I think it’s safe to say we are all feeling a little misplaced. To be honest, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for years. For me, it’s been harder to see that the pandemic is playing a larger role in my mental health than I had anticipated or even recognized.
I’m watching some people I’ve deemed as the most secure start to falter mental health-wise. Thoughts of confusion encompass our bodies. I thought I had a solid plan for my birthday, for my move in September, for my future, for all of my relationships — my world has completely flipped upside down.
Social media platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram are challenging to look through. Maybe not as much Instagram — granted I just got it back and only follow people I know, so the content is more vulnerable.
However, I have found that I am comparing my body and my mental growth to women and teens on Tik Tok. Everyone seems to be managing fine, working out, getting that quarantine summer body, whiter teeth, and anything else you can imagine. Meanwhile, I draw blanks as to what my schedule will look like each day while healthily developing a small beer/wine child in my tum.
Turning twenty-two has got to be one of the most growing yet intimidating ages I’ve experienced thus far. I feel like I’m making progress in my life similarly to how the snake sheds its skin. For instance, I’m out of the skin for the most part, but I feel incredibly naked and sensitive all the time.
But then I’m caught in my skin towards the end —
It’s a feeling of just being tied at my feet and tripping all over the place.
When I’m sorting through all these emotions, I can’t see at the moment if the choices I’m making are actually lunging me baby steps forward. In quarantine, time doesn’t exist. I can’t know if I’m making progress or if I’m doing enough. I recently read an article written by Henry Andrews, and he explains this feeling the best way I know how by saying, “You are doing as much or more than you did before the pandemic. But a lot of that “doing” isn’t the sort of “doing” that you’re used to thinking about. So you don’t give yourself credit for it, and instead, get frustrated.”
When I read this, I immediately felt a rush of grace. “Oh, yeah — that’s exactly where I’m at” were my thoughts.
Today, I saw a post from a friend that I thought was incredibly stable in his career and what he wanted in life. Those things about him are accurate; however, because of all things being shut down — I saw him question his whole life’s calling.
I find myself doing the same thing.
And I’m telling you that the imaginary battle is exhausting.
If you generally struggle with mental health and find yourself having more bad weeks than usual — you’re not crazy, I’m right here with you.
It’s so easy to forget and feed into those fears that tend to gnaw at us when we’re in the middle of those thoughts.
It seems these days that it’s more difficult to separate ourselves from our thoughts.
Here’s the good part
I am so proud of us a whole.
If you haven’t heard that lately, and it seems dull hitting the heart — hear me out.
I am so proud of you.
Whether you’ve just graduated, just gotten engaged, but especially if you fall into NEITHER of those categories.
We’re all navigating the best we can right now, even if you’re like me, and your “best” will never fit your expectations. Loosen the reigns on yourself for a moment, just for five seconds — receive the love you deserve even when you feel like you deserve nothing at all.
I’ve seen more good news conquer the bad during this season. Yes, times are particularly difficult, but the neighborly love I have seen has moved me to be a better person.
I “fail” every day at falling trap to my emotions and putting too much pressure on myself.
Let’s not even get into the self-worth I feel this season.
Nevertheless, like all things — there’s beauty in this. We are all taking time to reset, re-strategize, and find something about ourselves that go beyond physical features.
We’re doing a good job.
Here are a few things that help me
1. Listening to This Too Shall Last by Anderson East
2. Cracking open a beer or pouring a glass of wine
3. Finding one thing I like about myself in the mirror, and leaning into that tiny bit of affirmation.
4. Watching Dr. Phil (this isn’t weird, it helps me understand I’m in a healthier state than I could be)
5. Splurging on ice cream
6. Watching America’s Got Talent golden buzzer videos
7. Dancing, even if I feel ridiculous.
This season is not easy. I know the feelings of despair, loss of hope, and confusion. Take care, and do the best you can. Continue to write your heart out because you have a voice here, and receive some love from this post!
This post was previously published on Change Becomes You and is republished here with permission from the author.
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