The hardest year of my life.
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