Happy (Let’s Hope) New Year

I don’t usually get caught up in the New Year’s sentiments about what the year was like, and what is to come. But this time around I can’t help but acknowledge these things. 2011 was a pivotal year for me – I’m glad it’s over, but am equally glad it happened the way it did.

At the start of this year, I was struggling with a case of situational depression and a mild (but awful) anxiety disorder. I was functioning and appeared to be fine, but I suffered through some very sad days, and fought hard against a panic that threatened me constantly. The combination of my long term relationship ending in 2010, coupled with the EMDR therapy I was doing shook me deeply, but loosened up a whole lot of things that were holding me back from a happy life. With some hard work, and the passing of time, my heart and mind healed over, both scarred but stronger. I feel back not just back to normal now, but better than I have in my entire life.

I could choose to look back and think of 2011 as a bad year. In fact, last night some of us were toasting to the fact that it’s finally over. But I plan to remember it as the year my life turned around. Because that’s exactly what happened.

It wasn’t easy, or pleasant, or something I ever want to go through again. But I cannot help but feel that it was a privilege to just be able to process my feelings, from start to finish, without having the hardships that so much of the world has to suffer through. In this difficult time, I had a safe place to call home, the support of my therapist, my friends and my family. I had the ability to go for long walks, and to sleep well. I had good health, and could pay all my bills. And I had a sound enough mind to know what needed to be done to heal and move on. I was a lucky girl in 2011.

As for 2012? What it holds is a mystery, but I’m ready for it. I feel blessed to have my life back; blessed by my friends and family, and by the friend I have finally found in myself. My only resolution for 2012 is to count my blessings, large and small, every day.

And with that, I offer you another Barbara Kingsolver quote, with my hopes for you in this new year.

“Everyone of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, a loss of a job…And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another–that is surely the basic instinct…Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.”  

-From High Tide in Tuscon: Essays from Now or Never

Happy New Year!
More Food, Less Pain,

3 thoughts on “Happy (Let’s Hope) New Year

  1. Beautiful Louise. This may sound odd but I am actually glad that I went through such a tough year as well. It scared that shit out of me when I realized I had to figure out how to be “me”. It was difficult but it has made me stronger and more at peace with who I really am. Without the pain we never fully appreciate the good!
    Love you!

  2. Ah thanks Maria. It's nice to know that others understand what going through this sort of trial is like. The calm on the other side of it is one of the sweetest things I've known, and worth all the pain. Happy New Year to you too!

  3. I really identify with a lot of what you've said here… not so much this year, but a couple of years back. I, too, feel better than I EVER have. It's nice, isn't it? Happy New Year, Louise — and all the best to you in 2012.

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