Listen, 2020 has been a rough year.
It feels like we, as a society, have endured more at 2020’s halfway mark, than any other year (in its entirety). 2020 has taught me that life is fleeting. 2020 has encouraged me to live my life to the fullest degree. 2020 has instilled within me a work ethic that finely borders the boundary of insanity and peace. Let’s review, shall we?
First, Kobe Bryant’s unexpected death hit the world like a ton of bricks, then COVID-19 came crashing in. Not too soon after, unemployment plagued the nation, and my “essential” status as a state social worker, highlighted a day-to-day routine that continues to drain me to my core. In the midst of the pandemic and consecutive quarantines, George Floyd became a Black Lives Matter icon who caused an international uprising, moving entire countries to confront the ongoing issue of police brutality and the countless lives that have been taken so prematurely.
Here in America, we’ve also dealt with the steady build of this year’s 2020 presidential election – Trump has remained Trump, former VP Joe Biden became the Democratic candidate and dubbed Kamala Harris his running mate. Breonna Taylor’s killers still has not been brought to justice. And, let’s not forget about personal issues surrounding my closest family members. Finally, just a day ago, we lost a legend who harbored so much raw talent, grace and depth within his craft, he truly lived up to the title of “King” and bestowed infinite inspiration to this upcoming generation, proving that representation truly matters. We lost our Black Panther, we lost our brother, Chadwick Boseman.
And, it’s only August 30th.
My mental health has been compromised since about February 2020. I’m not saying that I’m depressed. Not at all. But, I do believe that my emotional psyche has taken hit after hit, this year in particular. It’s like when the healing process comes to a head, another numbing event takes you back to the starting line, from which you’ve worked so hard to pull yourself out of. There have been numerous moments where I have questioned my own strength, asking God to cover me with grace and mercy. Mental health has always been a topic that I shrugged off for most of my life, letting it be known that “I’m fine“, “I’m blessed” and “I’m doing okay“. While wearing that mask, I figured that, if I just smile, and keep moving, everything will be okay. I was groomed by my momma to always put my best foot forward, no matter how I feel, no matter the situation and no matter how difficult the road may get. But, what happens when that winding road becomes too complex to navigate?
2020 has been that winding road for me and its been a mental health marathon. It’s been oh-so-hard to decipher the route, and the twists and turns just keep coming! At this point, my mental health has taken a devastating blow. I feel like I am on the verge of burnout: physically, spiritually and emotionally. Yes, I continue to pray and practice self-care. Yes, I continue to eat healthy and practice positive affirmations. But, I’m exhausted. So, my advice to my friends, family and followers, is to check in on your support systems (especially your “strong” ones).
Although social distancing has caused us to become more isolated, take some time to make a call, just to say hello. We have to bind together and rise beyond the external factors that contribute to offsetting our balance in life. Trust me, there are a lot more people out there who feel the same way I do. We may not broadcast our feelings on a daily basis, but just know, we are hurting like everyone else. Stay strong, my loves. We’ve made it this far, and we will continue to strive towards brighter days.
Let me know: how are you doing? What are you doing to ensure your mental health is protected, during such a desolate time? Sound off in the comments below.
“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.“