Not Going Back

I am realizing that “normal” before the pandemic was not going so great for me. Not sure what all it was, thinking back, but I was going through some depression, definitely some anxiety, maybe some more stuff…hard to recall it all. It was manifesting as a lot of social avoidance and resulting loneliness, self-doubt, discomfort alone and discomfort with others.

I’ve been stretching those social muscles (with the occasional bouts of doubt) lately, and I find I like it, all doubt aside. I do not want to go back to my pre-pandemic “normal” (PPN).

I want to approach this world as I see it:

We are not separate (though we can hold boundaries).

Self-doubt may be borne of some level of self-absorption. I see my own social anxiety as an aspect of that self-absorption (doubt). Why (outside of respecting boundaries) should I concern myself so much with what anyone thinks of me, to the point of sometimes crippling self-doubt, avoidance and subsequent intense loneliness?

Other things I was not liking in my PPN: I spent a good deal of time, effort and money on entertainment – specifically to distract myself from the social anxiety>social avoidance>loneliness. (This has happened some of during the pandemic – but it’s less entertaining/distracting to get fancy meals and beverages in. I am not unhappy about my upgrade in electronics but could spend less time on them.

I notice I have been most content during the pandemic when:

  • I connect with people.
  • I work on projects.
  • I hone skills (music, painting, etc)
  • When I avoid…avoidance.
  • Reading.
  • Self-care – specifically meditating, writing through sh-t, being outdoors, engaging in creative projects, physicality -being outside, walking, biking, avoiding over-eating and -drinking, staying hydrated, taking vitamins, eating healthy, etc.
  • Home care, taking care of my environment.
  • People care (TK, Chris and his family, others) – this connects to the first.

I think in the late pandemic/post-(please)-pandemic phase, I need more of these. So yeah…I do not want to go “back”. I want to carry my healthy pandemic coping/living skills with me. I want more of the good stuff.