I think we can agree that 2020 was a bust. It's been one of the craziest years on record. Probably one of the scariest, too. I mean, the entire world came to a stop last Spring. How surreal was that?

What each of us experienced as individuals taught us that what we were experiencing collectively could bind us. Or not. We each had the choice to push forward or step back, to stand still or lay down, to live or to die... so to speak.

This year has been full of struggle for me. I'll share those details and the encouragement from the hardships in more private future posts. For now, I'd like to share where I was at this time last year.

I'd just completed my third month of IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) at a psychiatric hospital in a nearby town. I chose to enter the program because I was overwhelmed by life, thoughts, and emotion. I had no plan but I hoped my end would come. And that scared me. My family could tell I wasn't well but they didn't understand why. I didn't understand why. Looking back, I realize it was the first time (in the five years since life flipped upside-down) that I was transitioning out of survival mode and into a place where I could focus more solely on myself. I didn't know how to deal. I did know I needed help. So, I called Trustpoint, learned of IOP, then spent 3 mornings a week, 3 hours each day, in intense group therapy. After each session, I ate lunch. Then I went to work even though the therapists recommended we take leave from work. (Many did, but I couldn't.) It was not an easy 3 months but it was necessary. And I'm still here, still pushing forward.

Believing that "secrets are cancer to a family," I shared some details with my mom and my kids. That openness bonded us. These days, we continue trying to remain honest. We talk. We keep moving forward, even when we hit brick walls or fall on our butts or get pushed over by circumstances and people. When we fall, we get back up. We lend one another a hand. We share encouraging words or songs. We are learning the importance of leaning on one another. It's a slow but profitable process.

I'll bet you understand. I'll bet you're doing all you can to remain healthy in a world that appears so sick right now. I'll bet you're also hoping 2021 holds easier, better times for our world, our nation, our neighbors, ourselves.

So, here I am...launching buymeacoffee.com/EricaSenecal... a place to connect, to swap ideas about pain, loss, grief, trauma and how we're healing. We are not professionals but we have experiences. Maybe you, like me, have an individual therapist. She/he is the professional, right?

I'm just a woman who's still walking through the ringer...and healing. Just a lady who wants to share hope with the world. Simply someone wishing for change.

Life is a Risky Business but life is worth the risk. Thanks for sharing mine.

Peace, my Friend.

❤, Me, Erica Senecal

THINK ABOUT THIS:

What has 2020 been for you?

What's 1 way you've been coping with the difficulty of this crazy year?