As a solution-focused and strengths-based therapist, I don’t tend to focus on the negative. I specialize in helping client’s identify and address their biggest concerns, so that they can feel in-control of their life again. Yet, in a year that will possibly be best remembered for fear and uncertainty, I also acknowledge that a lot is out of our individual control and that is really tough.
I started a journal earlier this year, as COVID19 got closer to my community, and wrote in it regularly for the first time in years to document what was happening. The first couple of months navigating a pandemic were drenched in a collective anxiety. Everyone was glued to the news, fearful for their loved ones and uncertain for their own safety. Many people lost jobs and had to cancel big plans. Pay was cut. It became hard for people to pay rent or buy groceries. Loved ones died.
Despite all the stress, we found a way to continue emotionally. Perhaps finding a place to hide our deepest fears and anxieties to get through the day, only to have them come up in our quieter moments. Some engaged in beautiful moments of neighbors helping neighbors, singing from balconies and howling. We created workout routines at home, revisited old hobbies, learned new skills, and began a “new normal” to keep ourselves, our loved ones and strangers safe. We knew that if we made sacrifices, things would return to normal.
Yet, they haven’t.
As we continue to face the uncertainty of COVID19, I have seen a steep increase in people struggling with hopelessness, loneliness, substance use, and suicidal ideation. Understandably, the intense and ongoing stress people have been under for 6+ months is getting harder to manage. While there are many reasons and causes, hopelessness seems to be a collective experience for many right now and I want to acknowledge it. If you are struggling to process everything that has happened this year, how it has impacted you, or how it has impacted others, I want you to know that your feelings are valid. You aren’t “bad” at coping. You aren’t “too sensitive”. This has been a frightening, uneasy, constantly changing year and it makes total sense that it is impacting you. Said best by a personal hero of mine:
“What we don’t need in the midst of struggle, is shame for being human.”
– Brene Brown
Know that there is no shame in needing support right now, in any capacity. Make time for it and be aware of how stress is impacting you physically and emotionally. If you feel it may be time to reach out for therapeutic support, please do. I am currently accepting a few new clients. If you are interested in additional resources, please check out these offerings:
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