What was the best decision you made in 2020?

Decisions, decisions, decisions

What was the best decision I made in 2020?

This was the question posed in a small blogging group I’m involved in. We have come to trust each other and I know I feel entirely comfortable being honest with these friends, most I’ve never met in person, only through Zoom!

2020 has been one of those years hasn’t it?

The question made me stop and think. After mulling it over for a while I decided to be totally honest and share these words.

The best decision I made this year was…..to ask for help.

Help

Help from my family and friends; my physiotherapist; the lovely lady who gives great massages and challenges me during our chats; my blogging cheerleaders and the big one – my therapist, psychologist, counsellor – call her what you will.

Help – Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Yes I had to ask for professional help this year. I’m not ashamed to say it, but I do feel vulnerable admitting it to you, and to myself for that matter. I’ve been though a lot in my life but it has been a culmination of these events that got me to this point, on top of the year we’ve had!

The year started out well, we were in England visiting our daughter and her family, including little Dottie who was born earlier that year at 25 weeks gestation (that was a traumatic enough event on its own).

The year has ended with the death of my mother-in-law and me turning 60.

Then while we were in cold wintery England, the bushfires back at home came onto our radar and at one stage it seemed we were in serious danger of losing our house, but thankfully the wind changed and we had a house to return home to. Others weren’t so lucky, losing homes, equipment, stock, and in some cases their lives. It was an awful, awful time.

We returned home in mid January to a shell shocked community but in true country style people were bouncing back, helping each other, collecting donations, fundraising for those who had lost everything and helping to rebuild. We’re a resilient lot.

We celebrated 40 years of marriage, welcomed our first grandson into our family and then COVID-19 hit.

With lots of other family and personal health issues emerging during the year, more loss and grief, I found I was struggling, so I reached out for help in the form of counselling sessions with a psychologist over Skype. It was a wise friend who suggested I might benefit from talking to a professional after I had unloaded my worries onto her, and many others also had to put up with me during this time. Luckily I have supportive friends.

And she was right. It has helped and is still helping me.

Support – Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I know I’m strong, but I just couldn’t keep going the way I was feeling. I was stressed and miserable although I tried to soldier on – I’m one of those people pleaser, eldest daughter types, when all is said and done! It’s been a tough decade in lots of ways and I was grieving for so many things.

I am learning how to look at my problems in a different way, not catastrophising things so much, not thinking too far ahead, dealing with what I can and not asking ‘Why?’ all the time. Sometimes the asking ‘why’ would send me down a rabbit hole I couldn’t come out of and with no real clear answer anyway.

It’s certainly been an interesting time and I’m writing this to let you know we can all benefit from asking for help sometimes. It’s not being weak.

I am real, I’m vulnerable and I’m being honest with myself.

So what would your answer to the question be?

Thanks for being with me this year and I hope we can continue our friendship into 2021.

Deb xx

Joining Denyse for #lifethisweek with the prompt of Decision on 8/2/2021


You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

Bold Debbie 2021

A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world.  A young retiree,  after being made redundant from her 22 year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now loves reading, blogging, riding her ebike and a good cup of tea! Also known as Granny Debs to her 4 grandchildren.

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58 Replies to “What was the best decision you made in 2020?”

  1. Getting help and sharing that you have is a very good thing. You never know how another may be helped by that. We ARE a community. Sadly I miss getting together with people of a similar ilk A LOT so my blog has to take its place. Thanks for your honest sharing. Gotta be BOLD, right?

    Thank you for linking up your blog post today. Next week’s optional prompt is 7/51 Self Care Stories #1. 15 Feb. In this one, I am using the new category in my blog called Ageing Stories because it was a good fit. Look forward to seeing you there too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Deb. It takes so much courage to ask for help. I think for me as well, that was the best decision I made in 2020. I struggle that extra bit more because I feel like, given my profession, I *should* know how to cope but it got pretty bad mid-year and I finally asked for help – from a couple of trusted friends and a professional. Sending you lots of love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree with you Sanch, it took more courage than I thought! I’m glad you too have had some benefit from friends and colleagues, it’s an important form of self care, whether we should know what to do or not! Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  3. Love this post and your honesty, Deb! I can totally relate as I also reached out and returned to see my psychologist in the latter part of last year and it was definitely my best decision of the year. There is still so much stigma around mental health but I wish people could see that asking for help is actually a sign of strength not weakness. And yay for your blogging group – everyone needs cheerleaders. Hope 2021 is a big improvement on it’s predecessor!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sammie, it was easy to be honest in the end as it has made such a difference to my thinking. I am lucky with my cheerleaders and love our blogging community, an inbuilt ‘family’ of sorts 🙂

      Like

  4. Thank you for being so honest. I’ve certainly seen therapists in the past and think it’s important to be able to talk through things or use other forms of therapy to help us. You certainly had a tumultuous start to the year last year and the waves just kept coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes honesty is often the best way and for me it was easy to write as the help I received has been of great benefit. So much has happened in the past decade, on top of the other stuff, so I just had to learn how to deal with it. I’m feeling much better for it now thankfully. Thanks Deb for your thoughtful comment.

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  5. Hi Deb, I did exactly that – I also started seeing a psychologist when the burdens of last year became too much. I was not in a good way mentally, my husband came home to a crying wife many times, I wasn’t sleeping and I was going through a type of grieving process. I also got a referral to an exercise physiologist because I knew I couldn’t work on my strength on my own. I am still seeing both of them because I won’t be able to improve enough on my own. That is what expert professionals are there for. Thanks for sharing this post. I’m sure many people can relate. Regards Christina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you Christina, grief is at the bottom of my issues and I wasn’t aware of how much I needed to be helped. I’m so glad it’s working for you too and wish you well.

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  6. Honestly, the biggest mistake we make is thinking getting support or help means we aren’t strong. Firstly, nothing should be more difficult than it needs to be but secondly, by getting help, we can help others. I have this theory that when you go thru something terrible, someone helps you thru it. You then need to be there for someone when you are strong enough. May not be the same person, may be another person, more pay it forward than pay it back. Mainly because you can’t time when you are strong and when you are sinking. What’s that saying ‘ Let your story be someone else’s survival guide’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean Lydia, it’s a mistake so many of us make in thinking it shows us as being weak, but it’s actually the opposite. I love your theory! Thanks for your lovely comment and your understanding.

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  7. I think a lot of us had to ask for help in one way or another in 2020. It was a year where many of us felt a loss of control and increased anxiety. I can understand how writing about it makes you feel vulnerable, but it really was the best decision you could have made. I should have asked for professional help dealing with anxiety this year. I eventually came around (mostly), but I think I could have felt better so much faster if I had had some sessions with a counselor, rather than just muddling through on my own. I will have to think about what my best decision of 2020 was…not too sure right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Laurie, on top of everything else that had happened, it wasn’t a great year! I agree with you it was the best decision I made and writing about it has been good too. Hearing from others, like yourself, on how they were coping has helped in some way too. Take care and hope that 2021 is a better year for you.

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  8. I’m sure the decision to ask for help was important and difficult as most on our age group have been programmed to not admit they need help. Even when we do! I must admit I’ve come very close to asking for help myself this year over a difficult family issue. I haven’t done it yet but can feel myself inching closer. Well done to you Deb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer it was something I wanted to write about and I’m very glad i did, as it seems to have hit a spot with many others. I hope you’re coping OK and don’t fear asking for help if you feel you need to is my only advice.

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  9. Wow Deb – this post could have been about me? I’m a people pleasing eldest daughter type too! I also asked for help during 2020 and now see a Psychologist now and then and it really does help. I truly think everyone could benefit from seeing a Psychologist now and then. Well done us, I say! I hope you have a wonderful week. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it funny when you read a post like that Min and you see yourself reflected in the words. I’ve asked myself at times, are they writing about me, how do they know what I’m thinking?? I’m glad you can relate to my words and that you are getting benefit from talking to someone as well, it really helps get things sorted in your head doesn’t it? Yes I agree, well done us!!

      Like

  10. You know, I can’t answer this question off the top of my head. The fact that I need to think about it so much says a great deal to me. I feel like I didn’t make any good decisions last year (which cannot be true and which also says a lot). Thank you for opening my eyes to this. And thank you for this personal post. Asking for help is brave, not shameful, and more of us should do it, IMO. It’s tough for us soldier-on types to ask for help. Here’s to your continued health. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think it is great that you provided your story and reaching out for counseling. The support of therapy is so important and “normalizing” the use of therapy allows others to know it’s okay to reach out to counselors for that help. I think the best things I did this year was to read more because it allowed me to be part of other worlds and learn from others. I also think that not comparing myself to others was also helpful to my mental health. I do a pretty good job being myself. I do not need to try to be someone else 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a great comment, thanks. Reading more is good for escaping our own world into another and I spent a lot of time reading too. Not comparing ourselves to others is something we all need to learn so I’m glad you recognised this trait. All the best for 2021!

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  12. It’s such a hard thing to do, yet, as you’ve pointed out, so important. I’m hopeless at it and struggle until I’m drowning, have a meltdown and throw all my toys out of the cot, and start again. It would be so much more effective to talk to someone instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Having benefited myself from years of therapy, and tune ups as I refer to them from time to time, I applaud your decision to seek professional help Deb. We do so much to take care of our physical health, why would our mental health be different. I also applaud you for sharing the fact with your readers. Showing that asking for help is a normal process in healthy living allows others to make that positive step as well. I wish you good health in 2021 and am sending big hugs and positive energy across the miles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences with me Sue, I had no idea! It does seem strange the imbalance between our physical health and our mental health, but thankfully that seems to be changing a little. Love getting your hugs and positivity from across the miles 🙂 Take care and stay well over there x

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Very brave post, Deb, and as has been mentioned, it has great potential to help others. How awesome of you! One of the best things I ever did as a young adult was go to a psychotherapist over a period of time. She helped me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It’s too bad that going to a therapist is still often considered taboo. Warmest blessings to you and yours for a much more pleasant new year! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I admire you for writing this post and pressing the ‘publish’ button, Debbie. We all like to think ourselves as being invincible, yet we all have weak points that we try our best to cover up because showing them would make us look weak. But it’s the complete opposite. Those who seek help are the strong ones; not hiding from view or giving a false sense of being to others.

    Your post took me back to my early days of blogging. I was on one of the online WordPress blogging courses, and the teacher told us to write and publish a post about something others did not know about us. I wrote and published a post about being dyslexic. I was completely bowled over by the lovely responses I got from the rest of the class.

    In answer to the question, the best decision I made this year was to follow the scientist’s rules and advice and not be tempted to break the rules. On a couple of occasions, I almost did, but my ‘will’ power won out.

    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Well done for seeking help! From my own experience I know that the most difficult part is to be honest with yourself and admit that you need to talk to someone. It’s good that you have friends who helped you in the right direction and that you’re getting the help you need. Take care, and I hope 2021 is a good year for you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve been there, so I know exactly what you mean. That was my reaction after I’d ‘come out’ too, and it is amazing how supportive people can be if we just ask! You take care too.

        Liked by 2 people

  17. Hi Deb – I think counsellors are worth their weight in gold – being able to work through your thoughts with someone who isn’t trying to “fix” you or minimize what you’re going through is a godsend. I know that talking to Ross (my own personal counsellor!) made all the difference when I was trying to work my way through the trauma and fallout from that awful job. Admitting we need a sounding board and someone to offer some rational and thoughtful guidance is never a weakness – in fact, I think it’s a strength that’s hugely under-rated. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Deb I can fully understand why you felt the need to ask for help during this dreadful year. In my opinion you made a very wise decision. It’s a decision that is more a sign of strength than weakness. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year. Happy New Year to you and your family Deb. Looking forward to more bloggy connection with you in 2021

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for understanding Jennifer, it really was one of those years and I could feel myself slipping. I didn’t consider it as a sign of strength at first but now I do! Looking forward to connecting more during the year. Hope you are keeping well xx

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  19. Hi, Deb – I am so glad that you decided to write and share this post. I wholeheartedly agree with Carol. You may never know how much your words have helped someone. My bet is that your wise words here will help many.
    As you already know my answer to your title question, I will leave you with a wish for you and your family to have a very happy and healthy year ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I’m so glad you were able to seek out help and that it is helping! It sounds like you’ve had a lot of things to process in this year alone. It takes courage to ask for help. Good for you!

    Best decision for 2020? It wasn’t really a decision as far as I’m concerned, but given the behavior of others, I guess it was. My best decision was to listen to the experts on how to protect myself from Covid. We have stayed home, and when we do have to go out, we follow the precautions. I realize that’s not very profound, but still, it was the best decision.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for your comment and yes it does courage to ask for help and then to talk about it afterwards! We might look as if we’re coping OK on the outside but on the inside it’s a different case.
      I’m so glad to hear you’ve been taking precautions for staying safe during the pandemic – the very best decision to make! All the best for 2021.

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  21. Asking for help, such a simple thing, and so hard to do. Thanks for giving us the courage to step out of our comfort zone and reach out to others. My best decision was joining a writing group on Zoom and simular to you these people have become friends and great sources of support and encouragement. Great post Debbie, Happy New Year, C

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Cheryl, I’m so pleased you’ve found a writing group and that you are enjoying new friendships as a result. It’s been a year for doing things differently! Happy New Year to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for sharing the courage that you had this year. I know my best decision pales in light of yours, but it was not to fly to the UK at the start of March to see my brother before he died. Not only would I not have got there before he passed away, but the stress of getting there and the panic of getting back before lockdown, would have overwhelmed me. He hated fuss, so I know I made the right decision. Wishing you all the very best for 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I didn’t see it as courage necessarily at first, but can now see how it is a form of being brave. I feel for you with the decision you had to make about travelling to see your brother. It’s hard! My heart goes out to you. We had plans to be in UK with our daughter as a family this year but I really don’t know when we will get over there again. All the best for a happier 2021.

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  23. Thank you for sharing and normalizing these life experiences and feelings. You may never know how much your words have helped someone.
    What helps me is thinking each morning when I wake of these words from the Bible: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness O Lord.” And I also remind myself of this fav verse: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Scripture is my truest comfort and soul soothing practice. I guess I use it as others would meditate.
    You’ve had so much to deal with this year, and this is a beautiful and encouraging post Deb! Do you mind if I reblog it early in January?
    Looking forward to a brighter 2021. 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your kind words and thoughts Carol. You have been a lovely supporter of my blog and I truly appreciate it. I would be honoured if you would reblog it if you think it might help others in some way. I’m so glad it came across as encouraging! Happy New Year to you x

      Liked by 1 person

  24. It seems sad that, while we wouldn’t think twice about going to the doctor for a sprain, or a sore toe, or a million other physical issues, we hesitate to go to a professional when we are struggling with our thoughts and/or feelings. Those challenges are just as real and shouldn’t carry any stigma. Good for you for realizing that you don’t have to deal with these things alone. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Bravo Deb! It does take courage to let our vulnerability show and your post will certainly help others to find the courage to ask for help and support when they need it. It doesn’t mean we aren’t strong, it just means we are human and like everyone we need to reach out for help at times. You’ve had an incredibly difficult couple of years, Deb and I’ve always admired your ability to keep smiling and pushing on. You are strong and inspiring and I’m very proud to have you as my friend. Thank you for writing this post to share how you are feeling and also to help others. Happy New Year – you certainly deserve it. xx

    Liked by 2 people

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