As the holiday season is rounding out and 2020 is sliding into its swift and much anticipated close, I find myself reflecting on this year and all that it has entailed. I was among the throngs of society at the top of 2020 believing this year to be full of magic, positivity and greatness, and so much more! To a lot of people, 2020 has been just that! For me, that unfortunately was not my story. Quite frankly, 2020 has been one hell of a whirlwind of a year. I seemingly spent most of my year in a “which way is up?!” state of being. The month of March and what is typically my favorite time of year (because it’s my birthday) swiftly turned into the alarm clock blast that catapulted 2020 onto a fast and slippery slope straight to hell. I know that was really dark, but y’all stay with me here… It was my birthday weekend when COVID exploded, vomited all over 2020 and forced us all into lockdown. The long weekend of birthday turn up shenanigans became all a dream. A faint glimmer of what could have been. A speckle of dust to a memory that never was. Anyone that knows me knows that my birthday is my favorite holiday. COVID said “not this year sis!”. I was bored in the house, and in the house bored!
There were no big, lavish trips to look forward to all year. No meeting up with any of my out-of-town friends. There were no monthly Cooper’s Hawk dates with the girls, or after shift morning mimosas with the team. It has been a repetitious and never-ending cycle of work… home… repeat… There has literally been NO ESCAPE from COVID for healthcare workers. It’s everywhere!!! It’s all they talk about on the news, it’s plastered all across social media, everyone that knows you’re in the medical field wants to talk to you about it, plus we’re living through the hell of it every shift that we’re showing up to work. Working through COVID has been like being thrown into the latest sequel of “The Hunger Games”, trying to survive and remain optimistic, yet everyday the rules to the game are being changed. Repeatedly being told “you’re a hero” and “we’re all in this together” has done absolutely nothing to refill my sanity tank. I personally don’t believe that the health profession in general has done a whole lot and/or enough to address the mental health of “essential workers” during this pandemic. I pride myself on being a strong woman, but this all has shook-eth even me!
In 2020, I have…
- Witnessed some of the worst racial & social unrest & injustice of my lifetime
- Called into question the sincerity of many friendships due to their stances with these matters
- Liked & Dated someone
- Fell out of like with the person I was dating
- Got back into learning Spanish on DuoLingo
- Fell off the Spanish bandwagon real hard
- Fell in love…
- Then burned that whole construct to the ground
- I lost my Daddy
- Then spent the last 4 months teetering between the stages of grief
- Mostly, just stuck on stage 4, not sure I’ve made it to stage 5 yet…
- Become a COVID-19 statistic
- Spread COVID-19 to my entire family during the Christmas holiday
Depression… Well Kingdom, let’s talk about it!
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT speaking from a “medical profoessional” standpoint, but from my personal view of things that I’ve witnessed and/or experienced. Take what you can from it… or not… This is for my own personal healing. If others can take from my story and learn something for themselves and/or others, find healing for themselves and/or others, then GREAT! But the intention of this blog, as with all of my past blogs, is to force my own hand at being open, candid, honest and transparent. This is my therapy session. If at any point you find yourself disagreeing with my account of things, or feeling “triggered” by my words, then please stop reading… Maybe it’s not for you, maybe this isn’t your time. Either way, it’s ok!
depression (noun)- a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbances of appetite and sleep.
I don’t like this definition. It makes depression seem so “finite”, when it isn’t. It kind of paints a picture that depression looks one specific way and it doesn’t. Even with all that I’ve faced in 2020, I never stopped to consider my own mental health. I never considered myself to be vulnerable to such a state without my own consent. Depression is such an intangible being and it doesn’t always LOOK like sadness and crying while curled in the fetal position in a dark room…
Depression can also look like…
- Lack or change of interest in things that once sparked joy
- Intentionally and/or unintentionally distancing yourself from people you’re closest to
- Not having the energy and/or desire to talk to people, including those closest to you
- Persistent fatigue/lack of energy despite adequate amounts of sleep
- A change in YOUR normal sleep patterns (everybody doesn’t sleep 8 hours a night)
- Decrease or increase in appetite. Barely eating or overeating (this also includes persistent snacking)
- Random urges to just cry, especially when there is seemingly “no reason” to
- Procrastination or no desire/energy to complete even the simplest of tasks
- Feeling an overwhelming need to “do something productive” yet not being able to will yourself to move from your current position
- Falling into a rabbit hole of hours of internet scrolling
- Binge watching TV series and doing nothing else for days on end
- Smiling/laughing outwardly for the sole purpose of appearing “OK”
- Feeling invisible to others
Ways to shake your depression…
- MOVE!!! There’s nothing worse than just wallowing in your sorrow! It does nothing for improving your mood. So take a walk, exercise, put on your favorite playlist and just dance!
- Write… Doesn’t matter about what, but sometimes just getting the thoughts out of your own head helps
- Clean… Sometimes sprucing up or rearranging your space can boost your mood
- Create a playlist… Everybody knows that music is therapeutic!
- Watch a comedy show. Laughter is still the best medicine
- Take a nap! Yup, good ole sleep is sometimes much needed. Take it a step further and listen to spa music, ocean/rain sounds. Thank me later! There’s endless hours of playlists on any streaming platform.
- Facetime with friends. I’ve heard of some pretty impressive Zoom calls people have put together during the pandemic! Playing games, sharing drinks, you name it!
- Discover a new show to watch or rewatch an old favorite
- Create a vision board. It doesn’t have to be a beginning of the year thing. A new vision or dream for what you want your life to look like or manifest into can be done at any time
- Curate a self care day and make it all about you. Take a hot bath or shower, give yourself a facial, eat your favorite meal, whatever it is, just make it about you!
- Pray… regardless of what any year or situation throws at you, you have a God that is greater than it all. He knows what you’re feeling without you saying it, but He’s waiting for you to hand whatever it is over to Him to sort out.
A few key points…
- Your misery doesn’t need company! Just because you’re having a bad day, week, month or YEAR doesn’t mean you have the right to ruin somebody else’s day. One of my favorite IG personalities @iamtabithabrown has a saying in all of her videos that, “even if you can’t have a good day, don’t you dare go messing up somebody else’s!
- You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your feelings. What you’re going through is your business, share it OR NOT at your own leisure.
- STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE OR THINGS THAT TRIGGER YOUR EMOTIONS NEGATIVELY!!!
- You are not responsible for anyone else’s happines or healing. Everyone has their own journey!
- Stop allowing other people to unload their stress/drama onto you, ESPECIALLY when you’re not in a state to receive it all.
I decided to write this blog because I know that I’m not the only person feeling what I’m feeling. 2020 has been a rough year. So many people have suffered some big loses, a lot of hurt, pain, confusion, uncertainty, anxiety, failures, tears and sleepless night… But we did’t fold. We made it to the end. You can’t spell “depression” without “press on”. We’ve pressed on and persevered and now, in just a few hours or when you wake in the morning, we will be faced with the dawn of a new year! That isn’t to say that 2021 won’t present it’s own obstacles, but it is to say that I refuse to compound whatever the tomorrow of 2021 will be with the devastation of what 2020 has been. I plan to leave 2020 and all that it’s entailed right here, and that includes this seed of depression. I’m cutting it off at the root, I’m tilling this soil and making way for whatever garden that God has in store for my future. I wish you all happiness, health, stability of mind, reassurance of heart, comfort, security, prosperity and good fortune in this new year. God Bless & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
From My Kingdom to Yours,
Sripture(s) of the Week: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then yoiu will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you. declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile”. -Jeremiah 29:11-14
:Song(s) of the Week:
A WELCOME, HELLO, HEY-GIRL-HEYYYY FROM THE QUEEN!
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