How will I think about the new year?
Answering this will set the tone for 2022. Accepting things that happen to me is what my depression would love. Its new year’s resolution begins, “I will make sure Joel is circling the drain by the end of 2022. I will make sure Joel remembers that I am the best thing that has happened to him. I resolve to make sure Joel sees that I am his only devoted friend. He should only trust me.”
Depression has an ulterior motive when it sings “should old acquaintance be forgotten….
It wants me to remember the good ole days when it was just me and depression hanging out near the bottom of the abyss. There was not much to do and really nothing to think about. In fact, the greatest joy was inventing a reason to go to bed early. And on non-workdays, depression would help me invent excuses to stay in bed as long as possible.
The new year brings a chance to reset the clock, to have a “do-over.”
And that starts with the events that will take place this year. I know that I will never be able to control all the events that will occur in my life during 2022. And that’s ok. As someone has said, “life happens.” Variety is the spice of life and all that.
Happily, I get to choose how I think about the new year!
That’s the key. Attitude is all-important. When my depression is acting up and doing its best to keep me secretive and alone, changing my attitude is hard. Heck, it is darn near impossible. And I have been there enough times to know what I am talking about.
Resetting my attitude when I am circling the drain is almost impossible.
What I am finding out is the time to work on my strategy about depression is when depression is on vacation. Even my depression, which has nearly killed me on multiple occasions, needs a holiday. Without outside contact, how would I see that depression is my only faithful friend?
By stepping back and resting, depression lets me think that I am in control.
The rock I push up the hill becomes a pebble that I can skip up the rolling hill like a stone on the water. Once my depression sees that I have the illusion of being in control, it begins its constant, unforgiving drive to get me back under its wing.
Once my depression tastes first blood, it ups the game until I am pushing a huge boulder straight up the side of El Capitan in Yosemite.
One thing I know needs addressing is my attitude towards how I use my time. Or more correctly, how I think about the time that I have each day. For the last few months of the year, I have let myself feel pressed for time. Everything was important and I thought that stopping to smell the roses wasn’t possible. I had to keep moving, to accomplish, to experience, to do something, anything.
My self-care time has gone to zero over the past few months.
Well not zero, but my thoughts about self-care and my own time, have been skewed by life. The hardest part is for me to admit that I am in control of this. But I am not taking control of my attitude about how I am using my time each day.
How I think about the New Year will determine, in large part, how my new year ends up.
Setting aside time for me isn’t bad. But it feels bad like I am not doing enough for others. If I am not constantly on call for someone, am not doing something for someone, I feel I am letting everyone down.
My own self-care then takes a back seat to the needs of others.
Yet, I know I am as valuable as anyone else. I deserve to have time for myself, just as others do. And I allow others the opportunity to recharge their batteries by saying no. Why am I reluctant to allow myself the same opportunity? If I see self-care as valuable for others, why can’t I see the value of it for me?
So, one of the first things I must do in 2022 is to decide what my attitude will be towards events that unfold.
And how much time will I allow myself? What will I see is OK for me? Can I really see myself as being valuable, on a par with others? This is a big part of my being able to move forward, is to value myself, just as I am.