I’ve never really given much credence to all the New Year hoopla. I don’t make resolutions. I make changes when I feel ready to, not because the date happens to be January 1st. I’m not into reflecting on the past year and making changes for the new one, bla bla bla. Again, I know when I need to reflect and think and set new goals, and it’s not merely because I’m changing my goddamn calendar. You all know there’s a big “BUT” coming, right? Well, here it is:
2010 was certainly one of the worst years I’ve ever had. Actually, the craptasm began around November of ’09. Every month, every week, even every day was a struggle. Yes, it ebbed and flowed, but it just seemed like one blow after another for fourteen months. I did some fucked up things. People did some fucked up things to me. Fucked up things I had never experienced, that I never thought would happen to me. There were times when I thought this feeling of utter, helpless oppression would never lift. I would stay in bed for days at a time, despondent. I felt so sad, so hurt, I had a physical pain in my center. I pleaded to the skies to relieve me. I pleaded to God, and I don’t even believe in God. “What must I do? Please, just let this time be over…”
My circumstantial distress became a months-long depression. And it wasn’t just me who was suffering. Poor Aaron had to be around me, the brooding, fatalistic me, and I know how difficult I am when in that state. I didn’t see my friends very often. I retreated. At times I didn’t even want to leave the house, go to any social events, see any people. Usually I can put on a brave face and socialize, but I just knew I wasn’t able. I began to believe that this palpable oppression was just how it was going to be. So this is my life now. How long will I be able to take it? How the hell can I get out of it?
And one week, toward the end of the year, it started to fade. I thought I’d better not say anything so as not to jinx it. But it faded more and more. I did have a med change, which was a help, but also, time and distance from the horrible events were, and are, curative. Not to say I am cured, but I have begun to heal.
Again, I am not a New Year’s resolution maker, but, as it happens, my break from the cocoon did happen to coincide with the end of 2010. Also, 2010 was fucking shitty, rancid crap, and I celebrate its having ended. I am not making a resolution for 2011, per se, but I have learned from my Year of Fecal Matter, and I intend to use that knowledge to prevent myself from making the same mistakes again. To change behavior patterns, tough as that is.
This is where the “getting off my ass” comes in. Not surprisingly, throughout the course of last year, I developed some rather nasty habits and dropped some good ones. I stopped taking care of myself. I started smoking. I became self-injurious. I wasn’t cutting, but I was drawing blood using my bare hands. It seemed daunting to stop these behaviors. I wanted everything to stop at once. “My depression has dissipated,” i thought, “so why am I still doing this?” Learned behavior doesn’t just stop on its own. These artifacts from my YOFM had to actually be addressed, one at a slow, motherfucking time.
My self-injuriousness is all but gone. I needed to tackle that one using a behavioral approach: wearing hats and gloves and such so I physically could not harm myself. it took a while, but the urge calmed down. Then the smoking…I’ve done mini-quits, and now I am about a week into what I’m thinking will be a proper quit. I hadn’t even been smoking for a very long time, comparatively, and it’s still a bitch to stop.
Then there’s starting good behavior. I know I need to get into an exercise routine. I’ve tried…well, I’ve tried to try, but I haven’t done it yet. When I lived in Cambridge, I went to the BEST gym ever. It was all women, for one. It was close to me and it offered great classes (kickboxing and regular boxing, for example). It was clean. I haven’t found anything close to it in LA. I’ve started looking for local sports teams I could join, or some neat-o dance classes, so there would be a degree of fun in my workouts. There are options. I need to just pick one and do it. It’s a bit scary after all this time. Certainly intimidating. But…there has to be something out there for me.
Yes, 2010 blew ass. Yes, I am determined to make 2011 better, not as a New Year’s resolution, but as a life one. Rebuilding, one brick at a time.