A year ago today, I set myself some areas to focus on throughout 2015. 2014 had been a really rough year with loads of huge changes, so I wanted 2015 to be about solidifying. I wanted all those brave, scary changes I’d made to ‘bed in’ until they became solid beneath me.
I had an incredibly proud moment when I reviewed these, the other day. I have made progress in every single one. I often sit in therapy and say that I’m not making progress. Here is proof that I am.
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…). My relationship with T has moved on so much. Not always, but sometimes we go between sessions without contact. Sometimes we manage to only have one session in a week, not two. This is because I hold her inside me now. I ask those questions so much less. I trust her – truly, genuinely believe that she loves me and she is staying. She is a permanent person in this journey. I trust in our connection.
2. To stop cutting. 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. I haven’t needed any medical intervention for wounds this year. I have still cut, but as the year has gone on its become an ‘almost never’ thing. This week has been the first time in nearly 5 months.
3. To be mindful. I want to work towards being able to control my ‘what if’ thinking – R describes it as ‘catastrophising’. I really want to learn to be a bit more ‘present’. My anxiety is significantly lessened than this time a year ago. Bizarrely, I actually think that I use the ‘what if’ question in a slightly different way now, which is so much more helpful. I play the ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ game, which lays down outer boundaries – once I know them, I’m much more able to be in the present. Once I have explored and exposed the scariest possibilities, I’m now able to focus on the ‘now’.
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. I am not naturally good at routines. I still struggle to set them myself, and I think probably it’s just not inbuilt within me to regulate myself like that. However, moving in with my partner has created a whole set of routines. I am able to keep within them. We repeat the same patterns and I am able to do that, day after day. I don’t fight them or lash out at the boundaries. I am able to fit into routines now. My life, with support, has routines.
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. 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. This one makes me laugh – a year on and I’m living with the boy I think might be the love of my life!! It all happened so quickly – once I started dating I loved meeting new people and I felt like I had something positive to say about myself, like I was worthy. That felt incredible. Then I met my partner, and that’s felt even more incredible. Definitely one of the greatest things to have happened this year is to have fallen in love with him.
2015 has been a massive year. I changed jobs (from one which I hated to one which I love, with career progression and stability), I met the man who I hope I will spend the rest of my life with, I moved house (again! In with partner)… and all of that has happened because of my secure base that has solidified as the year has gone on. The professionals who work with me (T, R and GP) are three incredible people who I’ve learned to trust in completely. Those relationships have strengthened me and helped me grow in so many ways, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this year couldn’t have happened in the brilliant way it has without their support. Other personal relationships have both strengthened and grown. I feel like I know who I am so much more now, like I have a purpose and a deeper soul. It’s not all been perfect this year, there have been some desperately dark times, but it’s been a hugely growth filled year for me. T told me once, when I was 22 and sobbing about how much of a mess my life was, that she didn’t feel together at 22 – but by 25, she was so much more sorted. She’s always bloody right… In this year that I’ve been 25, so much has come together just as I have always dreamed it would. I am so grateful to everyone who supports me in their own wonderful ways, and it has been so beautiful to hear some of those people tell me how proud they are of me. But perhaps most importantly, I’m proud of myself… very, very proud.
I will write another blog post with my focuses for 2016. Well done 2015, it’s been a good year! xx