The highly anticipated close of 2020 is hours away. This year has allowed many people to have life changing experiences. Many people have experienced love and loss beyond their wildest dream. We have experience life in ways which no one could ever prepare. As a psychotherapist this is definitely a year, I can say… we rode the wave with you. As an African American female psychotherapist, sistah, I rode the wave with you. My brotha, I rode as much of the wave as I could with you. No book that we have yet to read, paper we have written or supervision hour, lecture, or test we have sat through could have prepared us for a PANDEMIC! Boundaries that we did not know we needed have been set, and our voices have become loud and confident.
While there is always room for growth, this year mental health has been destigmatized in ways that I want to acknowledge. COVID-19 gave many people an opportunity to acknowledge that they are struggling, and they need help without shame. (Oh, the toxicity and negative consequences shame.) This year has been a cohesive struggle and because of this cohesive struggle some people no longer have to suffer with mental health issues in silence. We are openly talking about mental health! We are acknowledging depression, we are acknowledging grief and loss, we are acknowledging poor self-care, we are acknowledging racism and every other “ISM”…OPENLY! We are seeking help and let me tell you…it is a beautiful thing. When I began this journey to becoming a therapist, I blatantly remember telling a friend…mental health is progressing, it is changing, people are going to have no choice at some point, but to speak out. I never imagined it would like look this, and despite what some may think it is beautiful. From a clinically trained perspective it is heart wrenching to watch people suffer with mental health issues. Some, never seeking help. People are working through their traumas in a positive way, why? Because COVID-19 gave them time and normalized telehealth platforms providing more people access and time for therapy! Laws and rules have changed to accommodate this time. While 2020 has been and introverts dream…it has been a nightmare for some. It has created entrepreneurs and increased the confidence of many. It has tested faith and created anxieties we never thought existed. It has increased and deepened views and thoughts of gratitude. This year, people are genuinely grateful for life itself. People are grateful for family, friends, sources of income (big and small). We are grateful for the people that keep the world moving. This year the world was flipped upside down…or is it really right side up? Peace and Blessing in 2021