As much as we have learned about COVID as the virus has evolved over the near past two years, it also taught me alot about myself. While the world shut down and regenerated itself, it taught me the need to practice actual self-care and that mental health is OK to think about and to invest in more than I had previously.
Granted, before the world shut down, my world wasn’t in the best place mentally. I had to vacate my first home suddenly and live with my parents. I was already fooling around with my medication and in the middle of discovering what that was doing to my body.
Then, everything that had been left in my routine had shut down.
First no work, the next day no programming, then my mother who was working was working from home. Those first two weeks were scary, as they were for many in the world. The only services I was receiving was outpatient therapy and a phone call from my mobile psych rehab worker.
Then, day programming went virtual, which was nice, although it had some quirks. I was asked if I would take a voluntary layoff from my job, fortunately through luck, it only resulted in my hours being reduced by half, for that I am thankful as I can proudly say that I was the only member in my day program who still had a job through the shutdown.
Eventually, the world slowly reopened and capacity limits were slowly increased,
Then I did my hard work and started to pound the pavement to get back on my own as I discovered that I needed to do so as I experienced Crisis at times during the shutdown, it was pure luck that I didn’t end up in the hospital system, a higher level of care or the justice system.
Eventually, my prayers would be answered and the home I now have had would be mine 14 months ago.
But in the course of 14 months, I had to do what I consider the hard work,
Some of it was by working more of what I have such as this website which I write this blog on that was already paid for and through the advice of my mobile psych worker to tell my story and hone in on my gift of writing that I have.
Eventually, a gift of writing would be used personally to develop a Wellness, Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) so that I wouldn’t get to the point that I was at my worst in 2020,
But I wasn’t done yet.
I had to come to terms that the medication that I had been on for over two decades was beneficial for me and that playing with it was indeed flirting with disaster. I had to accept that on my terms and discover how it could benefit me best in my new story.
I also had to air out my dirty laundry, get rid of things that were of not a good benefit to me along with allowing some of the good into my life.
I have discovered friends and that there are actually people out there with similar challenges and to seek support from others is OK if they are willing to offer it. Likewise, I had to learn that there’s people who wanted to engage with me, but I had to weed out who was healthy versus what was unhealthy for my mental health and set up necessary boundaries around the unhealthy.
I am proud to admit that I had to work on all of this while fighting myself against the dangers of this virus and protecting myself to the best of my ability to make a world that was at first crashing down and when many are experiencing troubles in their mental health struggles that I am finally rising from the ashes and seeing better days makes the world easier to manage.
It doesn’t mean it still has its struggles from time to time or that growing or learning is over. There’s still things I want to do in life and there are things to work on. However, I have grown as a man from a point of just being mad about them to recognizing what I am experiencing and becoming aware of what it is.
That is a big statement.
To say that having the world shut down and change the way that things are done in the world was a big change on top of all the other things that occurred in the world was a huge catalyst in opening my eyes that I needed to get a grasp of reality and grow up and adult more than I previously was and discover what I needed to excel in life.
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