We did it. Its 2016. We survived. While everyone was kissing the S.O.’s or their hook up that night or simply having a glass of whatever-suits-ye-fancy alone, because that rocks too, I screamed at my boyfriend into my cellphone at midnight while it was still in 9 in California: “I DIDN’T COMMIT SUICIDE THIS YEAR!! I’M SO PROUD OF ME! I SURVIVED, BABY, I SURVIVED!” And him quietly telling me I’ve had too much to drink and go to bed.
Normally this is where people would list their New Year’s resolutions. But I don’t have any. Because I’m perfect.
I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions because a) I forget. b) I never keep them. c) I’d rather not change things. Sure there are things I’d like to change about myself, but if we’re thinking realistically, its not going to happen and I learn more from my mistakes then something I write down and say, “Yeah thats TOTALLY gonna happen.” The year is unpredictable so why and try to control it?
Instead of making a list of resolutions, I’m going to make a list of things I’ve learned this year that I am going to continue to apply to myself, and remind myself when times get low during this new year (or when they get high and I want to feel even better).
- Medication is not my enemy, but rather a really clingy friend who really dislikes it when you ignore them for 2 days. I struggled a lot this year with the idea that medication changed who I was. It freaked me out that if I ran out and couldn’t get a refill for 2 days my body would go into FREAK OUT mode and I didn’t even feel remotely like myself. But, I’ve seen the really REALLY positive effects my medication has had on me, and even when I couldn’t my friends and family comment on how I see to be able more comfortable at dinner parties and normal situations when I wouldn’t. Medication is great and wonderful and I think I would be way worse off if I didn’t have it.
- A dip doesn’t mean you’ve fallen in a well, but rather you tripped and haven’t realized that you can simply get up and keep going. I had a lot of lows; more lows than I would have liked. But my boyfriend kept reminding me that I have climbed this HUGE mountain and just because it seems like I’ve hit a low point, doesn’t mean that I’m going to stay low. The mountain has happened and I scaled it and thats a really amazing feat! Just because I now have to climb another mountain doesn’t mean its the same mountain or everything that happened on the mountain is not obsolete. It’s just another mountain in my journey through life. Plus, while you’re climbing up a mountain, there are so many beautiful things to see even though your calves feel like they want to give out. If you focus on those beautiful things around you, the pain in the calves because a little more worth it. What goes up must come down!
- Growing a part from people who you considered your best friends isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you’re moving in different directions. In the wise words of my choir director, it’s not a bad thing, its just a thing. I love my high school friends and I can’t thank them enough for supporting me through the shit that was middle and high school, but now we’re all moving in different directions in our lives. For most of my friends, that means that they’re all moving towards the direction of sororities and engineering or some other science degree. And you know what? Good for them. We all have made our own friends in college that symbolize another point in our lives and these new friends will help us in our journey through college. When I graduate college the same thing will happen. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing.
- STOP. SAYING. SORRY. And start saying thank you. I’m sorry. No I’m not. Actually, I’m not sorry for anything. Except for maybe drunkenly yelling at my boyfriend about suicide on New Year’s Eve. That wasn’t so nice. What I mean though is that I have stopped apologizing for my mental illness and for my weirdness and quirkiness as a person. I’m not sorry that you have volunteered to help me through a panic attack. Instead, I am so god damn thankful that you care about me enough that you want to help me through my random hyperventilating and shaking and overall numbness that you can literally do nothing about. I’m not sorry that got 3 tattoos in the span of a year and a half. Thanks for noticing them! I’m not sorry that you love a really mentally ill person who really likes tattoos, pirate metal, and puppy/cat videos. THANK YOU for loving me despite of it and for maybe those being some of the reasons why you love me. I am so goddamn fortunate that I can say that I am surrounded by people who will stand by my side even when I get so drunk everything I hear has color and my anxiety gets so crippling I don’t want to eat. Its time to stop apologizing for who I am and start saying thank you for those who have stuck by my side. And for those who haven’t, fuck you. No just kidding, I’m sure you have fine lives without me.
- Don’t be scared to ask for help. I think this goes along the same lines as #4. I have a lot of really great friends and family who are my friends for a reason (family may have no choice. Sucks, but thanks anyway).Maybe they can’t help me always, but someone will always be there to try. Asking for help isn’t admitting a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Which leads to…
- Don’t compare your strength to others. For some reason I have this stupid thing in my head that I have to be totally stable to be a strong person. On the contrary, I think the fact that I am able to have anxiety and depression and general weirdness and still thrive in life makes me a strong person. And that strength differs from person to person. In fact, I’m just getting rid of the word weakness from my vocabulary in general. Unless we’re talking about muscle weakness and then you’ve got me there. But mentally, I am strong.
- It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself every once in a while. I kept trying to muscle my way through my struggles and pains. This ended up giving me a crap ton of stress that ended up piling up to the heavens and then would crash all over me and ended up making my life a lot harder than it should have been. Taking time to cry in your pillow because the week was way worse than you thought or maybe you know what? Have anxiety really DOES suck and poor me let me cry about it. Crying actually makes me feel a lot better and when I allow myself to feel a little sorry for myself, I end up having more energy to tackle more things that would have made me a lot more upset in the long run.
As much as I wish that I could wipe 2015 away with a huge eraser, that’s not possible. Instead, why not learn from it?
Have a new year filled with kittens, Okay?