I wasn’t going to write this today; I was going to write on overwhelm and how to deal with it. Then, this came up on my Facebook feed, and it seemed appropriate. Here’s the meme:
If the version of you from five years ago could see you now, they’d be so proud!
What were you doing five years ago? Where were you? What have you gone through since?
The first thing that occurs to me is we’ve all come through lockdown. Covid has not gone away; many people are still catching it and are very ill, despite the triple vaccinations. But we’re no longer confined to our homes. That was a tough time, and you’ve come through it: fantastically well done!
For some of us, our illness is such that it’s a huge achievement to still be here. You got through the darkness, isolation and desolation. Well done!
Nobody gets through five years without trauma. Your circumstances may have changed: you may have lost loved ones, had relationships go sour, lost or changed jobs, lost your home or moved, been through illness – mental or physical. You’re still here, reading this. Well done!
Hopefully, you learned lessons in the last five years. You may have learned new coping strategies, ways of managing your life and your illness; you may have learnt a new skill. Congratulate yourself for that. Well done!
I’m not saying this in a patronising way, because I’m here with you. When I look back five years, I am so grateful to still be here, writing this.
These are my achievements:
I’m still married. When children move out and circumstances change, marriages come under strain. I have seen too many friends get divorced when this happens. My husband and I have intentionally become closer as the children gained independence. I’m proud of that.
I’m sober. Five years ago, I knew I had a problem with alcohol; I knew I had to do something about it. It took, however, another four years (two months and 24 days) before I stopped drinking for good. I’m proud of that.
I can’t remember my weight back in April 2017, but I was clinically obese. In April 2019, I discovered a way of eating that suits me and my body and keeps me at my right weight without effort. I’m proud of staying on track with it.
I have a great relationship with my daughters. Keeping on good terms with your children throughout their teenage years is an achievement I am proud of – even if it was just luck because they’re naturally good natured.
Most of all – I’m still here. I haven’t thought seriously about suicide since January 2017. I’ve learned coping mechanisms; I’ve learned about self-care: I’ve worked responsibly with health professionals. I’m proud of staying alive.
I hope you can be proud of yourself – and that you will feel able to share in the comments.
There are two more words to that meme I saw today:
A Moodscope member.