Welcome to 2019! It’s a new year, a time for a fresh start, a time to move forward past the last year, and to start over. right?
The feeling at 11:59 PM on December 31st 2018 was bittersweet. I was alone on my balcony, on the coldest day of the year, wondering what will I change this year? What will come to me this year? What challenges have I overcome? What challenges still haunt me that I will need to work on? So many questions, so many BIG questions.
BOOM, a firework goes off, and I can feel tears coming down my cheeks. I have struggled SO much during 2017 and 2018. I should feel so proud of what I accomplished during that time. I suffered so much, I overcame so much. I relied on my family, my new therapist and my close friends to help me, to lift me up when I was down, to show me the reality vs what I come up with in my mind. They helped me to pull myself up out of these holes, these holes I had dug myself down into. Holes of grief, holes of unworthiness, holes of self loathing. I had dug so many holes for myself, digging deeper down until it was impossible to get myself out. The firework sparked through the air and I wanted it to represent the happiness inside me. But I don’t know what that feels like recently.
Another burst of fireworks pops. I can hear the voices of my friends and family, and therapist, in my ear telling me I had overcome so much, and that I am handling things so much better than I was. And I agree. I do handle myself better, I have learned to cope with certain aspects of my anxiety and depression to a manageable level. But what else have I really done? I have coped with the repercussions of this DUI. I have coped with the way it affects my social life, coped with all the friends that don’t talk to me anymore, who would tell you “no it’s not because of that” but really it is…I have coped. I have managed to keep my head above water. But that doesnt feel like an accomplishment, that still feels like i’m losing. Like i’m not accomplishing in a forward motion, that i’m simply standing still, and that’s supposed to make me feel better?
My thoughts race with the most horrible things first, of course, which is what I have been working on in therapy, not being so negative. I think of Jail, again, and my face is filled with tears. I think of all the hours I spent in those horrible classes and alcohol therapy that only make you feel worse. I think of the Judge and her spite for me. I think of the times when I was alone, and felt like I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I think of the worst panic attacks I suffered, how dreadful, and lonely I was, how helpless I felt, why would my brain attack its own bdy to such a point of wanting to die to make the pain stop. I was, and am, in so much pain. I wish that I could share the specific points of pain, as if my knee was gushing blood and you would say “yes ouch that looks like it hurts” but with mental illness, there is no gushing wound. There is nothing to show someone else to make them understand. You just have to live with it and make it through the day.
I dig for all the things I have accomplished aside from keeping my head above water, and I realize, I have made a lot of changes. But not all of them make my mood better each day, not all of them fix the feelings that are stuck in my head and my heart, not all of them make me a better person, and not all of them fill the holes I have dug for myself.
I got away from a toxic job environment, I got away from a boss who belittled me, and made me feel insignificant, who really never truly cared about me, but made me believe she was my friend.. Until my DUI…. I got a new job, a promotion, and a large jump in salary, and for those two things I am very proud. I stopped having night terrors every night. I don’t sleep well, but at least they aren’t haunting me, waiting for me to drift off to sleep when they attack. I have become closer with my parents, and I have opened up to them about the issues I face with anxiety and depression. We have had a family session with my therapist, and it went so much better than I was anticipating, i truly felt they heard me and have been working so hard to help me through all of this.
I am proud of the physical accomplishments I have made, I think I am doing great at my new job, and I am learning so much more than at my previous job. Even though I have some accomplishments, I don’t feel like i’m really living. I feel like I allow these chains from my probation keep me from doing the things I want to do and the things I love to do. Partially it’s because my friend group collapsed, my self esteem plummeted, and my lack of motivation grew like a huge mountain, and I don’t feel happy. I tried to explain to my therapist, that I am lonely, but I don’t know if i’m ready to let someone into my life because it feels so messy right now, like the only thing I have is this DUI, I explained that I think I used to be more interesting, and I was worried about dating, because I don’t even feel like I know myself, let alone trying to get to know someone else. I feel like it’s hard enough taking care of myself, and i’m scared to let someone else see me this way. Does that sound like an excuse or what?
“You are not a burden for having burdens that you are learning to lay down. You are not a failure for not reaching the heights you thought you’d reach by now” Morgan Harper Nichols
I collect quotes for times like these, times when I feel inspired, but not sure how to put my inspiration into action, I keep these quotes close, for they can say what I feel better than I can put to words, or tell me truth that I have been looking for in one simple sentence.
In 2019 I want to be Brave, I want to face my fear of intimacy and love again
In 2019 I want to be more involved and stop watching the world move around me, thinking “oh poor me I can’t do this or that”
In 2019 I want to build connections, with more people, stronger connections with my friends, and with new people
In 2019 I want to learn routine, and why it’s good for me and ADHD
In 2019 I want to enjoy my life, even if it’s messy, and even if it hurts sometimes
In 2019 I want to take care of myself, I want to eat the right things, say the right things and do what is right by me
In 2019 I want to be my most genuine self, so that the day I am off probation, I wont feel like I missed out on my life because I was too scared to do anything. In 2019 I want to live.