Linda brings us SoCS each Saturday. This week she asks us to take a look back at 2020 to see how we coped with the year that would not end.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Use one, use them all, use them any way you’d like. Enjoy!
It is hard to look back at 2020 without tears, fears, and a few cheers. I started the year with shingles. It was a pain like nothing I have never experienced before. I was first advised to take OTC meds which did nothing. I was then prescribed heavy duty drugs, which did nothing to ease the pain. Finally with the blessing of my doc, I tried gummies with THC. It helped a little but I was in agony for weeks.
Once the pain was reduced, Covid restrictions began. The world turned upside down. The new reality was frightening beyond belief. People were dying in droves. Medical facilities were overrun with too many patients and not enough knowledge of how to help. The “leaders” were making matters worse. Day by day the news was scarier.
We were forced to remain in our houses and not have any contact with anyone not in our household. People hoarded toilet paper, of all things. Then came the shortages of disinfectants, meat, chicken, water, and anything that might be stored away. For the first time in my life, I wondered if I was going to make it through this.
My family was falling apart in many ways. We could not be there for each other. We were all frightened. The phone was a poor substitute for physical interactions. The days turned into weeks. isolation and fear of possibly dying, overtook my brain. With the help of others I realized, I needed help for depression. I had stopped eating, sleeping, and functioning normally. I was able to see a doctor, but it took awhile to get in. I am happy to say it was a turning point for me. I had numerous telemedical appointments after the initial “in person” visit.
With the help of professionals, coaches, and friends I started to focus on the things I had control over. I stopped watching the news. I stopped having conversations that were overwhelming. I stopped listening to all the horrible conspiracy theories. I worked hard to find something good every day.
I started to focus on self-care. I looked again for things to be grateful for. I returned to journaling to sort out my thoughts. I stayed connected with people who cared about me and my well-being. I changed my self-talk to accept the new reality. I put protocols into effect that made me feel safer. Senior hours at the grocery store became my norm. I went when I had meds ready to pick up. I rarely went out except as absolutely necessary. I cancelled medical and dental appointments that were not mandatory.
Eventually I returned to my acupuncture/chiropractic appointments. I insisted (and still do) that I have the first appointment of the day. Their protocols make me feel safe. Seeing my doctor is an important tool to deal with my chronic illnesses. I feel safe with everything they are doing.
My dentist reopened after months of being closed down. He was in full PPE and had air cleaners with UV rays in place. No more than one person is allowed in the office at a time. You must leave through the back door, so patients do not pass each other. I feel safe there.
As days turned to weeks and weeks to months, I began a new life at home. I decided to clean and purge each room of my house. I redecorated with what I had on hand. And of course, Amazon became my friend. On every good day that I had energy, I did something to make my home a happy place for me. Room by room, I painted, sewed, and created a calmer environment. My garage became a holding place for things to be donated. I put numerous items out on the sidewalk for anyone that wanted them. The last thing I wanted was to add to the landfills. Happily, almost everything I put curbside was picked up.
After most of the inside was done, I began working on the yards. Being outside brings me great joy. Planter by planter, I cleaned out and replanted what I had from one space to another. Most of the yard work is now done. I painted my fences, repainted my yard art, and finally tossed many items that were beyond repair. That was quite different for me.
I have lost family members to Covid. Over 500,000 people in the US have lost family members. People who were loved and cherished and sadly were often alone in their last days. This pandemic has changed us all by stealing our illusion of safety. We know we must be diligent in maintaining our new protocols. Masks are necessary. Washing hands often is not an option. Using hand sanitizer and keeping our hands away from our faces is still the way to be safer.
I’ve now been vaccinated, as have most of my close family members. I still plan on wearing my mask whenever I am out of my house. I plan on being as safe as possible. I still intend to clean all items that come into my house or quarantine them. I am looking forward to more hugs from my grandkids. I am feeling lighter and happier with my redone rooms. The less “stuff” surrounding me makes happier. I have no desire to go shopping, just for the heck of it. I have learned to appreciate the time at home, instead of seeing it as a cruel punishment. I have grown personally during this pandemic. I have no idea if it will be a year or two until “normal” or some facsimile of it returns. I believe I will be OK as I move forward.