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"New Year, New Me! I'm going to lose weight, get hot, and be myself!"
... is what I've been saying every year since 2014.
So it's 2019!
I'm a hefty 16-ish stone, suffer from chronic depression and severe anxiety, and have such little self-confidence that I get angry at myself for not meeting other people's expectations. Me this time last year, however, was a lot weaker than I am now.
What Happened, and Thank God It's Over
It was so weird, knowing that I entered the New Year drunk off my mind with white makeup on my face and basically cackling my head off because let me tell you, 2018 was by far my worst year to date. I remember the following morning when I woke up groggy and a little bit woozy, I looked on my Facebook memories and noticed that one of my posts was highlighting all of the things that I wanted to do with that God forsaken year. I wanted to progress at work, lose weight, be myself, and all of that. But at the start of 2018, I was on a cruise surrounded by family excited to make memories and start adventures with my friends and my at-the-time boyfriend. I was so enthusiastic! I wanted to have the best time of my life.
And at the end of January, my relationship fell apart, my head was in pieces, and I ended up nearly being severely hospitalized. It was going so downhill so quickly I thought that I must have done something terrible in my past life.
Throughout 2018, my emotional state slowly started crumbling away, and it reached its lowest between March and April. February was just a painful blur of me faking it until I made it. March was a whirlwind of negativity, but it was then I realised that I couldn't stop taking medication until I felt better, that holding it in wouldn't affect me. A part of me died in March; the part of me that thought that my depression and anxiety was just make-believe. And so throughout April, I started my self-healing process with sick leave, stronger medication, and starting something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. But even though my journey started, I remembered writing on my phone a plan to kill myself during the first week of September.
May through to August was a struggle, mainly because I had to try and open up more to family and friends and come to terms with a mentality of fixing myself before fixing others. The therapy at first didn't help me much, some work colleagues were no help to me, and to top it all off my grandfather passed away and I almost never knew about it. But it was my Grandad John's passing that triggered something in my head to not let myself relapse again. I had relapsed a few times, with some things that may upset you as a reader. But I won't forget when I cried about Grandad dying, the small white feather that floated in my lap when I was on break at work. Call it cliche or whatever, but that helped me so much. It helped me help myself. But August was a small blessing, as my birthday hadn't been so good in such a long time. All because my mum got me nails that changed colours with the heat.
September to October was interesting and a blessing, especially October. I had met my friend's eight-month-old son for the first time, and when I saw his chubby face, his giant blue eyes and his wide smile, I cried. I fell in love with that little face and I thought to myself: this is what I'm here for. At this point, I had been to Warner Bros. Studios with my mum for a late birthday present, I had been given permission to do extra days at work, I was talking more, I was laughing more, and when I cried, I didn't dwell on it so much. But seeing that baby boy (for privacy's sake, I'll call him Joey) and having him fall asleep on my chest (which was awkward because I was at work), I knew that I was blessed.
'Twas a bad month, but not the worst. I couldn't find a job after my contract expired with my usual workplace. I had nearly been mugged on a night out because of other people. I slept with my best-friend's ex-boyfriend and rightfully lost her trust. It wasn't the best event to happen. And yet for some reason, I didn't feel angry or sad for long. I had applied for a job that suited me perfectly, and I'll hear soon if I made the shortlisting of 20 people from 250. I had seen Joey a lot more, to the point where if my friends would say they were seeing me that day, he would clap and laugh and get excited. I won money which went on my family. I renewed my contract which starts soon. A lot of positives balanced out the negatives. So maybe that was why November was indifferent to me.
December was stressful, with my Grandad Vinnie going to the hospital. Septicemia almost took him from us just before my mum could go on her own holiday, but my Grandad spat death in the face, dropped kicked him, and danced all over him. In all fairness, Death has been patient with him; hell, he's been impressed by his resilience. But for two weeks, I stayed awake most nights so he could Skype my mum in Barbados, I paid his bills for his house, and I stayed over at his because apparently, a pair of Polish women tried to break in once. But by Christmas Eve my Grandad was living with us, I had seen my Joey (who at this point was known to be my future godson) so many times he was used to me, and I just felt so... happy.
And with that, a brief summary of my 2018 is done.
2019, just be kind.
My message to 2019 is that I have no major plans or goals. I would love to lose a whole bunch of weight. I would love to be more confident. But I do not think that I can just take this year by the horns. 2018 was a raging bull that crushed me and suffocated me for six months AT LEAST, and then got off my head for the last few weeks of the year.
To me, this year is going to be a lot like a rollercoaster. It will give me ups and downs. It will throw me through loops and mess me around. But there's one thing that I know: I will either love this year, or loathe it. But all I wish from this year is to be alive by the time we light the fireworks.