I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of 2014. I think it probably felt far too overwhelming – I knew I had to start a job, live by myself, and make some friends, and that was probably enough of a list!
I’ve had, all in all, a really good year.
It’s hard to celebrate it, because there has been so much heartbreak and sorrow, too. There have been far too many tears, scars and unhappy thoughts to label it as a success – it seems dishonest, when I’m still in as much therapy as I am, and still having as many crises as I am, to say that all is rosy. But there have been some increedible successes – one year on, I am still employed, I am still living in the part of the world I want to be in, I have a brilliant team of professional support around me, and (perhaps most importantly), I’ve got some truly amazing friends.
Last year was about massive growth, huge change, and a complete re-evaluation of who I am and who I wanted to be. This year, 2015, I want to be about solidifying. I’ve poured all the concrete underneath me, and started to put the foundations into place – but they’re still wet, still new, still so uncertain. They still feel so wobbly underneath my feet, and I want to spend the next year solidifying them. Huge growth looks impressive, but I so often feel like I am just collecting trophies for my mantlepiece, like I did through my ‘perfect’ education and my ‘perfect’ childhood. This year doesn’t need to be about collecting more trophies. I want this year to be about making sure those trophies are solid gold, not hollow fakes.
That said, I’ve been thinking for a few days about New Year’s Resolutions. Lots of people have been creating theirs, but I think ‘resolutions’ is too harsh. It suggests that if you’re not perfect from January 1st onwards, you haven’t succeeded. So, instead, I have been thinking about goals. I purposefully am not setting these as targets that must be achieved – only things that I want to be actively working towards. This, like happiness, is a journey, not a destination.
1. To trust in my secure attachment to T. This will probably look like two different things… not needing contact from her between sessions, and being able to move away from asking the attachment disordered questions over and over (don’t leave, please come back, don’t forget about me…). This Christmas break has been really eye-opening in how I find it so hard to trust her promises, and to feel safe in the attachment. I have been proud of myself for pushing myself to believe her words – and it has helped. I feel a little more confident that, with time, I will be able to carry the immense, beautiful attachment through between our sessions.
2. To stop cutting. Self harm is an out of date strategy, for me. I have countless others which are safer, and if I gave them a chance, could even be more effective. This year, I have made huge leaps in my understanding of why I self harm – next year, I want to put that knowledge into practise, and find other ways to cope with the reasons. Right now, I don’t want to give up harming – but at the very least, to be harming without requiring medical intervention would be a huge step forward.
3. To be mindful. A wonderful fellow blogger commented on my post yesterday, that “many of us borrow trouble by looking into the future and only seeing what can go wrong.” I am the queen of panicking about the future, and my anxiety levels seem to have grown higher and higher and higher this year. I want to work towards being able to control my ‘what if’ thinking – R describes it as ‘catastrophising’. I have started using the Headspace app, and I really want to learn to be a bit more ‘preset’. Ahhh, therapy speak, I love it really!
4. To develop routines. I have always, even as a child, been chaotic. I don’t follow routines, I’m messy, confusing and my life is always a bit of a crazy tangle. It would help my mental health especially, if I were able to implement routines. For example, a relaxing and structured bedtime routine would definitely be supportive. A clean desk would definitely help with work, and my anxiety around it. A robust crisis plan would keep me much safer and limit the impact of crises. Now I’m in my own space, and I’m happy in my house, my career and my therapy, I need to start building routines onto those foundations.
5. To meet new people. I have an amazing, small group of friends. These friends have dragged me through this year, pulling me along and propping me up even when I have been a rubbish friend, or doing stupid things. They have also been with me through some brilliantly fun times this year and I am so blessed with them. However… I have become a very insular person this last year, whilst I licked wounds and tried to rebuild. I keep making wild promises about beginning to internet date, but before I do any of that, I think just meeting new people is a start. Going out, talking to people, maybe finding a new hobby or spending more time expanding the ones I already have. Meeting the love of my life starts with meeting ew people, and now I am secure in where I live and I have utterly perfect best friends, it seems a good time.
…so, there they are. Focal points, as I head into 2015. Knees wobbly, palms sweaty, but with a full heart, and eyes always on the stars.