. I emotionally disappeared. I found a hole to hide in when I could. The new habits I’d successfully developed and maintained in 2017 quickly became obsolete. I was at the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I didn’t feel safe. I was in fight or flight mode from March through December. Stress was a suffocating blanket I seemed to stay wrapped in. Yet, here I sit in 2019, and I can see the sunrise.
There’s nothing quite like a year as awful as 2018 to put life in perspective. Through all the trial and tribulation I somehow survived and I came out of it a different person. And I write all this, not for a pity party - I’ve had enough of those - but because I know that there are those of you on the other end of this that are experiencing hard trials. And I want you to know that it is but a moment in the vast space of time - a very important moment. All of this, whatever that may be for you, will help you grow, should you allow it. You will find this is about learning and uncovering who you are underneath that exterior.
Please, seize the moments you can to take care of yourself. If you need to hide, hide. If you need to disappear from the world for a moment, do so. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to hurt, be depressed, have anxiety, or cry. It’s okay to let things go, such as chores or prior obligations. Take things moment by moment, second by second, if you have to. Live in the now and accept everything that comes with it, even if it is painful. It’s going to be hard. As hard as it can be, ask for help when you can. Really. Ask for help. People will surprise you.
There’s a poem by the Greek author Christianopoulos that says “What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed.” After the storm, you’ll see the sunshine. And that’s when you will realize that you have grown, despite the weather, and you’ll be better because of it. You’ll find you know more about yourself than you did before, even though you thought you had you all figured out. Certain things will matter less and others will matter more.
But most of all, know that it will be okay. Grow, seed, grow.