For me, 2017 was a giant dichotomy. My personal life thrived. I’ve been planning a wedding and I get to marry my best friend and love of my life in less than three months. I’ve written consistently over the past year and had the courage to put my work out there. I’m making great strides in my personal life and my knee is finally starting to feel better. My mental health has improved despite the clusterfuck state of the world. It’s been a struggle to balance the hopelessness I feel about current affairs with my everyday life. There have been a plethora of minor and major accomplishments. Of course there have been hiccups along the way but overall things have moved in a positive direction.
This obviously has been overshadowed by the almost daily stress of calling my representatives (fuck you Pat Toomey) to try to protect people’s health insurance and work against awful and racist legislation. Having to explain to my relatives that yes, their vote for any Republican candidate is a vote against me. Even if they are ‘so excited’ for the wedding. I know I’ve made progress with my mental health because the constant emotional exhaustion of this year hasn’t killed me. If all of this happened five years ago, I’m not convinced that I would have made it through.
I’m proud of my strength and what I have become. Wrapped with the joy from just the idea of marrying Katy, there is a part of me that feels guilty for having amazing things happening for me in this awful and disastrous year. I know a huge part of this feeling comes from my ongoing battle with Depression. Good Things have always made me feel guilty because I never ‘deserved’ them. Especially compared to other people. Why do I get Good Things when there are people who are kinder and smarter and are in more need?
Not punishing myself for the positive aspects of my life has been one of the biggest parts of my ongoing recovery. The guilt does nothing for me, nor does it help anyone who I’ve deemed as more ‘worthy’. It only creates unnecessary angst and pain.
I made it through this year because positive things happened to me. I realized that nothing would change even if I let this hellscape consume my every waking moment. That doesn’t mean it never pushed me to tears while cursing and scrolling through Twitter. But I’ve been able to pull myself back from it. I’m getting married in March. My nephew is growing into the cutest kid I’ve ever seen. There are some cool creative projects on the horizon. Sometimes, that’s all I need.
Here’s to a better 2018.