2020+…We Aren’t Done Yet…I’m Still Standing

We get hit. We get knocked down. We have a choice. We can stay down for the ten count or we can get back up. We get back up. The fight isn’t over. There are still many more rounds to go. We have trained hard for this very moment. We have done what we need to do to get stronger. We have done what we need to do to increase our endurance, our stamina. We are ready.

We dodge and weave around the ring. We are looking for a weakness in our opponent. We have studied countless amounts of information as we ready for the fight, but in the moment we are figuring our opponent out. Each round we go we notice something different. We attack that weakness.

Our opponent continues to get in some impressive shots. We may get knocked back down, but we are far from done with this fight. Throwing the towel in is not an option. We get back up. The fight resumes. We start to wear our opponent down. We land some great punches. He looks weak. We keep fighting. We knock him out. We win. We win for now.

Another opponent will be calling. It’s what happens when we begin to win. As we rise in the rankings, other opponents vie for their shot at us. The opponents only get tougher. It is expected. We are tougher and we are ready.

Eventually, we get a shot at the title. We step up to fight our toughest opponent yet. I can tell you, for me, 2020+ (as I will call it) is this opponent for me. I will venture a guess and say I’m not alone in this thinking. It has hit a lot of us hard. How do we react to this barrage of punches 2020+ is throwing at us?

Today’s blog is going to take on a different feel. I really feel I need to jump in a little deeper. I believe everything I have written. I write it in hopes you see something within it and it can help you. It helps me. I feel I need to go a little deeper.

I have taken on kind of a rah-rah mentality. This mentality is not wrong, but I think I need to go a little deeper. Maybe throw more of the not-so-good in versus always pivoting to the good. Everything I have written, I believe in 100%. It will keep coming, but I want to go at it a little different today. I think I need to be a little more real with myself in order to be more effective for you.

A painting I did back in 2017. I feel it fits the 2020 mood perfectly.

2020+ has been a tough year. A very tough year. We have not experienced anything like this before. We really have no idea how to act. There has been a wide range of emotions. Go with the flow or resist in a way you feel protects what you are about and your rights and then there is everything in between these two ways of going about it. I am not going to discuss either of these. I’m not here to sway you one way or another.

Regardless, of where you sit. This year has been different for every single one of us. None of us have been able to go about life as we used to before all of this pandemic crap hit. This year has been tough. No doubt about it. It has tried even the most mentally strong person out there. How could it not?

I decided to change my life in July of 2019. I recognized I couldn’t do things on my own anymore and I did seek out help. I went into the hospital. When I got out, I took a different path and continued to seek help from outside of myself.

If you do the math, or really just an estimate, I was on this new path for about 7-8 months before the pandemic hit and changed everything. This is not a long time at all. I had been in a behavior for 20+ years. 7-8 months was nothing in comparison to the amount of time I was locked into this bad behavior. I was not fixed yet. I’m still not fixed to this day.

20+ years is a long time. It is going to take me much longer than the now year and a half to get out of this and re-wire my brain. Enter 2020. We get locked down. I am still trying to figure all of this out and then BOOM…now try and figure this out!

At the beginning, I was doing pretty good. I was in a pretty good place. In my mind, I felt I could deal with this for the month or so we are “sheltering in place”. I can do it. As we all know, it wasn’t a month or a couple of months ordeal. That was March 2020 and here we are now in January 2020+.

I have tried hard to keep my focus. It has been really hard. Not only did I have to do everything differently due to the pandemic, life decided to throw some other crap my way.

I had a therapist who I had gotten to know before all of the shut down happened. We ended up having to do phone and video appointments. It was OK, as we already had a rapport established. It wasn’t the same, but I was OK with it. She then moved. Another opportunity came about and, I get it, she had to go for it. I completely understand.

So I got another therapist within the same office. My previous therapist recommended him and so I went with her recommendation. Thankfully, by this time, I could actually go into the office and meet with him face to face. Well masked face to masked face.

I was nervous, going to see someone else, as it felt like I had to start over. I accepted it, as I had no choice, but it turned out to be OK. He then went on medical leave due to having surgery. I was OK with that. He has every right to take care of himself. This happened in the fall. So, I had some sort of coverage through a lot of the time we had spent in this alternate-universe-of-normal up to that time. And then I felt alone. I couldn’t just call and make an appointment if I needed it, so I waited. I’m still waiting. We’ll get to the still waiting part.

During all of this therapist mess, I was also dealing with a mess on the psychiatrist level of the game. My company switched health insurance carriers which meant my old, or current at that time, psychiatrist was no longer covered. I did get to go see him one more time. I was still able to get medication refills, as well, but eventually it didn’t make sense to see someone who is no longer covered. Out of pocket gets pricey. So I was on the search for a new psychiatrist. I felt alone.

I was able to get into the same office as my therapist and see one of their Nurse Practitioners. Great. I’m covered again on the psychiatrist side of things. I had to start over, but she was very thorough and I liked that about her. I felt like I was going to get somewhere, as through all of this, I was having to change med doses and try and manage all of this by the seat of my pants. I felt like we were making progress. And then out of the blue…she left the practice. I had no idea. I felt alone.

I still feel alone as I do not have another psychiatrist yet. The office is working on getting someone, so I’ve tried to wait. They now have all of my records, in this one office, so if I have to start over with now a third person, at least they have my information. So I wait. I am still waiting. The office is being great about my refills and have even approved changing my dose on the new medication the nurse practitioner put me on, but it is far from the same. I feel alone.

Enter back the whole 2020+ thing on top of all of this. I feel this would be tough to deal with in a normal year, let alone a year everything gets turned upside down. I have been struggling lately. I am sick and tired of the inconsistent medical coverage I have received. I feel I’ve been through enough, let alone having to start back over with now two therapists and what will be my third psychiatrist in get this…a year and a half. COME ON!

I have learned a lot on my journey. I’ve talked about a lot of it in my blogs. I’m not going to lie. I feel beat down. The pandemic has been tough. It’s been tough on every single one of us. I’m sure you could write a long blog about your dealings with it as well, but all I really know is me. And I’m beat down.

I have noticed that I’ve pulled away from so much. I barely like to leave the house. Some of it is I’m trying to do what I can for the safety of others, but some of it is because my motivation is shot. I’ve also discovered how introverted I really am, but some of this is way beyond that.

I have social anxiety, amongst other flavors of anxiety and obviously I deal with major depression. I have been scheduling and rescheduling general doctor appointments. My hair is probably longer than it needs to be, I don’t want to go see these people and have to do the small talk thing. I’ve gained a bunch of weight as anywhere will deliver you chicken wings and pizza. There is not enough salads coming to my door. I feel like I’m eating as bad as I can on purpose.

I have no idea if my therapist is back. I was supposed to be notified when he was back, but it’s been a couple months now. I haven’t called. I need to. The therapy sessions really help, but I don’t want to go or even call. My motivation is shot.

I have fallen back into a funk. A big funk. It is different than what it was when I hit rock bottom last July, but I know this isn’t normal or good. My thoughts about myself suck. I try not to think like that, but I don’t always have control over my mind. I want to just “knock it off” but it isn’t that easy.

Besides all of the inconsistencies I have been dealing with, as I crave consistent freaking mental health care, we are also deep deep into this pandemic thing. I also live in Central Illinois so there is this winter thing going on as well. There is so much coming at me. I am struggling to keep up. I’m not going to lie…I’ve wanted to give up. Just live out my life as best I can, basically going nowhere, and just accepting this is how it is going to be. This is me.

But I’m still here (enter rah-rah time). I am. As much as I want to give up I can’t. There is a reason I am still here. There is a reason I write all of these blogs. There is a reason for me. There is a reason why, deep down inside, I know I will not give up. I will get through these unprecedented times. God, I hope so.

I hate the fact that I’ve been chosen, and also that you have been chosen, to battle this insane ordeal. Battling mental illness alone without a pandemic is hard enough. Add in this pandemic crap and it is suffocating. But we are still here!

We are in the late rounds of this huge fight. My left eye is swollen shut and I’m breathing heavy. I am more slouched over than I was at the beginning of the fight. I’m tired. But damn it, I’m still here. This fight is not over. I will continue punching. It’s getting harder and harder the more worn down I get, but I didn’t go through all of this training to give up. I want to give up, but I know I can’t. Do. Not. Give. In. To. The. Enemy! Keep getting back up and keep fighting! By this time, your opponent is bewildered. What is this guy all about? I’ll tell you. Come and get some! Come on, buddy, I’m still standing!

I can do this! You can do this! We can do this! Let’s keep waking this journey together!

Now, lets go watch some Rocky movies😁

Have a great day,

Jason

Feel free to jump over to Facebook and join the group I’ve started:

Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health

www.facebook.com/groups/rockingmentalhealth

This group is meant to focus on an “everybody in” type of focus. I share my music and also this blog there amongst other things. The music I share is instrumental (I am not a singer). I try and attach a positive message to each tune. I also encourage others to share their hobbies or anything that they like to do that makes them happy. Or share anything that is working for them. A place where we can get away from things for a while. A group approach to improving each others mental health!

I’ve also started a podcast in hopes that my desire to spread mental health awareness can reach more people.

Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health

https://rockingmentalhealth.buzzsprout.com/

Also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon Music, and Pandora

Please check it out and feel free to share it as well.

Published by Jason Kehl

Nurse, artist, musician. One I have done professionally and two that I have not😉. I enjoy creating art and music as a hobby. I do it mostly because it helps me to feel better or express something that I feel inside. I am a believer in Mental Health Awareness. My goal is to throw myself out there in hopes that someone sees it and can gain the strength to seek help or keep working on themselves. We are an unfinished product! That's OK!

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