2020 In A Nutshell.

Hi guys! 2020 has been a crazy year for us all, some more crazy than others.

As we are approaching a second lockdown here in the UK, I wanted to share my 2020 so others don’t feel so alone.

Big shoutout to my family and loved ones, a lot of you have helped me get through this year. This is me sharing my experience with you, the highs and the lows throughout this year. This might be a long one..

Visions & Ambitions

I started 2020 wishing all my friends and family a Happy New Year! 2019 was a bit of a tough one for me, in fact it’s been tough since 2017, however I was DETERMINED that 2020 was going to be (excuse my french) f**king fantastic!

So my plans for 2020 was to live freely, self growth and self love, maybe a couple of dates lol, really get in touch with my inner being… All that jazz. I wanted to become my best self. Career wise I wanted to get back into Media, I was brainstorming ideas and creating vision boards on my MacBook to how I was going to reach my success! I have done none of that whatsoever.. But I think this is a year that many of us have put a halt to our goals and ambitions.

The first few months of the year, my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoma Cancer, and was having Chemotherapy. I would talk to him and he would tell me about all his symptoms and how Chemotherapy was a really hard and draining experience for him. So as you can imagine, it was a worrying time for my family and I.

The start of the Pandemic

Covid-19 took to the world like a hurricane or tsunami at full speed. Triggering.

I can remember when the lockdown was first announced, my Mother was ill with a chest infection that she had for quite some time. She was classed as those that are vulnerable to Covid, (my Father too) so she automatically isolated herself from me and retreated to her bedroom. I was still working & other co-workers were put on furlough, so there was barely any staff. My hours were upped and I felt overwhelmed with taking care of my Mother and keeping on top of house work. My Brother automatically travelled home from where he was living and there was now the three of us in the house, whilst my Father was staying at my Sisters in London. My Father started to feel unwell & took himself to Barnett Hospital where he later passed away. I am super thankful that the Consultant at Barnett Hospital allowed my siblings and I to see my Father before he passed away and that we were all by his side when he said his final goodbye. During this time my mother was also very unwell and was in Southampton General, it was such a concerning time for us all especially because families weren’t really allowed to visit hospitals and see their dying loved ones.

Grieving & My Mental Health

After visiting my Father and saying our goodbyes, we were told to self isolate for 14 days. We couldn’t see our Mother nor any other family member for that matter.. We had friends and family drop shopping at our front door so we could eat but had no one to comfort us except from over the phone. Everybody grieves in different ways so my Brother and I wouldn’t know best how to comfort each other. I spent most of my days and nights crying, I didn’t sleep or properly eat for a week and a half after my Father died and instantly felt ill and weak. I couldn’t keep on top of the housework and everything became extremely overwhelming. I was in regular contact with my Doctors Surgery and they prescribed me with Diazepam to help with my Anxiety and Fatigue. I took Diazepam for about a week until I decided to stop (I’m one of those health freaks who doesn’t really like putting foreign things in my body), even though I bloody well needed it. My Anxiety was through the roof because I still had concerns about my Mothers health in hospital during this time and it wasn’t until she was home that my Anxiety started to calm a bit. It was bittersweet her returning home because I truly wished it was the same outcome for my Father.

I started having CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) & found expressing my feelings were helping and my Therapist would challenge my thoughts etc. As I approached my Monthly cycle, everything became worse. My increase in hormones sent my Depression through the roof, to the point my Mother called my Doctor and he instantly put me on an Anti-depressant called Setraline. The side effects I experienced was nausea, teeth chattering/grinding, fidgeting and to be totally honest, I am still experiencing them now. However it’s really helped me get out of that extremely negative state. Big thanks to my Therapist also.

Guilt & Reconnecting

A big point my Therapist made to me was getting into a routine, doing things without feeling guilty for enjoying life.. I genuinely felt that whenever I felt that little bit good, afterwards I would feel dreadful that I could even experience a good feeling knowing my Father is no longer here. Guilt is honestly a burden, because I had no reason to feel guilty. My Dad would much rather I enjoy life than to wish I was no longer here, I’m sure and everybody else is sure. I started to get out the house more, even though every time I would go out I would feel like bursting into tears, I thought a lot about the future and how it’s unfair he would be missing so much of my life. I had to continue though and I am so much stronger for it. I must say, CBT is very very useful. So challenging for the mind. As lockdown started to ease slightly, I started to see friends and family more. This helped me take my mind out of the negative state a lot too. Human contact is SOOOO important. I built amazing friendships with those I barely knew and became close to some I didn’t imagine I’d be close too. Drifted apart from some friends and pretty much had a rebirth. A whole new thought process of life.

The Lighthouse

Let’s do this metaphorically; We’ll start with the seed. This seed is the beginning of a friendship, it’s growing and growing and the stem is getting higher and higher over time. This is the part where I tell you about the Rose that blossomed from this seed. My lighthouse in the dark. I promise you, if your year has been tough, you will also find your lighthouse.
So we’ll refer to this special someone as Lighthouse.

As much as I was progressing from my Depression and Anxiety, I still wasn’t the best I could be, matter of fact, I’m still not. I truly felt there was something missing but I couldn’t quite pin what it was. It wasn’t until Lighthouse expressed his feelings for me and I instantly burst into tears, because as much as I didn’t know it, it was something I was longing to hear. Something that gave me that bit of hope. (I’m a hopeless romantic) It could have been anyone and I would have just instantly thought this isn’t the right time, but hearing it from Lighthouse I realised that deep down it’s something I really wanted. When you share a bond with somebody, it really gets you. When I spend time with him, as soon as it’s over all I can do is cry. I’m not crying for sadness, but I’m crying at the overwhelming feeling of happiness that he brings to my life at such a sad time like this. He brings the sunshine out on a rainy day, he’s the light in the dark tunnel and he’s my lighthouse in the distance bringing me hope for the happiness I’m longing for, even more so now. A love firstly built on friendship is something I can only wish everybody experiences, it’s as tight a bond as ever.
So I just want to say a quick thank you to my Lighthouse, thank you for pushing me to get better, thank you for being my listening ear, thank you for comforting me and finally, thank you for being my lighthouse in the dark.

The Last Stretch

So for the last stretch of the year, as I suppose now, for our second lockdown of the year.. A bullet-point on my list is to speak to a bereavement councillor, truly try to get myself in a better place mentally regarding the death of my favourite man on earth. I want to grow in love, life and fulfilment. I want to take the steps towards my career goals and gain back my motivation ready to take on 2021. I’m definitely going into 2021 with the same mindset I went into 2020 with.. A year that will be f**king fantastic. God, we’ve had enough please let 2021 be a great one. I’m praying for blessings from here on, nothing but the future of my desires. I want to be able to express my feelings any time and any place I feel I need too and stop feeling like I am a burden to some people, that’s something I can be guilty of doing. I want to stop masking sometimes that I am okay and be free to feel vulnerable around certain people. These are all behaviours I want to attain before the New Year strikes.

I hope that the rest of this year brings you all great health and an abundance of blessings to come your way. Thank you for taking the time to read my 2020 in a Nutshell and feel free to share with me your experience of 2020.

With love,
Nai x

Side note:
If it’s been tough for you, don’t be afraid to seek help should you need it. [TW:] Suicide rates have been at an all time high this year, due to lockdowns, deaths, etc. If you are EVER feeling suicidal, feel free to reach out to me and others. If anyone would like to share their experience of 2020 with me, just for a chat feel free to message me on Instagram or Facebook, you can even send me a message via this webpage or to my email address.

(Photo credits: @peniel_enchill on Instagram)

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