End of year reflections…
It’s that time of year again when we are done wrapping presents and so we begin wrapping up the last 12 months of the year, with a lot us looking back and reflecting on what we’ve achieved in those 365 days. There will be people who will no doubt be reeling off their achievements and celebrating their milestones; the new homes, the newlyweds, new babies, new jobs, and lots of holidays and adventures. But, if like me, you feel you haven’t really achieved much this year – then I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.
Don’t get me wrong, in the midst of the trauma of the past year, good things have happened and it’s definitely important to acknowledge them, but for the most part my year has been monumentally shit. It’s no secret that I’ve always suffered with my mental health, but as I’ve got older it has become increasingly worse. Pair that with a whole lot of trauma in a short space of time and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.
I lost my job, I lost my car, I lost my home, and in the end, I lost my mind. I became a shadow of my former self. I went from being a social butterfly with loads of friends and many interests to someone who would panic and hide if my door knocked, someone who couldn’t face getting up or going anywhere. I was completely lost, and for a while I didn’t think I would find a way back.
Giving up seemed like the only option…
It got to a point where I honestly thought life would be better for everyone if I wasn’t in it. I’m not ashamed to say, I had some dark moments. I’m not proud of how I handled things, but I’ve finally accepted that those dark moments don’t define who I am. Yes, I’ve made some bad choices, but in the end, I stayed, and I kept fighting. Some people tend to think that people who struggle with depression and anxiety are weak, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
To get up every single day when every inch of your being is telling you to give up, to fight everyday with the negative thoughts in your mind that are telling you you’re not good enough, and still carry on, is something that takes incredible strength. It took me a long time to accept my diagnosis, and it was my pride for the most part that prevented me from seeking help. I looked around me at all the ‘happier lives’, the people who had seemingly achieved so much more than I had, and I thought I had failed.
The truth is that most of us are struggling, we just choose only to show the highlights of our lives because if we didn’t then that makes us feel vulnerable and we have been led to believe that somehow, that makes us weak. People are so used to pretending they are okay that they find it hard to say how they really feel. Half of the time, were really not good, but we spend so much energy trying to prove were doing well in life that we’ve lost the ability to be vulnerable and say you know what? Actually, I’m not okay.
We are all fighting a battle…
We put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve things, and we really don’t have to. Trying to prove I was strong when I wasn’t almost killed me, and I’m not willing to put myself through that again. You might not think you’ve achieved a lot this year but even if all you’ve managed is to get up and face another day please don’t think you’ve failed, because it’s not true. It’s easy to compare yourself to others, but we don’t know the battles that people secretly face. Most of us are just trying to survive and make it through a new day, and that’s more than enough.
Sometimes, simply surviving can be the greatest achievement, and one you should be proud of. It’s lovely to see what other people have been up to in 2018, and despite what’s happened in my own life I’m not bitter, but I’m also not naïve anymore. I know that no one is 100% happy all of the time. We can’t compare our entire existence to glimpses of people’s happiness, it’s not healthy. I look back on a post that I did around this time last year, and I realised I was trying so desperately to prove things were okay, but they really weren’t, and in the end pretending nearly ruined me. That’s why I plan on going into 2019 continuing to heal and continuing to speak my truth, because it may make me vulnerable but one thing I now know is, it will never make we weak.