A Happier New Year, 2017 Style

When another New Year rolls around, quite a few of us make resolutions to make this year different from the last.  We’re going to lose weight, or stop drinking so much, or run three times a week.  How often we stick to these resolutions really depends on our outlook and our drive to make such a significant change in our lives.

I stopped making huge resolutions a few years ago because it ended up I wouldn’t follow through on some of them and then I’d end up at New Years Eve upset that I hadn’t followed through, which seems to be a recurring theme in my life.  Sure, I still had goals — I think one of my major resolutions for 2016 was to merely get better, to recover from depersonalization — but, in my mind, they became a more organic goal than a nailed-down one.

There have been changes I have made to try to make my life healthier, to make me happier, and 2017 will see these changes continue.  I have to admit that some of the changes have hurt — I’ve had to step away from some relationships which had hurt or continued to hurt me — and sometimes, they are difficult to keep up because I try to be a caring person and treat others how I would like to be treated.  But when a friendship, or whatever type of relationship, ends up picking open old wounds that need to heal, sometimes walking away is the only way to heal.  I guess sometimes healing involves injuring, sort of like amputating your trapped foot to save the rest of you from, well, whatever is menacing you at the time.

In the last week or so, the embers of one of these relationships have been glowing hot again, and, I have to admit, they have been both unsettling and upsetting.  One thing I haven’t yet mastered is the ability to extinguish the embers or even figure out which areas to dampen down to avoid another flare up.  Something to work on in 2017, I guess.

Another change, for the positive this time, has been to try to live in the moment.  My mind became so busy that thoughts were like a million buds blossoming into a million flowers on hundreds of thousands of different branches at any given second.  That’s exhausting, to have so many thoughts at any given time, and it pulls me out of the moment so that I miss it.  I have to admit, I am not always the best at living in the moment, and I sometimes drift away in my thoughts and miss entire parts of conversations… But I am getting better at pulling myself back.

(I was saying to my counselor the other day that I was so proud of myself.  My friends and I went to see Rogue One, and I managed to “stay present” pretty much throughout the entire film.  I didn’t start thinking about other things and then miss half the movie.  Go me.)

My writing has suffered due to my illness and to being so busy at work.  To be honest, that has caused me a great deal of stress.  Mid-2016, I decided to join a writing site, Scribophile, which was great for a while until I simply ran out of steam.  So many excuses or reasons not to sit down and write but do other things, distracting things, and I need to change this in 2017.

Part of the problem, again, has been the dissociation, which makes me feel like there’s absolutely nothing exciting I can tell.  That’s not true.  I just need inspiration, and once the inspiration strikes, I need to make writing it down my first priority.  Not only that, but also I need to eliminate distractions and stick to writing until I feel I’ve lost my steam with it.

I need to get back into a rhythm and a schedule to get writing again.  Something else to work on, not only for 2017 but also for the rest of my life.

My mind keeps replaying the idea that, once I start becoming happier and more focused in some parts of my life, the other areas will fall into place.  And, quite honestly, I have seen this happen as I emerge from depersonalization.  The illness was debilitating, and it still has its moments where it broadsides me, but I have emerged the other side so much more aware of my emotions, a lot “more present” more often, and thankful for the deep relationships I have with my close family and good friends.

So… Watch this space.

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