I can’t believe we are in the final weeks of 2020. To say this has been a crazy year would be an understatement; there were moments where it felt like time was standing still and moments where I found myself wondering how time had passed so quickly. Reflecting back on this year, as both a mother and a woman in recovery, I can’t help but feel relieved to have finally made it to the end. I feel lucky to be alive, and grateful that none of my family or friends have contracted the corona virus. At the same time, I find myself experiencing an array of other emotions: frustration, sadness, anxiety…
Covid-19 affected my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined. When everything happened, or I should say when life as we all knew it came to a halt in March, I really thought it was going to be a 2-week vacation and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Suddenly, both of my jobs had closed, my son was not able to go to daycare, and everything I had been doing for my addiction treatment came to an abrupt stop. It all felt surreal. Then, I began to attempt to work from home, while taking care of a 1-and-a-half-year-old, and doing all of my treatment (AA meetings, groups, individual counseling) via zoom. I was overwhelmed to the least. I started doubting my ability to work from home, wondering how I was going to move forward without the supports I was used to, and questioning if I was a good mom.
As a parent it’s hard to not feel like I have been robbed of some of the joys that come with motherhood. This year there was no meeting the Easter bunny, similarly there will be no pictures with Santa. Not being able to take your child to the park or have play dates with other friend’s kids – all things that I looked forward to and envisioned myself doing as a mom were not options anymore. I like many others, had a small pity party for myself, but then I realized I was actually lucky. Even though there were things I wasn’t able to do with my son, I was able to spend more time with him then I ever would have been able to before covid.
Overall, despite all of the obstacles and let downs that this pandemic brought, life went on. Over the last 9months my life has changed for the better, in more ways than one. Halfway through all of this I made a pretty drastic career change and started working in the hospital as a recovery coach. My son and I finally got a place of our own, and more recently / most importantly – I was able to celebrate 2 years of continuous sobriety. I never would have thought I would be able to accomplish any of things, pandemic or not. Someday when I tell my son about 2020, I don’t want it to be about all of the negatives. Sure, there may be a few things that I could still complain about even years from now, but I want him to know that I was resilient. I can tell him that I adapted to “the new normal” and we made memories regardless of the restrictions.
I have come to realize that you can’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from living your life. We are living in a time that is filled with uncertainty and as anxiety provoking as that can be, I try and regularly: remind myself how lucky I am, tell my loved ones how much they mean to me, and take things one day at a time.
Bring on 2021.