Typically, I’m a very upbeat, bubbly person who tries to be optimistic. While I usually am, the past three years have been tough for me. A global pandemic, the death of my brother, the separation of my parents, and everything in between contributed to my mental and emotional health. All of these emotions changed me as a person. Things got bad for me because of everything going on. Multiple times a week, I would call a close friend and cry on the phone with them.
At a doctor’s appointment, my doctor asked me what was happening, and I told her everything. She asked if I would like to speak to someone. I said yes. Soon enough, I started therapy and taking medication shortly after that. I also started meditating and continuing to journal, which I had started a few years earlier. I also joined a sibling grief support group to help process my grief.
So how am I doing now?
I’m doing well, and my friends are proud of my progress. I’m proud of myself for all the work I have done. I am now off of meds and completed a year of therapy. I’m still journaling, meditating, and attending the support group.
However, some people don’t think I am doing well. They say I often look sad or on the brink of tears. My mom has said she finds that very disconcerting. Yet, I know I’m still adjusting. And I’m trying to understand my emotions while figuring out my new life with all of the changes that have happened to me and my life over the past couple of years.
In society, we are expected to get over the things we went through and return to how we were before. But the reality is there is no cookie-cutter timeline for how we should deal with emotions and adjust to our new lives. We also have to come to a place of acceptance with our new normal.
We shouldn’t consider ourselves or anyone else to see us as something that is broken that needs fixing.
Instead, we should be encouraging and supportive of both ourselves and others. We are just processing our trauma the best we can and figuring out who we are now. This requires patience, compassion, and understanding. We need to be met where we are now, even if it’s uncomfortable and hard to relate to.
If this is something you have a hard time seeing or relating to, ask questions to understand yourself and others better. Ask point blank: “What can I do to support you? Or what do you need?” It can go a long way. Don’t we all deserve that? If everyone took this approach when a friend or family member is going through a huge life adjustment, it would lead to a more understanding and compassionate perspective. It could help make the world a better place.
Love us the way we are. And if and when we need to go back to therapy or need to go back on meds, remember that it’s OK. Let us go through whatever it is that we didn’t expect; it just happened. Let us be, and don’t try to fix something that you see is broken because it’s not. It is just different.
Featured image via Kinga Howard on Unsplash
A global epidemic, my brother’s death, my parents’ divorce, and everything in between all contributed to my mental and emotional wellness.
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