2016 begins
Posted by lucyd
2nd Jan 2016

I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions, but after the worst year of my life - a year that has seen me go through suicide attempts, hospital admissions, social services referrals for my children, the threat of being sectioned - I feel as if 2016 warrants them.

There are so many things that I could resolve to do.

Get a grip.

Stop being so needy.

Stop self-harming.

Not attempt suicide again.

Be a better mother.

Be a better wife.

Stop burdening my friends with my own mental health dramas.

Not need to call the crisis team again.

Get discharged from the CMHT.

Get better.

How I wish I could resolve to do these things and actually do them. Especially the last one. There are no words to describe how much I want to get better.

I know, though, that depression doesn't listen to New Year's resolutions. Depression isn't going to go away just because I decide to get a grip. I can't promise myself or anyone else that I won't self-harm or attempt suicide again. I can't guarantee that I'm going to be a better mum, wife or friend. I don't know where I will be at the end of the year with regard to my care pathway.

And I know that making resolutions like these will just increase the pressure I put on myself - pressure I really can't cope with - and set me up to fail.

So instead, I'm going to resolve to do these things.

Be kinder to myself: rest when I need to, delegate when I need to, take a day off when I need to.

Accept that I'm ill, not just weak or pathetic or self-indulgent, and treat myself as such - while still taking all the steps I can to get well again.

Take life a day at a time. And when things are hard, take it an hour or even a minute at a time.

Keep talking to people. Stop pushing them away. But also try to give back where I can, because that makes me feel better about myself.

Give therapy a chance. It's hard to engage, but alongside my medication, I know it will give me the best chance of healing.

Remember that even in the darkest times, there are moments of light, and hold onto those.

Remind myself that recovery is a spiral. That I'll climb up a bit and then slip back a bit, but that I'm still further on than I was.

Work on convincing myself that this is not my fault. That doesn't mean giving up and surrendering to it, but acknowledging that this is not a life choice. It's where I am and what has happened, but it doesn't have to be forever.

I know I'm not going to get all of these right, all of the time. I have a really hard time believing that I'm in any way deserving of love, support, friendship, and blame myself constantly for not being strong enough to fight this illness. But I can try.

2016 needs to be the year that I really, really try.

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