Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 11: A Reflection of 2021.

It’s still pretty crazy that 2021 came and went.

It feels like it was just 2020 going through the pandemic and watching the world changing to its new reality. 2021 was just a continuation of that, with just a little bit more freedom to do things we couldn’t do last year.

2021 was a year I definitely didn’t expect, to be honest. I mean, this time last year, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and negativity towards my body and insecure with the friendships I kept. I was still in the process of getting cleared for surgery, but also I was in this weird place where I needed attention from people because I felt a little lonely and unappreciated. I wasn’t really happy with how I looked anymore, and I was losing just a little bit of myself as the weeks passed by. Coming into 2021, I really didn’t know how the year was going to go.

I started off the new year in a really bad mental place. New Years have always been a little rough for me, so I really try to take it as easy as possible. I wasn’t really taking care of myself, so I wasn’t able to be there for the ones I cared for (although I tied to be).

For the first half of 2021, that’s what my life was like. I was trying to keep my shit together while getting clearance for all of the requirements for surgery. I still remember having to go to the sleep center one night to sleep in an office room bed with a million wires attached to me to see if I was prone to any sleep disorders. That was an experience, like lights were out by 9PM and I was nowhere near tired. Once I fell asleep, they woke me up at 5:45AM, unhooked me, and I was allowed to go home. It was definitely an experience that I hope I don’t have to go through again! I also remember all the blood work I had to go through to wrap up the whole process; it was definitely a process that took way longer than expected, but finally in May, I was cleared for surgery and signed all the paperwork required to do so!

Around the same time, I rekindled an old friendship with a person that I thought I would never rekindle one with. At that point, I was just in a place where I didn’t want to hold onto grudges anymore. I didn’t want to keep holding onto the past and allowing it to affect my preset and future. I just wanted to forgive myself first before forgiving anyone else, and I did. I’m glad that I took that step into moving forward, because this friendship now means the world to me and the support I got from them during the pre-op process was well-needed. Of course, balancing both IRL friendships and online friendships were a lot to handle at the time, and in the process I lost some friends a long the way. I think these things had to happen for the sake of knowing that I needed to learn how to set boundaries with myself and my time because, again, I was now in this process where a lot of my energy had to be put into taking care of myself before and after surgery. A lot of my energy still is on that, to be honest.

Surgery happened in July, and since then it has felt like my life literally took on a whole new chapter. I had to learn my new body cues, my hunger cues, and learn how to be okay to not eat everything that is served on the table. I also had to learn when to stop eating when I was finally full, and through many days and nights where I got sick on the toilet trying to learn, I eventually did.

2021 was not just a year where the world began to open up like the way we knew it before. It was a new beginning for tons of us; it was seeing some hope that some change can happen and that the world can be what it once was before the pandemic. It was being able to see friends and family again after a really long time, and it was a time where even though we aren’t completely done with COVID as a whole, we are still able to move forward with our lives. In a way, I’ve felt the same about my own journey.

Thank you for showing me a lot about myself and being able to find out what were the important things. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to change my life and gain back control of something I thought I would never gain control with. Thank you for allowing me the space to figure things out about myself, and the friendships I keep and the relationship I have with myself.

Here’s to 2022!

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