Because…

I did not intend to share this publicly, but I figured this could help at least one person. Everyday someone asks me how I’m doing, whether it be family, friends, or coworkers. Depending on who asks, I typically make a joke about 2020, or say I’m fine. Truth moment: How I’m doing depends on the exact moment that you ask. My emotions are all over the place; I could be smiling and laughing one moment, and then crying the next. Why? Because this pandemic changed so much of the world, which resulted in a lot of people losing their businesses, jobs, and loved ones. Because I was a CPS worker for almost seven years and it scares me to think of all of the children who are now even more unsafe at home. Because I’ve spent most of this year outdoors due to the pandemic and I have no clue what I’ll do to keep myself busy in the winter, and I live alone. Because racism is exhausting and I’m fighting to protect my sense of hope and compassion. Because I have done a ton of work in therapy to understand myself deeply, and it has resulted in some painful truths. Because I know someone who makes me feel safe, but he isn’t meant to be my person. Because people I love are dealing with some of the hardest moments of their lives and it’s heartbreaking to witness.

Maybe our because is the same, maybe not. Whatever the reason may be, know that you are NOT alone. I am really good at hiding my feelings and appearing well put together, but I know that’s not helpful for me or people who are having a difficult time. This year, I’ve felt alone (even surrounded by loved ones), and anxious about the future. Lately, I’ve remained busy to avoid dealing with my stuff. I know the feelings I’m experiencing are normal, but it still sucks.

I don’t have any grand words to make you feel better about this year or some wonderful ending about how I am now the happiest person ever. I’m still struggling. However, I have hope for the future because I’m connected to people who love me, I have a great therapist, I’m learning to be vulnerable, I remain active which makes me feel good about myself, I have faith, and because I know not to trust my emotions at a time like this.

Whatever your because may be, please make sure you take the steps you need to be well.

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L. Alexander

“I’m writing my story so that others might see fragments of themselves.” -Lena Waithe