It is a New Year, so it’s time for the stereotypical blog post about reflecting on the year past and resolutions. I enjoy reading about how people want to better themselves in the new year. It provides a behind the scenes look at other’s insecurities and areas that they want to improve on, while reminding you that we are all traveling the same path of self improvement and acceptance. I have been pretty open about my struggles and areas that I want to improve in my life, but I think taking a moment to focus on where I am at and where I want to go is cathartic and helps hold you accountable when you know you anyone on the internet can read your thoughts, so let’s do this!
Reflections on 2014
This past year was like any other with highs and lows. Unfortunately, I saw more lows and they lasted a lot longer than I wanted. My last episode of depression started in late 2013 and plagued me until July of 2014. I look back on this period of time and see all the ways that my depression negatively effected myself and those around me and I just want to bury my head in the sand. I would want to forget that 2014 ever happened if it hadn’t been for the complete turn around that I made in July. I brought my entire life to a screeching halt and it is the only thing that saved me. I took a leave of absence from work and focused on healing my depression. Once I did that, everything changed. I found a new job that I couldn’t be happier in and it led to my career getting back on the path that I have always wanted to be at this age. I took control of my finances and stopped hiding from my financial mistakes and illiteracy. I embraced turning thirty and it really wasn’t scary at all. I am proud to say that I am acting like an adult in more ways than I am not, which is really all I expect from myself at thirty.
I won’t say that I don’t live with any regrets. I really do wish I could change some things about 2014, but I learned more about myself than the year before and I moved forward in my life, instead of back, so I have really have nothing to complain about and a lot to be proud of.
Looking to 2015
On that first day when I took my leave of absence from work, I wrote all of the things that I wanted to change on my wall and I started to check them off one by one. I knew that I couldn’t tackle them all at once, so I organized that list by priority.
Here is the priority list I created on 6/26/2014:
- Mental Health
- Financial Health
- Physical Health/Weight
Here is where I am at today:
- Mental Health
- Financial Health
- Physical Health/Weight
I have two major hurdles to tackle and they are ones that I think are most personal. It might seem odd, but I have been more anxious about revealing my goals in weight loss and relationships than I was to reveal my struggle with depression. How crazy is that? But being thirty, single and over weight feels shameful and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be “public” with my struggle. Nothing removes the sting of feeling shame than being 100% authentic and in my case, sharing my story on my blog, so let’s do this!
Goal #1: Feel comfortable and confident in my body
Depression takes a toll on your body and I feel as if I am literally carrying the results of my depression on my body. I don’t know if I am brave enough to reveal the actual numbers, but lets just say when I got on that scale for the first time it was jaw dropping. So to start 2015 I am going to be a cliché resolutioner at the gym. I started tackling this goal right before Thanksgiving by joining Weight Watchers (I will write a post on my WW experience soon, promise). My friend Kerry was using Weight Watchers and having amazing results (and blogging about them, check her out) and I knew that I was ready to take on this challenge. I didn’t want to put it off until the new year, so I started my diet at the hardest time of the year, the week of Thanksgiving and I can proudly say that I lost 7 pounds during the holidays. This was a great jump start to the new year and I am excited to see what the future brings for this new challenge.
Goal #2: Open myself up to relationships
When you are depressed dating is the last thing that you want to do, so meeting someone new has not been on my radar in the past year. I think the idea that when you are happy and confident, you attract others around you who are as well is completely true. I have not been happy with myself and my body and that has really shown when I am out and about. I am not ready to date right now. I am still a work in progress and I know that I always will be in some way, but until I am feel comfortable and confident with myself, there is no way I can focus on making someone else happy. So, I have no immediate plans to tackle this goal, but stay turned!
Goal #3: Be kind to myself
My last goal may sound really simple, but it makes the biggest impact. Depression has kicked my self-esteems ass over the past year. It says the nastiest things in your head and a key in maintaining my mental health is being kind to myself. Whether I am suffering from an episode of depression or not, I am going to be my biggest fan, instead of my worst critic. No more comparing myself to everyone else. No two journeys in life are the same, so it is time to stop comparing them. No more beating myself up when I make a mistake. It is not my first and certainly won’t be my last. No more worrying about what other people think of me. The more time I waste wondering what they think, the less time I am spending building up my own self-esteem.
Instead, this year I am going to treat myself how I try to treat my friends and family, with kindness and respect.
2014 showed me the power that I have to create change in my life and I am pretty pumped to see what I am going to do with that in 2015.