Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Three things with positive impact in 2020: BRiC's Collective Voice


“What three things have made a positive impact on you over 2020?”

In our discussion this week, we looked at things which happened or we did over 2020 which has a positive impact on our lives. By introduction, Naz spoke about how depression can be exacerbated by the disparity between where we are and where we want to be. We have spoken in the past about the “positivity coat” we are expected to wear and that this can make us feel we cannot live up to those expectations. This has been a really hard year for all and we accept that we have no control over many of the events of 2020 but we can seek out those diamonds which we call glimmers of hope in our group. Selectively focussing on positive moments whilst not downplaying the negative aspects is very healthy. With this in mind, we asked the question “What three things this year have you done or experienced which resulted in a positive impact”

This was a lively discussion. There were themes which were cancer/health care related, work/education relates and personal/family related. Not surprisingly, very few of us found a cancer diagnosis or treatment a positive experience. Some did however feel grateful for the care they received from the NHS and that their treatment continued despite COVID-19.

Many of our member had positive changes to their employment whether it be returning to work after treatment, new roles, new jobs or even retirement. There was a feeling of satisfaction for some for a job well done. Some reported they had commenced or completed higher qualifications such as PhD or MSC.

By far the greatest impact came from things we did or experienced with family and friends or at home. Many of us saw the time of lock down a chance to spend time with our partners and children and to have more communication with more distant family and friends using online meeting technology. We loved baking (no wonder there was a shortage of flour!), cooking, making jewellery and having time in our gardens - especially with a spell of lovely weather in spring and summer. Some took time to challenge themselves by taking up writing a book or taking on walking or running challenges. New skills were described too - meditation, Reiki or learning a foreign language. Some of us were lucky enough to have taken a short holiday when restrictions allowed. There were small pleasures too - one member was very pleased that her car passed its MOT!

There were joyful events too - new babies in the family, engagement, weddings and new homes.

There was pride in the achievements of our family and friends; our children passed exams, gaining university places. We were full of admiration at how resilient our partners and children are when facing up to the challenges of this year including our cancer. There was also pride in helping out, such as setting up a regular quiz night or volunteering with the NHS.

Finally, we were grateful for the peer support within this group. The support of our members is invaluable.

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