I felt like posting an update tonight, and then I realized that it’s about the right time to start reflecting on the giant pile of shit that was 2016, so here I am.
Before I begin, I would like to contextualize this year in my life by briefly summarizing 2014 and 2015, which weren’t too great for me either.
I began 2014 in my first Severe Major Depressive episode and was bingeing and purging almost daily. Around March, I began dating a guy I didn’t like at all because I was desperate to not be alone. That relationship ended in July with a traumatic event, and my eating disorder worsened and became mainly restrictive. I was unable to function, and did not return to school in the Fall. I began a Day Hospital Eating Disorders program in December.
I remained in the Day Hospital program for the entirely of January, getting discharged on the 31st. I returned to school in February, but maintaining recovery on my own was harder than I had expected, and I relapsed almost instantly. I was re-admitted to Day Hospital mid-April and was discharged 9 weeks later. I began to relapse in June and July, but was able to turn things around, and have essentially stayed well since, aside from the occasional bad week or two. I was fired from a job after disclosing my mental health disability (which is definitely illegal), and later quit a job that caused more anxiety than I could handle. I moved out and returned to school again in September, and in November, I began dating my ex. Ugh, fucking Jennifer. 2015 concluded with the one good month of that relationship.
Enter 2016. The New Year brought a lot of anxiety, as I hadn’t yet told my parents I wasn’t working and I knew they wouldn’t be happy about it. My ex was being dramatic as fuck about her co op term, and was unbearable to be around. She also stopped giving a single shit about me. In May and June, I had to live at home, as my landlord sold our student house and the new place I wanted wouldn’t be open until July. I also had a hard time finding a job, which caused a lot of self-hatred and finance-related anxiety. The job I eventually found was pretty good, but working really triggers my social anxiety. And of course, on my last day of work, my ex broke up with me in the shittiest way imaginable. I suffered my second Severe Major Depressive episode, which brought on 3 overdoses, a relapse into self-harm, a brief eating disorder relapse after unintentional weight loss, and just overall misery. And then a fascist, sexist, reality TV star became leader of the free world.
So here we are, in December 2016. The past three years have been one very long shit-show, but maybe things are gradually improving? My hospital stays lasted days instead of months, I held down a full-time job for most of the Summer, and I spent most of the year out of the toxic environments at my parents’ houses. I learned a lot about myself and became much stronger. I loved and I lost (it should have been you, Bernie), but mostly I survived. And maybe 2017 will fuck me all over again. But maybe it won’t?
I’m generally pretty cynical, and it’s not like I expect the new year to bring me fairy dust and a pet unicorn. But the bar has been set low, so 2017 will likely be an A+ year on the bell-curve of my life. I guess I just need to do what I can to make that happen.