Grief and the past year

Lately, everyone I know has been talking about how the pandemic started a year ago and all the things they’ve missed from before the pandemic. I’m getting really tired of these conversations. I don’t want to remember what my life was a year ago. A year ago, I was in what I thought was rock bottom. My anxiety was so severe that I was literally bed ridden, only getting up to try to go to one of my classes to leave 15 minutes in because of panic attacks. I had multiple panic attacks a day. I had to stop counseling because I exceeded the session limit for the free on campus clinic. I suddenly lost my grandma and my family didn’t tell me she wasn’t doing well until she wasn’t going to make it through the night. My family wouldn’t let me go to her funeral because it meant missing a day of school and “school is first”. I had a traumatic event happen that made me scared to go to church, which before was a safe place. When the pandemic hit, I was ripped away from the few friends who supported me and a church I actually felt comfortable in.
I’m somewhat back to a point of stability where I can get back on my feet and finish college and work to gain back some of what I lost. But everyone reminiscing on the state of the world a year ago doesn’t help. I’m trying to navigate all of this in a healthy way, but I don’t want to deal with it at all. I already have a lot on my plate. I don’t want to risk going back to that severe anxiety again.


Hey @beth_the_fake_ginger

Thank you for being so open and sharing this with us here. I can see how hearing everyone reminisce about life before the pandemic would be really frustrating and hard to listen to. For them, it was a time they enjoyed but it was very different for you. For you, it was a time where you were fighting just to function on a daily basis. For you, it was filled with struggle, grief and difficulty.

It sounds like you have really made a lot of progress to get to where you are today and are experiencing enough stability to where you can finish college which in and of itself is no easy task. So I get why all that reminiscing isn’t very helpful to what you’re trying to do to help yourself and navigate all you need to in a healthy way. That being said, I would encourage you to remember that no matter what others say that may bring your mind back to such a difficult time in your life, you are always in control of you. You are putting in the hard work, time and dedication to get yourself to where you want to be, no one else. So even if others are talking about how great life was before the pandemic, that doesn’t mean you will fall back into what you had once experienced. It sounds like you have already made such wonderful progress so I am very very hopeful that you will be able to continue to make great strides with your healing. Plus you can always come here and vent to us when things start to feel like they’re too much. You are valid in what you are feeling, you are seen and you are heard my friend.

Hold fast, we believe in you,

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Hey Beth,

Here is my Live Support Wall response to your post. Honestly, I love your post. I can tell that it is very frustrating to you that everyone is so happy to “get back to normal” - but you so adequately call out what all of us are feeling - was it normal before?

Anyway, I love the realness. Comment below and we’ll get a conversation going and see if we can help.

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Hey @beth_the_fake_ginger !
You’re so not alone! I’ve been hearing very similar stories from so many people. This pandemic has definitely sucked butt, but that doesn’t mean life before was perfect. One thing I’ve learned a lot about is boundaries and standing up for myself. It’s hard to filter social media, but if people around you keep talking about “I can’t wait to get back to the way things were,” you should try supporting yourself by taking a step away from the situation, changing the subject, or even speaking up and saying “hey, things weren’t perfect before the pandemic and a lot of people were struggling with life before. why don’t we focus on how to move forward together instead of talking about how frustrated we are with the present without thinking about the challenges of the past?” Regardless of how you decide to approach it, you DONT have to go back to “that place of severe anxiety.” You have come so far and can continue to experience growth, even if it’s not all a straight line up and you have some ups and downs. We believe in you, and like we’ve said, continue to reach out if/when you need support because we’re here!

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Hi @beth_the_fake_ginger,

Thank you so much for sharing what’s on your heart and your mind. It sounds like you went through a lot last year and yet from there you have grown and changed so much, and I love that! I love that you’re getting back to a stable place and working so hard on college. Great job and keep up the good work.

I am so sorry that it’s hard to hear people reminiscing about last year and what they were doing (I get into a loop of that too). I feel like it’s easy to look back and wish to go back, but forget what we have right here and now. I also feel that people forget that there are people out there struggling. Struggling with what they did in the past or even what was said or done to them in the past.

This might sound silly but I really like this quote from Kung Fu Panda 3,
“Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery,
and today is a gift,
that is why they call it the present,”
said by Master Oogway.

Might be something to consider when others around you start talking about past things, and maybe you can redirect the conversation to the present.

Thank you again for sharing and reminding me that I need to focus more on the here and now.

Take care of yourself. Love you friend.


Well, I have sad news for those who are waiting for things to get back to normal, because they never will.

I admire your thought process, focusing on the present, rather than pine away about the past, or hope for an impossible future.

A little bit of reminiscing is okay, especially if it leads to gratitude. However, living in the past or the future diminishes your present moment effectiveness.

I hope you can find a way to not let others get to you, as so much reminiscing is really not that healthy.

You might be able to connect with affordable or free mental health services, if you dial 211, which is a kind of crisis/triage operation which connects people to the services that they need.

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Wow I’m just blown away by like everything everyone has said. It sounds very cliché to say, “wow I didn’t know I wasn’t the only one who felt this way”. But again, the people I’m hearing from the most are the ones romanticizing the months before the pandemic. Another thing I’m concerned about is actually dealing with all the events that happened last year. I know it makes sense to not want to deal with all of it, but I also know not dealing with it can be bad too. And like I noticed I never had a chance to properly grieve my grandma’s death because so much happened immediately after her death. So I know I need to find a way to navigate that, but the how is what’s weird. I want to go to counseling, but my current situation at home prevents me from pursuing it.


Is it a situation where you can’t allow yourself to cry? Are you too busy to let the feelings come up? Does talking to someone help you get in touch with your feelings, but there is no one close?

That’s got to be rough.

I hope talking to people here will help.

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Hey @beth_the_fake_ginger, I’ll tell ya I agree. Actually yesterday I was so fed up with it, the pandemic, all the stuff in the news, so tired on top of my regular stress I snapped on some people who I love. I felt so bad I still do, but I think most of the world is trying to decipher how to feel. Crazy it’s become like a movie or novel. Myself all’s I’ve been able to do is try to dislocate from it all, as much as you really can. I deleted almost all my social media off my phone. Turned off notifications on news apps etc. I’ve been trying to get into physical fitness and nutrition as well as I spent some money on several very long books. Just something to distract my mind to just get a break. Also I’ve made it a point when I at work to make it a point to tell everyone I can’t have my phone. 100% disclosure I could but knowing I get 8 to 12 hours with no one bothering me has been so peaceful, then I throw in excuses, like myself I’m in college so when I’m doing online class or studying I tune my do not disturb on my phone on. The worlds insane right now and if you need a break if you need to step away that’s your porogative no one can tell you that you have to be reading Facebook or Anwser your phone. Take a step away it’s ok to do that and for me that’s gave me some relief. Also as I always try to recommend try to find professional help from a therapy office or something or just journal. If I’ve learned anything in my journey it’s that you can’t bottle it all up. So find a way to healthy release all that stres and build up. Much love friend


Yes and no. My family are not emotional people, so the times I’ve cried and they found out have led to backlash. So I try to set aside time when it’s safe to cry, and then by then I just can’t do it. Also sometimes when I start, I can’t stop either, and that always scares me. I will say I’ve been better at trying to cry more and using other outlets when I can. But it’s a harder thing to do when I’m stuck at home and I don’t have any alone time.

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Your situation reminds me of when I was a kid, and I would hide in the bathroom when I was upset.
We all need a little time to ourselves

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