Today I feel a lot of pressure. I feel a lot of pressure to follow the herd and write something inspirational on Facebook, about how 2015 was ‘such a great year’. But I’m struggling with that concept, because for the most part, 2015 has been the worst year of my life. Dramatic, I know. I sound like a sullen teenager. But there it is. The truth.
After a full-blown anxiety relapse in late June, things have really only started to pick up for me in the last few weeks. The majority of the year was full of pain, tears, doctors’ visits, unknowns, fear, gloom, and the bleeding obvious, anxiety.
Here’s what I would like to post as my status on Facebook today:
‘Dear 2015, please go and promptly eat a bag of dicks. Cheers, Steph.’
It’s funny though, when I think about the year, and all its ups and downs, I become conflicted. Because I’m not the same person that I was on 1 January 2015, and I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing.
I have horrible memories of how anxiety can control you, and ruin your plans. I have the memory of cancelling an overseas holiday because of my anxiety. I have the scary memory of trying new medications and sadly admitting when they weren’t working and proceeding to the drawing board. And I hold the darkest memory of all, when I told myself that it was all too much and I did not want to be here anymore.
However, I am writing more, which has always been a goal of mine. I’m being open about my anxiety, which has so far only been a positive experience. I’m much more aware of what my anxiety triggers are, and I am more consistent in my daily techniques to calm myself (like practising yoga, meditation, mindfulness, burning lavender oil etc).
I’ve learnt that it’s ok to take medication for anxiety. It doesn’t mean you are a failure, or that you are taking the easy way out.
I am stronger and more determined.
And if I wasn’t already convinced that my husband was the most selfless and caring human being on the planet, I now know 100 per cent that is the case. He has stuck by me through it all. He held me when my body could not stop shaking for hours on end, he rubbed my back when I was vomiting from anxiety on the side of the road out of the car door (the stuff of romance I tell ya!), he came to multiple doctor, psychiatrist and psychologist appointments with me, he was by my side when I told him that I didn’t want to be here anymore, and every day he reminded me that I’m a strong fucking woman and made me realise why it’s important that I stick around.
So it wasn’t a perfect year, and I know there will be other years where things don’t go to plan. That doesn’t mean it was a waste, or that nothing positive can come from it. It’s not in my nature to consistently dwell on negative experiences, I either need to move on quickly, or create a positive out of it. And I think I’m doing that through Candidly Her, through my relationship with my husband, and through understanding just how strong I can be, even when all the chips are down.
I’m not making any resolutions for 2016. I’m just hoping it’s a little less eventful than this year. And if it’s not, I’ll be ready to smash it (with support from my family, friends, and medical professionals!)