Five things I am proud of that I achieved in 2020:
1. When lockdown struck, I set up a you tube channel and made a video for every term time day of lockdown, to try and and help “parent educators” get through it: https://youtu.be/nFTx16cXm0o
2. I made this with my husband: https://spark.adobe.com/page/8BlQ40rvA8pVT/
3. I was asked to contribute to national events on trauma informed practice and got a private audience with a minister: https://lenabellina.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/the-real-story-of-my-meeting-with-the-dfm/
4. I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary and have continued to use my voice to try and bring about change and honest dialogue about difficult issues: https://lenabellina.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/my-voice/
5. I asked for help and survived.
Of course, to say hasn’t been an easy year for any of us is the understatement par excellence.
But, having survived lockdown pretty well, I then began to struggle in a way that I hadn’t for many years. A perfect storm of the world, hormones and misunderstandings in relationships meant that by November, I was back at the thoughts of stones in pockets point.
If you know about the book I wrote about my previous mental health struggles, you will understand that. If not, don’t worry. If you are interested, you can find out more here: https://open.spotify.com/show/6fYtR94Xjo2HdrK0f2wDIu?si=E4bMxqy0SR6zPb3wIVBxzw
I felt so desperate and such a ridiculous hypocrite as I showed up, day after day, going through the motions but absolutely unable to put self care into practice or see any sort of hope ahead.
But then I managed, somehow, to remember that the greatest form of self care is sometimes to admit that you need help.
And so I allowed myself to be helped.
By a few very good and trusted friends. By a psychiatrist. And by a colleague who took the time to listen and see and understand.
I know have some new information about myself. After many years of overthinking, reflecting and trying to work things out for myself, I have allowed somebody to offer an interpretation of me that gives me a chance to look at myself and my behaviours with a little less criticism and a little more compassion. I am in the early days of having this information and at some point I will share more. But for now it is helping me. It is giving me hope.
It is another part of the jigsaw.
I have used the metaphor of the jigsaw in much of my writing in the past. I think I used to believe that if I could just find that last missing piece, once and for all, my life would suddenly fall into place and be a static, complete, solid and safe entity, with its clean edges and perfectly shape corners.
But this year I look at it differently.
Once we have completed a jigsaw, we take it apart again put it in the box and next year we start a new one.
Each new jigsaw brings a new perspective, a new picture and a new sense of achievement. But it is never the end.
Wishing you all a very happy, safe and healthy 2021.
And thank you, if you are one of those who helped me: I promise that in 2021, I will offer more joy, hope and love and slightly less nonsense.
In the meantime, here are some songs that have helped me: