I was lying in bed this morning, thinking. I’ve been trying to figure out me and what’s changed over the past couple of years. Mostly, the last year and a half. Three words came to my mind: I gave up.
I was pondering the questions of why am I feeling so bad, mentally and physically? What has changed between 2019 and today? I was energetic. I was in decent physical shape. I cared.
Granted, much has changed in our world during these past two years and none of it has been conducive to good healthy minds and bodies. I will put most of the blame on that. We went through something horrible that not even our parents have experienced in their lifetime. It was something out of a science fiction book. A terribly horrific movie that we were forced to lived. We were beaten down mentally, separated from each other, divided, and confined.
I will admit that during those first two weeks of confinement to slow the spread, I enjoyed the quietness of the outdoors, the beauty of the sky, and time with my girls. But the reality is this: we shouldn’t have to be forced into a lockdown to recognize what is of greatest importance in our lives. I learned a great lesson from those two weeks. Treasure what is in front of you.
At that time I worked in long term health care and 2020 was a difficult year to say the least. Although, I love and miss the residents, I had to leave. I was forced out actually because of the differences between my beliefs and management’s mandates and what I believed to be cruel and unusual separation between the residents and their family and friends in their time of most need. I no longer felt part of the solution. I was part of the bigger problem that I was unable to fix. For my own conscience’s sake, I had to leave even though I felt guilt in doing so. I still do two years later.
I was then without a job for 2 1/2 months. I supported my daughter and myself by means of my savings. I had tried from May to October to get unemployment because my hours were greatly cut but the unemployment office said that I made too much money. $250 was, in their eyes, too much. While my ex-sister-in-law was given $1,000 a week for months in unemployment (which was more than what she made when working), I brought home less than $250 in earned money. How did anything in 2020 make sense?
Even though I made it through that year the stress of these issues broke my spirit. In December 2020, I settled for a job that I did not want. And I’m still there.
I took the desk job in a windowless office. From 8-5, I sit in front of three monitors in a high stress customer service job. I’ve gained weight. My mind is exhausted. It’s drained my spirit. I no longer enjoy much of anything. I’m so depleted at the end of the day that I can’t function at home. There’s no working out. No walking. No energy. No purpose. No desire. Everything I loved to do in life and everything that gave me joy is just gone. It even separated me from my family and those I love.
I have given up.
The compilation of the last two years can be summarized as a big ball of cancer. And it’s not just me that it’s consumed. It’s all of us, worldwide, in one way or another. The untimely death of people we love has also been devastating blows to the heart. But since I now recognize where I am, it’s time to pull myself up and out of this ball of cancer. I cannot allow this destructive state of mind to steal another day of my life.
As you recall from my recent post, my youngest son came back home. I won’t go into the circumstances surrounding his move home as it’s not my story to tell the world, but I will tell you about the growth in his spirit. The conversations we have are enlightening to me and I am learning much from my child who has gone through so much. I truly believe he could be an inspirational speaker.
I had him read a book when he first moved here. It’s called Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. It’s an amazing story of the human mind and the will to live under the cruelest of all conditions, in a concentration camp. This deepened his belief in how powerful the mind is and how its power can overcome weakness and tragedy in whatever our current circumstance.
All of this, his insight on all that he’s lived through and overcome, the lessons from the book, and our deep conversations have been inspiring to me. I think the combination of these things have brought me to full realization of my life this morning.
I had given up.
I told my son my thoughts. He was greatly pleased that I am able to acknowledge the current state of my existence, or nonexistence, which is probably a more accurate description of my life.
I got out of bed feeling more energized than I have in a very long time. I plan to beat this mindset and find myself once again. An even better me.
Today is another day one for me. I have plans to do things that used to always bring me great joy. It’s also the time of year where I feel my best. Autumn is a drug to me. It’s energizing, inspiring, refreshing. I will work off its energy and along with this new mindset, I will separate myself from the cancer. Now is the time to heal and repair the damage to my mind and body. I used to love taking care of myself and I will again.
Tomorrow I go back to my desk job. It’s going to be tough. But hopefully the things I do today will help me with tomorrow. And hopefully, I will never again fall back into the same trap of feeling worthless and empty as I have over the last couple of years.
Don’t ever let others (or a job) confine you, or more importantly, redefine you.
And don’t forget the place from where we are slowly exiting. Learn from the last couple of years so we don’t fall into the same trap again.
Do you remember the arrows on the floors in stores to steer you correctly down aisles? Can you actually believe we complied with that? Do you recall the circles on the floor that told you where to stand? Don’t forget these, please. We were compliant little lab rats and most definitely laughed at by those in higher places. I picture those people on the ceilings watching us move through the stores through the mazes they created. I can still hear their laughter. We were being humiliated and didn’t even realize it. And sadly, our spirit was broken throughout this whole ordeal. It is quite disturbing to know that this was/is intentional. You have the right to disagree. But following arrows and standing on dots do not stop the spread of disease. So humiliating.
Don’t let others steal your spirit. You have value. Don’t give up. Giving up was never in God’s design. Surrendering to His will is, but not to the unrighteous will of others. ♥️
Photos: St. Joe, MI, June 2017