I never thought 2020 was going to be the year it’s become thus far for all of us. Personally, when I began it, I had high hopes. My health seemed to be finally improving compared to previous years. My overall mood was vastly better on a day to day basis. I felt as if I was on the verge of ultimately achieving that which I set out to do a decade ago, that being to heal from within from a large amount of toxicity and spiritual imbalance. And then came COVID-19 and our socially distanced life.
At first, I maintained an air of positivity surrounding it all. I kept my volunteer work going, doing my best to keep up my part in helping others, even as all the uncertainty grew. But after things began totally shutting down, and the fear rapidly increasing, I started struggling with greater negativity brewing within me, especially after I no longer could attend recovery meetings in person and do my 12 Step volunteer commitments.
Somewhere along the way through all of that, my pain levels then started going up exponentially as well, leaving me in a mental state that I haven’t seen for years. What’s difficult for me now is all the unknowingness surrounding how long this is going to last. How long will we be avoiding being close to each other? How long will people not give hugs to each other? How long will we socially distance ourselves and our lives from each other?
Honestly, it feels as if I’ve spent most of my life being socially distanced from others already. My childhood was filled with vast numbers of people who kept their social distance from me because I wasn’t cool to them. Most of my early adulthood was socially distant from others as well, because I allowed my addictions to push everyone away from getting close to me. But, when I finally found 12 Step recovery, I did a lot of work to erase my socially distant life. I learned how to get out of myself and help others, to connect to other’s hearts, to offer hugs for comfort, and compassion through touch and speech. COVID-19 has changed all that now and left me feeling what I felt for the majority of my life all over again, that being socially distant from the world, something that had mostly gone away since living a very active 12 Step recovery life. That’s why I’m feeling so lost right now and lonely as heck, even with me being in a committed relationship.
The fact is, getting out of myself for the past eight years and helping one suffering human being after another in person has been the best thing that could ever happen to me. Not only did it change my overall perception of the world, it also changed my overall perception of myself, from one of negativity to one of positivity. But now, with the possibility of this virus having long-lasting socially distant ramifications for years to come, it feels as if much of that has reversed itself within me. I regularly wonder now when life will return to the normalcy I built for myself over the past bunch of years in my 12 Step recovery and I question my sanity quite a bit these days, sometimes even sadly wishing I could leave this COVID-19 world behind, than remain a part of it. While chronic physical pain alone has had a way of doing that already to me over the last decade, I’ve fought hard to overcome it by getting out of myself and growing close to others and their hearts in the process.
Although I continue my daily prayers and meditations, and keep up what 12 Step recovery work I can still do, I’m struggling with great difficulty with a COVID-19 socially distanced life and simply wanted to get honest about that with the rest of the world through my writing today.
The bottom line, well, I REALLY just miss being close to others. I REALLY miss being hugged and giving hugs. And I REALLY miss living in the world where I finally learned how to connect with others in a way where I didn’t feel so dam alone like I do so greatly now in this COVID-19 reality…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson