One of the things I’ve enjoyed was using my Grateful Sundays as a way to “look back” over the past year and remember the positive, not focus on the negative. I had started 2020 with a new mindset. I was not going to try and be “perfect” making sure each week I posted a Grateful Sunday, while at the same time, I was going to release those feelings of shame and guilt that tend to come up when I didn’t do what I felt I was “supposed to do”.
I started the year expressing gratitude in February, not back dating what happened in January (or the three months prior to that). I released my expectations to “have to” do this post every week.
What I find ironic is I was doing my Grateful Sunday each week from the end of March and all through April during what I would end up calling, My 2020 Rock Bottom. This was when I had once again fallen into a deep state of depression and despair. It was during this time when I was really struggling and I hadn’t felt this down since I had moved out of our home four years prior.
The pandemic had just started. I feared for my life. I feared for the economy. I feared for the future of my career. I feared being able to support my girls. I feared being able to provide the child support and alimony for my ex while at the same time keep a roof over my own head. On top of all that, California was the first state to implement the “stay at home” quarantine. I wasn’t flying and when my girls were at their mom’s house, I felt the same loneliness and hopelessness that I used to feel living on the road. I no longer felt safe and secure in my own house. I still didn’t feel comfortable alone in my hotel. I was completely lost.
Because my energy was off, my ex repeated old habits and distanced herself from me, her indifference over my struggles building a permanent wedge in our friendship. My oldest daughter was aloof and withdrawn, not communicating or wanting to do things with me when she was at my place. I saw the excitement in her eyes when she was going home to her mother or talking about the things they had done the past week, while at the same time the bitter irritation she had with me was blatantly obvious. I felt rejected, abandoned, and misunderstood. This only added to my own negative sense of self worth.
As I had mentioned, it was a rock bottom and I knew I needed to claw myself out. At the end of April I started a #75Hard Challenge and the first week of May I joined Tommy Rosen’s 8 Week Awakening program. Daily yoga, meditation, prayer, exercise, and cutting out sugar and alcohol for 75 days, followed by doing 90 meetings in 90 days, looking at my love addiction piece, and building a larger support network of peers and friends pulled me out of the abyss. By the end of summer, I had reached a point in my recovery where I had released most of my physical pain (which I learned was associated with childhood trauma and the trauma in my marriage), was emotionally grounded, and finally felt peace regardless if I was at home or on the road. In addition, my oldest daughter and I reconnected, her feeling safe to once again open up to me.
This is where the irony comes up. It was during this time I had stopped writing my weekly Grateful Sunday posts. In fact, I stopped blogging altogether. I was no longer trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do to “fix” me. Instead, for the first time, I was living life. I was content, accepted myself, and I found I had no desire to blog.
As I look back, I believe much of my previous blogging was focusing on the problem and trying to make sense of it all. I finally had found a solution, was living in the present and I didn’t want to hash up old emotions. I no longer felt the desire to evaluate everything I was doing or the need to “prove” myself to the ones who meant the most to me.
I accepted myself as perfectly imperfect.
I may not have a weekly “look back” in 2020, however, when I look back to the year 2020 as a whole, all I feel is gratitude. I know the world has struggled, countries have struggled, and individuals have struggled. I know it’s been a tough year with the emotionally, economically, and politically. And yet, through all this, I view 2020 as a blessing. For me, a lot of issues and emotions rose to the surface and forced me to deal with them. It was as if the fog in my head finally cleared, the sun had come out, and my life was bright and clear.
“Here Comes the Sun”
I’m back to posting gratitudes for 2021. Hopefully, I’ll keep these up. I also pray my fledglings will add their weekly gratitude in the comments as well. It would be awesome to revisit this next year and see how far we’ve all come. And I pray we can collectively look at the gift of 2020 that forced us all to confront our personal conflicts so we could rise out of the ashes and experience a rebirth. Like a snake that sheds its old skin, may we let go of that which no longer serves us and become reborn fresh and new.