If I had to give 2020 a title I would call it “The Year of Loss”. The pandemic took so much from so many this year: loved ones, jobs, and for some, hope. This year brought many to the brink of their resilience, mental health and faith. Though thankfully I didn’t suffer the tragedy of any of my loved ones passing away from covid-19, I went through my own challenges with loss and pain. In 2020 I experienced some things I never wanted to happen, and something I thought never would.
At the start of the pandemic lockdown I was fine. Fortunately I wasn’t suffering financially (a miracle) and I was in decent spirits. Being a natural homebody and introvert, having to stay to myself in the house felt normal. I was okay mentally and fortunately had no physical issues. Then around late spring I started to feel tired. My fatigue progressed to the point that I could barely get out of bed. It got to the point that sometimes I wouldn’t make it out of bed until late afternoon. This also meant I wasn’t eating until then, which felt fine because I was also losing my appetite. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Then came another whammy. My boyfriend and I broke up. I was devastated.
We’d been having some issues but I thought we’d work it out. We didn’t. I was so sad for so long. I cried almost everyday for months. One of my biggest fears had come true and I felt like the ground had been ripped from beneath me. As this unknown condition progressed I lost virtually all my energy. I was fading. Taking a shower was a chore. I’d have to rest afterwards. I was afraid and didn’t know what to do. It was suggested I take vitamin B for energy. I did and it didn’t work. Meanwhile I moved further into a mental fog.
At times I felt disoriented and weak. Not eating much didn’t help. I thought maybe I was depressed from the breakup in addition to possibly having “pandemic fatigue”, or that it was some kind of hormone issue. I began to lose weight rapidly which to be honest I was happy about because I needed to slim down. But I knew it was an indication that something was really wrong.
I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt like hell, emotionally and physically. I had no motivation. I didn’t want to do anything. Everything felt burdensome and I could not sustain any joy. One moment I was content and the next I was a puddle of tears. Therapy and antidepressants weren’t helping. I felt hopeless fearing I’d never feel better. I was afraid to go to the doctor, and by the time I did I’d lost nearly 30 pounds. After getting bloodwork done I got a call the next morning from my doctor telling me to go to the ER because my blood sugar levels were extremely high. I did and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors confirmed another of my greatest fears. I was told I had diabetes.
I’d been pre-diabetic for years, able to keep my glucose numbers down. But they’d gotten out of control and had been in jeopardy of going into a coma. I was put on insulin to get my blood sugar levels under control. I was relieved to know what was going on but frightened by my new reality. Fortunately I had my mom to lean on.
My mother and I have not had the relationship I hoped for. We reconnected over the summer around my birthday. Since then she’s been by my side everyday offering me the love and support I always wanted. I never thought we’d ever be able to have this kind of bond. It’s been a miracle. When I was depressed about my breakup I also experienced panic attacks. I’d call my mom crying, unintelligible and nearly incoherent. She wouldn’t hesitate to come over and comfort me, sit with me and make sure I was ok. What we didn’t know was that my lack of insulin was making my depression worse.
Once I got on an insulin regimen my depression got much better and I felt more even again. I’d had no idea of the connection between insulin and brain function. My mom supported me every step of the way as I began my physical and mental recovery. I don’t know what would have happened to me without her. It was as if God removed my boyfriend and filled the void of love and support with my mom. I’m certain the threat of the virus is what pushed my mom to reach out and try to revive our relationship. It also made me more receptive. During times when we weren’t close I’d always feared that I’d get a call one day from someone telling me my mother had died. The pandemic magnified that fear. I wish it hadn’t taken such a severe situation to bring us together, but understand that tragedies can offer unexpected gifts. I cannot express how grateful I am to have my mom in my life, by my side. I am also getting my energy and motivation back. There are things I want to do and dreams I still want to fulfill.
I have a renewed vision for my life and have more peace than I’ve had in years. Being worried about my life and having deep feelings of dissatisfaction, especially surrounding all the battles I’ve had with workplace oppression and disenfranchisement had worn me all the way down. I had been ground into a pulp. I’m certain the stress has exacerbated my health issues. In this last year I was able to focus on rest and recovery, a much needed opportunity to recharge and re-align. Though I had my difficulties in 2020, I was immensely fortunate. I move into this new year with gratitude and a refreshed sense of purpose that I hope will not only allow me to realize some of my dreams, but also be of service.
Wishing you a blessed new year filled with hope, love, health and abundance. Thinking of all of you who lost loved ones and keeping you in my heart.