A new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.
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 2016 is a year of great potential, & it all begins with choices of what to include & exclude in my life, what to focus on & what to delete.
This is my year: 2016 is about seizing each day to its full potential, about focusing on my personal development & defining who I am & where I’m going. & I couldn’t be more excited for it.
Reflecting on 2015
One year ago, I posted “Goals & Resolutions for 2015.” Looking over that entry, I am proud to say I achieved all of the goals & resolutions I had for this past year.
For awhile I was homeless, disabled, & unemployed. Over the past eight months, I have acquired & sustained a job that I enjoy, pays the bills, & allows for a flexible schedule that accommodates my mental episodes. Instead of living with whomever will take me in, I now have my own apartment.
My second focus was to continue treatment to improve the condition of my mental illnesses. I have done this in every way possible: kept all my doctor appointments; taken medications as prescribed; attended therapy when useful; avoided hard drugs that could worsen my condition; sought healthy coping skills & support from every accessible resource; kept an open mind throughout treatment & seeking answers; etc. Though I was unable to entirely stop cutting, I went many months successfully without turning to that habit, which I am very proud of.
I also aimed to advocate for mental health awareness, which I have successfully done through word of mouth, a Facebook fan page, & this blog, all while staying up to date on current issues regarding mental illness.
My next goal involved breaking away from what I’ve been told to do, believe, & be my whole life & become my own person, truly & fully. I have sustained high standards for all aspects of my life, including relationships. I accept my sexuality. I accept who I am, completely & entirely. I am better at being honest with myself than I’ve ever been. Life has never looked more clear than it does now. I have taken control of & responsibility for my life & my future. I have battled negative thinking & reshaped the beliefs I hold about myself & the world around me. I have regained focus on the golden rule: do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Every chance I’ve had, I have shown others the compassion I wish to be shown, even when I didn’t receive it in return. I have actively focused on gratitude & life’s blessings, rather than the darkness & disappointments. I have created a Zen environment where I can thrive &, slowly but surely, live up to my full potential.
I won’t bore you anymore with the details, but all of the goals & resolutions I wrote about a year ago I have achieved to the best of my ability. I am more independent than ever before, & I’m grateful for the personal strength that has led me to this point.
Two years ago, I attempted to end my life by overdosing on alcohol & antidepressants, & this was not my first attempt. (My first attempt was at age 16.) I still face suicidal ideations, deep depression, & disabling psychosis almost daily, but now I have more tools to fight it than ever before, including a deeper understanding of the core issues. I must seize this opportunity for a new lease on life. Now, I have the insight to see the door to endless possibilities, & I have the courage to open it & step through.
My goals for this new year are overwhelming exciting & absolutely conquerable.
As for basic boring adult stuff, I will continue budgeting monthly & be responsible with every dollar that comes my way. I have a long list of savings goals, & I will incorporate those into my budget to make them achievable.
I will continue pursuing education, hopefully going back to school finally in the fall. In the meantime, I will be at the college campus I graduated from two years ago to work on my own projects. Getting out of the house is great for my mental health.
Which brings me to my next point: my mental health. I hope to find a new psychiatrist & establish a real relationship with them so I can receive proper treatment & stop self-medicating. In this process, I also aim to finalize my actual diagnosis. I hope to seek any help I need, whether that be attending support groups or checking myself into a hospital under suicide watch. I hope to finalize a large document outlining what symptoms I experience & what things help reduce those symptoms, along with other various details regarding my illnesses, which will help myself & others address my episodes with more precision. Also, one of the many things I’m saving up for is a synopsis on my brain chemistry, hoping that that will provide further answers & insight into my condition. My goal is simply to treat my mental illnesses as best as I can to achieve an optimal outcome. Through this process, I hope to be at peace with myself & the world around me. I hope to have patience & stick to my motto of “when in doubt, wait it out,” especially when I’m suicidal.
I plan to travel at least six times this year—that’s one trip every other month. Visiting friends in Arizona, California, & New York are among my goals, along with a few in-state trips, such as to Telluride, Colorado.
I hope to leave my current dingy apartment & move into a house by the end of the year, but this is dependent on what people stick in my life & prove reliable enough to live with.
I will get a kitten, adding to my Crazy Cat Lady collection.
I will work on designing my third tattoo.
I have many writing goals, including finishing a rough draft of my book of memoirs, Known— which means writing two chapters per month. I will also complete a rough draft manuscript of a book of poetry, currently untitled (debating between The Echo of Thought, The Rhythm of my Roots, & Affected by Dreams). I also will continue posting to my blog “Exploring Existence with a Certifiable Vagabond” & promoting awareness for mental health advocacy. I will work on preparing for my class INSIGHT focusing on self-awareness & personal growth, writing a total of 52 prompts & 12 projects by the end of the year.
Also along the lines of creating art, I will record music, thanks to a couple friends with professional recording equipment. Most will be covers of songs but some will be original music I’ve written. I also hope to keep playing for fun, never again allowing my callouses to fade away.
These are a few of the things that outline what I expect my 2016 to look like, but life’s an adventure & things never go as planned… I look forward to seeing what turns up this year! I never know when my life could take a turn for the best.