For me, New Year embodies an awful lot of what is wrong with the world. For a start, everyone has the expectation that it has to be “The best New Year’s Eve EVER” and in reality, it’s a flop for almost all of us, almost every year. I’m of the opinion that in a lifetime you’ll have fewer than 10 decent NYE’s and my current count is 2 in 24 years. I can guarantee that today will not be increasing that number. NYE also seems to incentivise people to decide to make utterly unrealistic changes to themselves or their lives under the guise that everything will be different in the New Year. Why is this the case? Why would a date change affect this in any way? Last I heard, it wasn’t the fact that the date was 2014 that made you fat, it was your insistence on eating all of the chocolate biscuits and having takeaways three nights a week. 2015 will not make those things go away, nor will it decide that you “deserve” to be thin and therefore none of the extra calories you consume will count. New Year’s Resolutions are also a completely ridiculous idea because they add pressure but also give you a get-out clause because everyone knows that almost no one keeps to their resolution for more than a month. If you really want to change your life then start today, don’t wait for the first of January when you’re the fattest you’ve ever been after eating your own body weight in Christmas food, smoking like a chimney due to the added stress from family arguments or vulnerable to deals at your local gym that are only actually deals if you ever turn up to the classes that deep down you already know you have no intention of attending. Obviously, you may be reading this on the 1st of January and thinking that I’ve gone mad and am completely contradicting myself but I’m actually writing this on the 30th of December and really mean it for any other day of the year.
I certainly won’t be making any New Year’s Resolutions and will have no one to kiss at midnight because my boyfriend of 3 years will be at work. I will be quietly toasting in the New Year with some form of soft drink (no alcohol allowed whilst on meds) and feeling very flat about the non-event that I should apparently be celebrating. New Year seems to bring with it a time for contemplation of where we are now and where we’ve been in years gone by. I mentioned a lot of this in my last post but am still thinking about where my life has taken me and where I may still get to go. I’m very thankful that I don’t buy into the idea of New Year – New Start or that how your year starts will dictate the rest of it. Last year I toasted in the New Year with two ear infections and a perforated ear drum but I was pretty much the happiest I’ve ever been. I’d been living with my boyfriend for 4 months, work was going really well and I was loving it, I had interviews lined up for a permanent job there, my family life had settled down and I was able to do all of the things I wanted and had an active social life. Little did I know that 3 months later I’d be struck down with an anxiety disorder that has totally crippled my life and turned it upside down. My social circle has become extremely limited ; my life is pretty much restricted to my two bedroom flat and occasionally visiting my dad and my grandparents because their homes are very familiar places to me; and I’ve not worked in over 9 months. This year I will be starting 2015 with an anxiety disorder. But I will also be starting it with a few, very close and supportive members of my family and friends, a blog that had over 1000 hits in the first month and a successful small business that I set up selling items made with a skill I only taught myself in May (if you’re interested I sell crocheted items and greetings cards at Lucy Locket Crafts on Facebook). I simply intend to keep challenging the anxiety where I can and to learn as many new skills as possible while I’ve got the chance.
I will not be making any resolutions because in my opinion they just set you up to fail. I have no specific goals for the year and I have no idea what the future holds so instead I’ll share with you my life’s goal. If I do nothing else with my life but this then I’ll die happy. I want to make a difference to others. When I’m gone I want everyone to say that I made a difference, that I helped change a life, that I was there when no one else was. I want to help those who are like me, who suffer from mental illness, who aren’t listened to, treated, cared for, or understood. I want to get programs set up in school so that we can stop the next generation from developing as many conditions as we see now. I want to help teach children coping strategies so that they’re equipped to deal with stress and change instead of crumbling under pressure like I, and so many others around me do. I want to make people aware of mental illness, of the signs, the symptoms, the help and treatment available, the struggles and the shame. I want to make people understand what it’s like, how they make it worse and how they can help make it better. I want to reduce stigma so that in the future, those with mental illnesses only have to fight the symptoms, not society’s ignorance and judgement. I want to make life different for the mentally ill. That’s way too big to be a resolution, it’s far too important to fail at after a month and it can’t possibly be achieved within a year. In my opinion, the notion that the “slate” is wiped clean at the beginning and end of every year is just nonsensical and you don’t get to “turn over a new leaf” just because the year has changed. Make goals and work towards them, if you go wrong, get yourself back on the right path. Everything I do at the moment is working towards getting myself better so that I can finally go out and help others like me. I will not be miraculously cured as the clock strikes midnight tonight, I won’t suddenly have the motivation I need to shift the extra 3st of weight I’m carrying and I won’t have a personality transplant that stops me from swearing ever again. I will simply continue to work towards my goals, clambering over the obstacles in my path and making sure that I carry on doing everything I can to make a difference to others. A New Year, A New Start? Not Bloody Likely!!!!!