Although in a global sense, 2016 has been pretty bleak, for me personally it has been a good year. A hard, rewarding and tough year, but good nevertheless.
Every past year I would write out resolutions, make plans for how to be better in the New Year. These plans frequently involved me lessening, reducing, preening myself, to simply embody my illnesses, rather than the person I am. But for the first time, this coming year is going to be different. I don’t wish to become less, I wish to become more.
This year took many leaps and bounds. We loved and we lost, in every way imaginable. My fiancee and I have grown so much stronger together. He becomes my best friend more each day. We have also been saving hard for our wedding, which is in little over a month now. Our excitement is over the moon, but nerves are also wracking!
We both took steps to rise up against our mental illnesses. I finally stopped fighting against help, and through a combination of therapy and medication am far more able to manage the depression and generalised anxiety. These steps have also enabled me to stop self harming, which I am hopeful is for good, and to believe that I am fully recovered from the eating disorder. Our healing journeys have been really, really difficult. But to be able to be where we are now is invaluable, and we have learnt so much about each other through our experiences.
University has been one of my favourite parts of this year. Studying science, and with such a heavy focus on the practicality of it, has given me a pure awe of our world and life itself. I also met some beautiful new friends in my classes, and it’s so inspiring to be around people who are passionate about the same things, and are like-minded in that way. We would spend hours in the labs each week, and at the beginning it was quite daunting because I have never really had that sort of freedom with education before, but it turned out to be one of the best parts. Being able to try out things myself and to make mistakes has been immensely helpful at challenging my perfectionism, it has given me both courage and joy. I am so excited to return next year, and to be halfway through my degree!
Something unexpected happened with my grades this year. Previously, and normally while unwell, my grades were of upmost importance to me (second only to weight), and no mark was ever good enough to meet my impossibly high, and incredibly damaging standards. Having failed all my exams and leaving university in 2015 due to being unwell, I was determined to make this year different, but not particularly in terms of passing. Therapy really helped challenge these ideals I held, so by semester two of this year, I was determined to simply do my best, and most of all to care for myself though it all. And unexpectedly, my grades were the best I have ever got, and I’m the healthiest I have ever been. And that, is definitely now good enough for me.
So for next year, I don’t have a set of resolutions or goals designed to control my year. I have had enough of that for a lifetime. I wish to be so much more than restraints. There are just some things I want to do, to experience. Not necessarily next year, but just in time, because why grow tomorrow when you can grow today?
I would like to read as a hobby, and am currently waiting in excitement for The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Mosquitoland by David Arnold. Also to start my own business eventually, and to swim in every ocean. I would also like to become open, somehow, with my story, to stop hiding from the past. To play with so many dogs, to start a family, to experience many sunrises and sunsets.
Overall, I would just going to continue being me. Loudly, unapologically, messily me. And to see where life without restrictions of my mind takes me. I am so hopeful in today.
Love & light,