Disclaimer: This post is about mental health and the pandemic. The next post should be about art again.
This year has been hard for everyone , myself included. I really wanted to embrace the community – moved onto the internet to hold us over until the pandemic was finished but it just made things feel harder. It made me feel lonelier. It made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough, I just wasn’t capable. It made me feel like an outcast.
I’ve struggled with feeling lonely a lot of my life and it became much worse when I left the marines. Honestly, I have never struggled as hard feeling like I was a part of a community as I did in the first few years after I got home. I’ve now been out for over 8 years and I still long for that safeness. The military sets you up with this camaraderie that has been hard for me to find elsewhere, but the SCA came the closest. The art community and the fighting community gave me the sort of family I was longing for. When the pandemic happened, it felt like the hole I felt in 2013 was ripped open again.
Then I went through a difficult break-up. Then I started a new job, caring for (high risk for covid) people with traumatic brain injuries. Shortly after I suffered actual loss, when my cousin passed away in the most tragic and heartbreaking way. Then military #metoo happened and that opened new wounds, deeper wounds that I had been ignoring for so long. Then there was George Floyd and taking deep looks at myself to find my role as an ally. And the pandemic just kept going on and on and on..
I tried to stay engaged in the SCA but I felt the distance. I did the couple of scrolls assigned to me but struggled to even make it to the post office to send them out. I did a gift exchange, which was rewarding but felt like such a small thing in such a dark time.
And now, the SCA is starting to become live again and it’s hard to imagine where I fit in. It feels hard to believe that I didn’t lose everything I had worked for from when I joined the society until the pandemic. How many friendships were dissolved? How many poisoned?
The good news though, is I am going to try and I’m also going to work on myself. I’m going to finally start therapy and try to get a hold on my anxiety. I’m trying to get better and find my place in the world, as impossibly hard as that feels.
So, if you have noticed a lack of embla in the last year+ you aren’t imagining it. I hope that I can come back and find my place in things again. I hope to be posting more art and posting about my fighting. I hope to feel the love and warmth of the community again.
Until then, watch my blog for some art posts. I have a few coming down the line.
Lots of love —