Whoa, 2011, time to step off.

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The hardest year of my life.

But also

The most rewarding year of my life.

The most enlightening year of my life.

I dreaded the end of 2011 – was dreading Christmas and New Year celebrations outside the comfort of a long term relationship, with familial strains. Also, it was a time when reflection would be required. Just to put it all down to a crap year and run as far away from it as I can.

I got to thinking about what I have achieved this year.

  • Gotten better from another jolly bout of depression.
  • Commenced my first year as a boss. Dealt with a fairly significant stressor (in the form of a patient complaint). Got another session in a clinic.
  • Started my PhD, got stuff done on it – applied for funding, obtained some funding, done ethics approval, sorted logistics, wrote papers, went overseas and presented one, attended international investigator meetings, got my first paper published. In doing so, I have met a wonderful group of people and have inspiring supervisors. Like a new family.
  • Travelled overseas thrice.
  • Gotten over my fear of training for a marathon and started training for a marathon. Inspired to do it by (ex-) mother in law telling me that I could not do a marathon.
  • Overcome binge-eating disorder (milder form, but still) and linked my mood with my food.

And, and, and…. the 13 year relationship with my husband ended.

What a roller coaster that was.

  • From having the increasing alarm bells about the state of the relationship, fear and dread about our future. Feeling hopeless
  • Getting up the head of steam to do something about it, mostly fuelled by anger and fear (it was not the most productive way, but still)
  • Dealt with the fallout from my own family – they were initially actively unsupportive. Stuck to my guns.
  • Dealt the fallout from the family “in-law”
  • Dealt with the fallout from my husband
  • Discussed legal/living arrangements
  • Moved out of my home
  • Negotiated other relationships. Making rookie mistakes and paying the price for them.

It has been harrowing. Anger, fear, guilt, shame, loneliness, all of these. These have, at times, been overwhelming. I have spent so much time at the edge, or down the bottom of a hole. I have lost faith in myself and wondered when I would get it back. I have had my very sanity questioned (having a history of depression causes people to question your motivation). At times, I did not see how anything could get better. Every little demon I has come out and danced.

Each time I have found a bit of power to bounce myself back out of the hole. Sometimes with vigour. Sometimes not. Mostly by myself. Sometimes with the help of my friends. I spent thousands of dollars in therapy.

There have been happy times too – I have learned to really enjoy the little things, find comfort in these.

I have made many new friends, and kept most of my old ones.

Sometimes, I feel strong, hopeful about the future. It is increasing.

This new year, this is what I aim for:

  • eat more food at home – I have been a bit cheeky and eaten out a lot
  • cut back on the alcohol – there has been quite a bit of wading/drowning of sorrows in it. This must stop.
  • Continue training for the marathon consistently – I have made this one easy on myself, am in a training group. Tick
  • build bridges with my family.
  • to keep eating aligned with hunger 9have been doing a bit of comfort eating in the last month or so)

Most of all, though:

  • Continuing to go badass on my inner bully, bust a cap on it (sorry, love ghetto speak)
  • To become comfortable in my own company
  • To not take things personally (if people act shabbily, it is them, not me)
  • To not let fear stop me
  • To be kind to myself, particularly when feeling sad (mostly, in acknowledging difficult emotions)
  • To build relationships with the people who matter
  • To pay no mind to the people who don’t (esp in the dating world, to which I am a new citizen)
  • To always appreciate that I am loved (and not get into the “nobody loves me” torpor)
  • To remind myself that I am worthy and deserving (so I don’t put up with stuff that makes me miserable)
  • To do the things that I want to do, and say no when I don’t want to (within reason, of course)
  • to revel in the little things.
  • to treat life as an adventure

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