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December 2020

Mental Health

2020: The Year That Silenced My Voice Everywhere

A couple of you may have noticed that I haven’t been active during 2020. If you have known me for a while, then you know I never shut up usually. Whether it’s chatting away to people on Twitter or commenting on a bunch of blogs, I was always around somewhere.

However communication has never been easy for me.

For the first couple of years of my life I didn’t really talk. I spoke to my family fine but never felt comfortable talking to others. I was constantly told I was shy and that I lacked confidence. If only they knew that I was actually autistic. As I grew older and discovered acting, I found my voice. I was able to chat more with people and make a few friends. I was still incredibly awkward but I tried.

Unfortunately 2020 really smashed all of the progress I’d been making over the last few years.

It stole my voice in more ways than one.

2020

I first noticed that I was talking less a week or so into the first lockdown. Since I live alone I don’t particularly talk to anyone anyway. If I do, it’s usually to say hello or good morning. I was on a course at the time and we were having to talk over Zoom like a lot of people. I started not wanting to chat verbally to everyone and preferred to type. It wasn’t compulsory that I had to talk so I didn’t.

Things just started to snowball from there.

From choosing not to speak on Zoom to not answering a phone call to not chatting online.

The world was just too much and I guess I just felt safer in my own little bubble. I could hide away and no-one would notice. Obviously that was my mental health talking. You don’t realise that until the last second. I just didn’t know what I could say to people. They had their own problems to deal with and it was almost as if I’d forgotten how to talk.

2020 had stolen the voices of a lot of people this year.

We haven’t been able to see barely anyone and it has been mad!

So…have I struggled as much as I have? There is a saying that if you don’t use something, it becomes rusty. That seems to have happened with me. I didn’t have news to share, couldn’t post anything blog-related and my life was just boring. People did try to chat with me more (love you, Lindsey!) but I lost my words.

My days ended up consisting of sleeping, journalling and Youtube.

My mental health has been such a pain in the bum. Just when you think it’s going to leave you alone, it pops up. Another thing that prevented me chatting are the reminders. Being reminded constantly that I have no family closeby to see (as my bubble) or friends to see from a distance. As selfish as it sounds, it made me feel worse. I have no-one for Christmas but myself. It hurts so much and has always been my worst nightmare.

I am striving to do better just by writing this post. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be perfect at this communicating thing but I will try. I refuse to let 2020 make me go mute and back a decade. Too much work was put into talking more.

If anyone else has been going through the same problem, let’s talk to other. We can say hi, ask how our days have been and even something random like cats. We’re all in this together! Hopefully 2021 will treat us better and enable us to rediscover our voices.

Have you struggled with anything like this during the year?