It’s that time of year – time to look back on the year’s goals and look forward toward the new year’s goals. It’s the time of year I think of as being represented by the Judgement card in tarot: a time of looking back, evaluating your situation and the ways you’ve grown (or not). A time for reflection, not judging, despite the name of the year. And for me, reflection looks back not just on 2016, but the last few years.
December 2013, I was in a negative place, but still had the strength and energy to push toward better. By the following year, while I’d done some good for myself in 2014, I ended up in the worst place I’ve ever been that December. My cousin – who was herself in a terrible place at the time – and I both agreed that by the end of 2015, things had to be better. And they were, though honestly they still weren’t great, and I didn’t have the energy to improve like in 2013. I went into 2016 with no set goals, instead with a path I wanted to move along. A path toward healing.
Healing was my one-word for 2016, the thing I meant to strive through all during 2016. And I tried, I really did. I went to doctors and therapists. I meditated and medicated and moved my body and tried for positivity and did everything I could to heal. I got no where. Physically, I’ve gained weight, made little improvement in my disordered eating habits, and have worse blood-stats (like cholesterol) than when I started the year. My ankle is still just as crapped up despite dozens of doctors, treatments, xrays, etc.
Mentally, I’ve gone no where, and perhaps even backwards since I’ve been unable to find a therapist in this rural part of Wisconsin who can treat me. I’m more negative toward myself and my body. I haven’t written any fiction since April. I’ve grown into a hermit, and have no idea how to fix that because I made the stupid decision to move across the country AGAIN and now know just about no one here. I had a whole list of possible actions that might help me to heal in 2016. Of them, I either failed to do the tasks, or the tasks I completed failed to help me. It’s been…a really rotten year, the sort of rotten that isn’t panic-inducing like 2014, but the kind of soft depression that just blankets you and suffocates you slowly.
On a more positive note, things have started to improve in the last two weeks, mostly due to getting back on an antidepressant (more on that in a few days). Additionally, my bookish goals of 2016 were far more successful than my non-bookish ones! I succeeded at most of them, except where circumstances made them impossible. I feel much better about the book and blog balances I achieved this year, and so in the upcoming year, I’ll focus my concrete goals on other parts of my life.
Speaking of which, I’m not going to focus on 2017 goals in this post. I’m still stewing them over in my mind, finding the right balance between pushing myself enough but not pushing too hard. I do want to say one thing though: despite all the negativity (in my life, in my recent blog posts), I actually have a feeling that 2017 is going to be a much better year than I’ve had in the recent past. There’s no real concrete reason for me to say that. Still, every year, I tend to look forward at a year and sort of sense the shape of it. I can’t say what it is that makes me think a year is going to be good, bad, neutral, volatile, etc, but 2017 feels like a year of improvement. Maybe not wonderful, but getting better. I certainly hope so, as the last few have been…yeah.