Goals & Resolutions for 2015
It’s said that every positive change in your life begins with a clear, unequivocal decision to either start doing something or stop doing something. This new year of 2015 is a year of great potential, & it all begins with choices of what to include & exclude in my life.
After seven years of struggling with intense, & sometimes even disabling, symptoms of mental illness, I was finally diagnosed fall of 2014: bipolar type II for certain, & also symptoms of borderline personality disorder & PTSD. Though I’m devastated about the reality of my condition, I am overwhelmingly grateful for my diagnosis because so much of what’s confused & haunted me over the past seven years is now explained, & I am able to learn to identify & battle mood episodes.
Mental illness provides a multitude of daily challenges, one of them being steady employment. Eighty percent of those with mental illness are unemployed. My first goal is to not be one of them! During October through December of this past year, I was unable to hold a job, as I experienced disabling psychotic depression. This year, however, I began with a part-time job at the local dollar movie theater. A huge goal for this year is to become financially stable without obtaining any debt.
My second focus is to continue treatment: take medication as prescribed; continue attending group & individual therapies, & AA if it helps; keep all doctor & therapy appointments; & stay sober of hard drugs & alcohol, under any & all circumstances. Part of recovery also includes ceasing self-harm. My goal is to stop cutting completely. Another aspect of recovery is learning new coping skills, particularly to replace destructive coping mechanisms such as self-harm. I need to keep an open mind as I continue treatment, even if coping skills are difficult to learn at first & I grow frustrated. This new year must include trying new things without preformed judgments getting in the way.
Because I endured seven intense years before being diagnosed & receiving proper treatment, I aim to actively advocate for mental health awareness. This includes going on the Ellen DeGeneres show to speak out against mental health stigma; this is a huge & important goal for me that I’m extremely ecstatic about & hopeful for. Being a mental health advocate involves consistent awareness of the latest mental health news & developments & the stories of fellow sufferers of mental illness. I also intend to continue blogging & journaling about my experiences, regarding both mental health & life in general. I am also keeping track of my moods in a portable, daily calendar. (Mood tracking is important in the treatment process.)
A new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.
This is my year: 2015 is about seizing each day to its full potential; about focusing on my personal development & defining who I am & where I’m going. For starters, I cannot live by the standard of a religion I don’t believe in, & I am done beating myself up for failing to do so. During this journey of self-discovery, I must define & maintain high standards in all aspects of my lifestyle & relationships. I need to be proud of who I am & learn to accept myself. This incudes accepting my sexuality: I like males & females, & I am not ashamed of that. (If anything, I’m grateful that I have more options than most!) I need to be honest with myself, & I can & should effectively express those inner truths in my writing. This year is about taking control of my life, taking charge of my future, taking responsibility for my health & happiness. It’s up to me to battle negative thinking & reshape the beliefs I hold about myself & the world around me. I can not pity myself or blame others, even if I feel those responses are appropriate & justified. I need to show others the compassion I wish to be shown, even when I don’t receive it. I must never judge those around me, just as I don’t wish to be judged. In other words, regain focus on the golden rule: do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
A huge part of taking charge of my happiness involves daily gratitude, an actively thankful mind focusing on the blessings of life rather than its hardships. I have so much to be thankful for! I’m grateful to be dating one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met; to be living rent free in a great house with a wonderful, Zen bedroom & super wonderful housemates to soothe my anxiety & ease my depression; to have a extraordinary cat for a best friend, & for all the snuggles & playtime we share; for my writing abilities & passion for words; for a job & other employment opportunities; for generous, compassionate, supportive, encouraging, honest, & loving friends (ILOVEYOUGUYS); for a life that’s never boring & great adventures that’ve provided thrilling stories & deep insights on life; for technology, & to live in an age where information is so easily accessible; for social media & cell phones & being able to keep in contact with others; for a great education that I did not have to pay for; for modern medicine so I can receive treatment for a mental illness rather than being locked up in an insane asylum or continue suffering miserably without any help or hope; for being able to learn about my own crazy mind; for being on medication & in therapy & being able to speak openly about my experiences; for those who take time to read my blog (YOUGUYSAREAWESOME); to live in Colorado Springs, forever my home & wonderland; for the daily gorgeous view of Pikes Peak, especially when driving down Woodmen, west past Union; for my physical health & decent appearance; for my potential, & for inner ambition that’s driven me to write since second grade, & hold a job since I was ten years-old; for libraries, especially the East Library because of the gorgeous Pikes Peak view from the back of the library where I can lounge & write away; to live in a place where I CAN pursue my dreams; & to know what I want to do with my life.
I thank all the wondrous, beautiful souls for your immense aid through this insane journey. To those that believed in me during my weakest moments, my darkest hours, & my worst times, I am eternally grateful. Not everyone is blessed enough to receives such love & friendship.
Now able to understand & let go of seven painful years, I am finally able to close the chapter of my youth & truly begin my adult life.
A year ago, I attempted to end my life. I swear to myself that this January will look nothing like that of last year. This time, I am seizing the opportunity for a new lease on life. Rather than lose my life, I am gaining a new life, it feels. Now, I have the insight to see the door to endless possibilities, & I have the courage to open it & step through.
Carpe diem, my friends.