On New Year’s Eve last year, I was in bed by 9:30pm. The next day, I received a lovely stomach bug. I literally spent the first day of 2016 between my couch with a bucket and on the bathroom floor, forcing myself to drink water so I wouldn’t just keep throwing up stomach acid. (Imagine the scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where Harry has to force water down Dumbledore’s throat and he’s crying and refusing like a baby. That was me. Except alone on my bathroom floor, dreaming of Saltines.)
Who would have thought it would be a metaphor for the ENTIRE YEAR?
From what I understand, through various Facebook posts, sad faces I see at the mall AND THE DEATHS OF BELOVED CELEBRITIES, it’s been a tough year for everyone. It may be selfish of me, but I sort of find solace in that.
Personally, it was tough for me. From a myriad of mental health issues, deaths in the family, a break up, a move to New York that didn’t end up happening, several panic attacks that brought me to the emergency room, eating a deviled egg… it has been quite the year.
But there were some shining moments. There were happy hours and traveling and friend visits to Los Angeles and yoga and Food Network shows and weddings and promotions and queso dip and fake eyelashes worn.
But most importantly, I took steps I needed to take to get myself back to a healthy state of mind. (AKA Xanax, am I right?) (Just kidding.) (I mean, I have a prescription… but it’s not like, all I did to get better.) (I don’t have a pill problem.)
Depression and anxiety are LITERAL monsters. And there came a point, for me, where I could no longer pretend they didn’t exist. And if you know me at all, you know pretending feelings don’t exist is my favorite hobby. But they were always there weighing down my existence until I eventually became a weirdo hermit and convinced myself that everyone despises me and that I had nothing to live for. I stopped feeling excited, or scared, or anything at all. I just felt numb.
I forced myself into weekly therapy sessions, despite how uncomfortable it was/is to share basically the same type of anecdote/problem/struggle every single time and always come to the same conclusion. (Usually that I care too much about what other people think.) It’s not easy for me to not feel like a burden on someone’s life, even if it is literally their job and I am paying them.
Slowly, somehow, it has pulled me down to earth and helped me gain control over the darkness living inside of my brain. I’m feeling way better going into this next year than I did going into the last one. I might even stay up until midnight this time. (Probably not. It’s so tired outside.)
I’m still craving some focus. There are decisions to be made and basics to return to so that I can start feeling even more like myself again. My old self. The ol’ dummy who didn’t care what people thought and made too many mistakes with her bangs. (The hair kind… not… ohhhh, you’re right, those too.)
So I’m only planning on focusing on a few things this next year: Write when I feel like writing. Strengthen my relationships with the people I love and care about who add something positive to my life (and not focus all my attention on the ones who don’t.) Make decisions based on what I want (and not what other people want for me.) Try to feel hopeful, optimistic and look forward instead of focusing on the past.
And never eat a deviled egg again.
2017, let’s do this.