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A reflection on the year that almost broke me

Borrowed from: @chingonamanifest

This is for you, for the ones who hurt...

You are not alone.... This is for the ones who are ending the year feeling worn down and alone. This is for the ones who fell in and out of love and who lost the ones who thought they could never live without. Here's to the folks to are closing out the year doubting your self-worth and ability to be loved in a world that tells you love comes with contingencies or at a cost.

I can come out of a global pandemic in 2020 alive and well, but I'd be lying if I said if felt like 2021 wasn't the most physically and emotionally painful year of my life thus far. Like many of you, I've experienced the juxtaposition of joy and sorrow in its extremes. 2021 started with the loss of the son I'll never meet in January and concluded with a 2nd miscarriage due to a chemical pregnancy the first week in December. Between those months my life was consumed with work, IVF treatment, Family, and Friends and still I chose to rise to the occasion. I put other people's needs before mine, I ignored the signs that I was struggling and continued simply for the sake of productivity & clout. We live in a time and place we're told to hustle and endure at all costs and y'all let me tell you ... I've fallen victim to the grind. Looking back, I cannot count the number of nights I should have packed up and left the office but instead... I chose to stay longer at the cost of my relationships and my sanity. I missed dinners with my husband, weekends with my friends and trips to see my family and for what? A paycheck? An opportunity to "stack that cash"?

I would come home so tired from work that I would neglect the healthy relationships in front of me. Instead I would simply occupy the space with my partner; maybe exchange of 30-40 words while I trying to curate the perfect post. When really what I wanted and needed was to hear that I was enough, that I was still interesting and that I mattered.

When setting boundaries with work, I was met with guilt and resistance for wanting work life balance. The self-awareness around the fact that I cannot be a "good therapist" if I'm burnt out from working in a system that was never built to support my patients or their progress I was told "you signed up for this"...

Everyday, in the year 2021 I woke up hating the body I occupied.

Everyday I was conditioned by toxic social media to want to be thinner, to want to be something I was not. I was constantly getting fed the message that I was "too big", "too brown" ,"too white" or, "too soft". So I stopped looking in the mirror... I mastered the art of applying mascara & makeup without looking in a mirror. When I did post a photo it was always with filter. I stopped posting photos with my husband in fear that people would see me and wonder "how the fuck did he end up with that ugly bitch" or the inverse of that which is "he's way too attractive for her, how did she land him?"

But that's just the shallow dissatisfaction we all have from social media. This year I found a new level of hate for my body. I graduated from not liking how I look to hating my body for not being able to sustain life, for not allowing me to feel safe. I many instances through IVF I struggle (even as I write this) that my body cannot do exactly what it was built to do. Not to mention vaginal trauma of IVF is something no one ever really talks about when exploring infertility treatment. As a sexual assault survivor, the fact that I had literal strangers inside of me with little care beyond the outcome of their work was traumatizing as fuck. I regularly left my clinic feeling insecure and unsure of what was a matter with me because I would rarely speak to my doctor. During the stimulation period of IVF, I didn't feel wanted. I was bloated, I felt gross... I was literally being PUMPED with hormones for months at a time and

I cannot look into the mirror without grieving the body I never knew I loved

But here I am with 2 days left in 2021, hoping that perhaps, just maybe... the old coping skill of journaling might bring me some comfort.

I'm leaving 2021 with so much more resilience and strength... and wishing you all the same
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