Guest blog by Alex.
During times of uncertainty, things can be hard. The new development of what our country is currently going through can bring out many different emotions in people. Personally for me; it’s been quite the roller coaster ride. My own mental health has always been a thing that I have struggled with all of my life, but I will admit that it is more challenging to take care of during a pandemic. Before COVID-19 developed into what it is now, I was working hard on school, my job, and attending therapy. Now I’m no longer going to walk the stage at my graduation; my workplace has decided to shut down, and one of the hardest things for me to process is that I may not be able to receive masculinizing chest surgery.
Taking into the fact that I have waited around two years for this life changing surgery for it to possibly be postponed until 2021 was hard for me to hear. Although it is still uncertain if it will be pushed out that far -and I am forever grateful that transgender surgeries are covered within Canada and understand why it may have to be postponed - this has not made it any easier for me to process. With all that being said - I think I have benefited from COVID-19 because I have had more time to sit down and recognize what I need and want to do for myself. I have come to the conclusion that I need to be communicative with the people I have around me now. That I need to accept the things that I cannot change and as hard as it is to feel as if you have no power over what's currently happening - to embrace that and understand what I do have power over.
I may not have power over whether or not I will receive my surgery on the original date but I do have power over what I do with that information. Which, for me, means taking it as slow as I need to. Taking it day by day, hour by hour and even minute by minute if I have to. Whatever helps me get through the current thought process in my head. I have also come to the understanding that I am not the only one feeling this way and that feeling the way I do is okay and does not make me weak in any way, shape or form. I also like to consider that ultimately, without the struggles that we go through in life, we wouldn’t be the people we are now. Not to toot my own horn but I know that I am a very caring and empathetic person and most of that is due to the fact that I have had the hardships that I have. They have built me up and made me into the stronger man that I am today.
Mental Health is a big thing for so many people, but I think the most important thing - especially in such a time like this - is trying to work on being kinder to ourselves. We are our worst critics and if we come to believe and love ourselves as who we are, we will stop caring so much about what others think about us. I believe that we can all start to flourish from the inside out. Create our own joy and happiness within our lives, despite everything else that is going on. We have this strength, bravery and courage. We can find ways to not let it control us and not define who we are. We can accept the situation as it is and learn that there are simply things that are just out of our control. Our minds may feel as if there’s a little hamster running as fast as it can on its wheel but it's about learning how to stop the running and slowly but surely jump off.