2016-Why I’m not flushing you down the toilet; the good and the hard intermingled

Many people seemed to be running to the finish line of 2016, glad to get it over with and begin again today, January 1st of 2017. The elections, the celebrity fatalities, and just a ‘hard’ year. “Glad that’s over with.”  Wake up with a new year and a new you.

Interestingly enough, today feels a lot like yesterday. It’s cold and cloudy and I’ll be drinking the same brand of Starbucks and still looking a lot like I did last year. A bit of grey and same weight around the muffin area.

I journalled for the first time today in 9 months. It made me laugh because the last entry I wrote was about how the doctor said my symptoms pointed to depression.

Depression. Wow, I certainly didn’t plan on that. 2016. And I definitely didn’t plan to struggle to the point of tears and deep pain. The pain of divorce hitting people I love.  Close friends getting married. I didn’t plan on struggling with the changes in our friendship. I certainly didn’t plan on being unexcited about life, going on medication, and feeling such lack of motivation to get out there and connect and meet people. I did try, honest, but sometimes friendships don’t click even if you desire it.

So, 2016, you certainly threw a curve ball.  I mean, could your timing be more off? Depression after finally having my own apartment and starting over in a new city? Come on!!! How inconvenient.

Surely I should flush you down the proverbial toilet and say “ha, done with you!” However, the unplanned events and life struggles also led to some pretty great things.

Cathi. My counselor. I took the needed step to start looking inward and talking about it. Instead of getting stuck in it. My first session she said to me, “I’m here to walk you through this.” Am I finished? Hardly. I’ve just begun. Am I still struggling with the issues previously mentioned? Very much! But I can say that I’m not alone. I took the first, very hard step toward health. I reached out.

Speaking of reaching out, I told a trusted few about the depression. Hours spent on FaceTime with my sister and sharing with friends actually helped. It helped me not to hide to the point of complete isolation. Yes, isolation has very much been the companion of 2016. But, not total isolation–thank God. Surprisingly, probably 4 out of 5 of those friends opened up their own stories of seasons where they battled depression. I never knew. Amazing how my vulnerability was the door to encouragement.

So, 2017, I look forward to you. I welcome you. You will bring struggles. But with it, surprises will come. Hopefully, friendship and connection will come as well. 2016, you aren’t evil and you didn’t ruin my life. I certainly don’t want to repeat you, but I also will not black list you and complain about your treacherous ways. For on the wings of your pain, you brought hope. And a new year.

 

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