This Year in Retrospect (2019)

This is apparently the fourth year round that I’ve continued this “series.” Even stranger to think it’s been a whole six and more years since I’ve created this site. Time is certainly a frightening concept to think about, the further you expand your view of your past and time you see more of all the change that has occurred. And now it all just feels so sudden; the crushes, the friendships, the heartbreaks, all these memories. And this is supposed to be the part where I talk about how I tried to learn my lesson about repeating mistakes, or how I am too affected by certain aspects of friendships than I felt like I should be, or whatever and how hopefully I’ll get it right this time.. Well, last year’s post ended with a hope that this year I will have found a direction and headed towards it. It certainly hasn’t been pretty, I spent a lot of nights alone weeping but at the same time I spent a lot of nights in love so it certainly hasn’t been all bad, but I think I may have found that direction. I started Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which admittedly feels like I haven’t learned all that much from, but I’m apparently told I’ve been using my skills pretty effectively lately surprisingly. I can’t really get into how I have because that would probably undo the work and whole point of using those skills. Let’s just say I’ve been in a few situations where I knew from past experience and just from my natural response to whatever it was that habitually I was going to react in a certain way. Sid is a good example of that because in walks this pretty girl and these intense rush of emotions fill me up. This is normally where I would work myself up about letting my feelings in some way be known. Instead I withdrew from that feeling, sure at first only out of what was essentially PTSD, but also because I knew that feeling wasn’t real and I knew that it had all stemmed from an association. I acknowledged yes I was having these feelings and sure compared to most people it doesn’t seem like an appropriate response to have for a stranger you saw for a fraction of a second you aren’t even quite sure if she actually looks like the person you think she looked like which brought upon all those emotions.. (and you’re too nervous to look at her directly to check again), but I feel intense emotions and I have to learn to tell myself that that’s okay. Those feelings quickly subsided and we actually have talked each group session since which has been nice. It’s generally a pleasant feeling to not beat yourself up over every little thing I feel about things or react differently. My family does that plenty for me. I don’t want to add on that weight of shit I have to carry, I had been nearly at my max capacity. I’m just a person trying to cope with the emotions I feel and trying to seek some idea of joy, being heard, seen, and cared about.

I would like to clarify I may have found the direction that I want to take but I’m still treading down that path. When you don’t have the best insurance and severe anxiety so you’re not making as many phone calls as you probably should be.. you end up getting stuck with an appointment months down the road. So hopefully once that gets sorted out I’ll have more control over both the intense moment to moment mood shifts and longer period phasal mood shifts, but I have a little better control now of how I react to those emotions at the very least. It helps that I’m doing a better job of understanding them now. Like how past pettiness and anger I held onto was just sadness of a loss and I suppose my shame to admit that. It is difficult to admit despite any perceived notions that someone is fundamentally “bad” for you, that despite feeling that you still missed them regardless. And even tougher to admit that those perceived notions themselves were pretty flawed too. The skill in group we’ve been learning recently is “Checking the Facts” it is when you try and remove all prior biases and see the situation for only what you know for certain. It’s easy to look at a pattern and say this means they’re for sure this or that but I’m just letting a lot of past pain infect my feelings towards that. The truth is we were good friends and it was a very close and intense relationship that brought along with it equally intense feelings; both good and bad. One of those feelings were the feeling of actually having someone who got us. I am thankful to have experienced that. However it seemed like once that excuse that this thing between us is just “naturally doomed to fail” kind of faded the only thing keeping me stagnant is me. And I mean literally I saw exactly how I had been a problem and how little things could blow up because I feel intensely and I am shitty at communicating. I didn’t want to keep making my problem theirs. But then again I still have to keep checking the facts because this spiral all stemmed from them saying I could reach out if I wanted to. And the fact is I don’t really know what they meant by “reaching out” because that could mean anything from “If you need to talk for some closure, I am still here for you to talk.”, “I am not doing well and I would like to talk again (either for closure or simply because they miss me) but I’m a little nervous going out-right and asking you that.”, or “We’re older, more mature, wiser. Let’s give this another go at the very least we won’t be going at it blind.” I don’t know but based on the posts that I scrolled through to find that one I was worried this was more about what they needed and while it isn’t my responsibility to make my friend whom I haven’t talked to in six months happy. I kind of snuck in that message to her in the tumblr post, in hopes that it at least lets her know that I still care about her and that no, she hasn’t been forgotten. In fact, I’ve been making a point to myself to no longer keep trying to forget them in some hopes that the more upsetting memories would go with them as well. But really I wanted to do this to hopefully help. I know what it feels like to miss someone, to want to be seen and have these feelings in some way validated. Thought they could use someone telling them, “Hey I feel the same way.” Because despite the anxious spiral that tumblr post sent me in, that’s what I felt from their post and they really didn’t have to do that and I feel like it might have been hard to do that so if they happen to still check this site after all this, thank you and I hope maybe in the future if we are both in a better place (and by that I mean mostly me) and that door still happens to be open we can do possibly it right this time. Whatever “reaching out” means for us at that time. And if one of our doors does end up closing because sometimes they just do, I hope at the very least we can get to a point where we can look each other’s way without it hurting either of us. I’ve stopped entirely checking for now though because the posts have been up and down and you can hate me, miss me, love me, loathe me all at once or a specific one of these and I really couldn’t tell solely on social media alone. I don’t want to misinterpret their posts, just let them vent like I’ve wanted this place for me to be able to do that too… In fact tumblr as a whole for communicating is confusing and I don’t want to waste any more time trying to figure out that question. They’ll feel about the situation how they’ll feel. Nothing I can do about it now.

DBT I think is what helped me start to turn things around. Well at least it’s what helped me feel like I had a better grasp of things. Sure, it took me a long time to get here and even the process of going through therapy and sticking with it has been tough. I have wanted to quit and have even actually done so a few times since I’ve started. However, despite that I’m still going through with it. And to think this all started because I was watching a musical TV show set in my hometown about a girl with the same diagnosis as me trying her damn hardest to seek “happiness.” We also both went about doing so in the same very destructive ways. Anyway I got to experience how DBT works and how effective for people like me it may be so if it weren’t for that show I may not be in the place I am right now. As much at times I wish things didn’t occur the way they did this year, a lot of it all helped lead me to here. I’m still trying to figure out whether “here” is somewhere I like being. It feels more like this is just a step towards where it is I want to be. I’m also still figuring out where it is that I want to be, who I want to be there with, how I’m going to get there. You know, most of all the important things you normally need to know when deciding what you want to do with your life. The thing is I’m actually looking and am actively heading towards what I think is going to help me figure this out, to help me get what it is that I want out of life.

For a big part of my life I’ve taken a passive role. I’ve let people kind of just treat me the way they treated me. A majority of my relationships, both platonic and romantic, kind of just fell on my lap. They were either friends of friends, some mutual acquaintance that for some reason wanted to actively pursue me even despite my resistance towards that pursuing. I blamed this being the reason why I getting lost in really shitty friendships, because those were the only ones that drifted towards me without me having to do anything. You attract the same energy you give off and I was a piece of shit. Even still that I’m less of an emotional, selfish, asshole– I’m still very emotional and I also have terrible social skills so if I am to take a passive role I believe the friendships that will slide my way won’t be very fulfilling ones. I don’t like uncertainty so I will not try and do something or pursue something until I’m certain what will happen when I do. Moving on was the big therapy goal/theme of the year and one I, not necessarily gotten a pass on, but I am okay with things enough to have gotten the go ahead for us to start working on the next. Which is this idea that I don’t have a lot of agency. The more situations I’ve actively put myself in has ended up working more positively. I chose to get help and I decided to seek out DBT therapy, which thanks to that I would not be out of a cycle I was deeply afraid I’d be stuck in for the rest of my life. Lilli was just a friendly person I met online playing games and I was like– ooh we clicked, I barely know you but already talking to you is easy and puts the biggest dumbest grin on this idiot’s face.. And sure, that story doesn’t have the fairy tale ending, at least as of now, I might have hoped but they are still in my life and do still make me ecstatic every time I hear their voice. But you didn’t just fall into my life. You weren’t a friend of a friend, we didn’t just fall into this. We chose to have each other in our lives and if I’m being honest I feel like she’s still often having to make the choice of keeping me in her life but so far I’m happy with this choice and I hope she is too.

I am still severely depressed. There are some days that are easy thanks to group, the support/wisdom of my therapist, my friends, and my improving “wise mind” skills but I’m still always struggling. The more and more that I introduce this idea that hey “I chose this. I wanted and worked to get this in my life” makes even the not so great situations feel a bit more bearable. And it makes those good things so much more damn important and makes me so much more eager to fight to keep it. I worked so damn hard to get this in my life in the first place; I went through years of awful and very painful friendships and relationships who taught me what I wanted and didn’t want out of those– what I could handle and what I had to walk away from, to say hey THIS is what I’m looking for, this makes me happy, and I am going to do my best to keep you around. I wasn’t quite still what I wanted though and still need to work some things out so I chose to make that my priority right now in hopes, that doing so means I’m less likely to permanently ruin the relationship. This is one of two situations where I’ve ultimately chosen not to do what I knew would give me that immediate gratification. I could keep doing what I used to do, and hope the results are different or I can force a change and actively work on what I need to; bring in to my life only what it is I both want and am emotionally ready to have in my life. I don’t normally like to pat myself on my back for any of my accomplishments, but this is the first year where this retrospect didn’t just recap the same cycle I had been in the years prior. Change is happening. Slower than I might like but it’s still there.

A lot has happened this year. There were near deaths, heartbreaks, friend losses, depressions, and breakdowns. About the same as the past couple of years now that I think about it. I would like to chronicle every single bit of it here on this post. I fell in love. Like real love that wasn’t codependent, wasn’t the rebound of her long term ex, wasn’t the stepping stone in someone’s indecisions about their life. I love her. The relationship got a little complicated but as far as how I felt about her, was all true care and affection. I met almost all my online friends/started to hang out with some of them regularly which was super cool. Well one of them only did it because I got them a better deal on weed and stopped driving out when they found a better deal closer but the rest actually liked hanging out with me for some reason. And I’m looking forward to again hanging out with some of them some more before this year’s up, including a trip to Canada as well which I’m a little nervous about and one with Lilli here to see Starkid’s Black Friday with her. Lot to look forward to but I simply do not have enough words to chronicle all of it and all of what has happened this year so I will leave it at this for now. As for next year I’m going to make it simple and ask for the very same thing; a continued sense of direction/goal, and happiness for my friends both past and present. However things end up I just hope they work out better for everyone.

Thank you 2019 for being just the right level of shitty, the right level of eye-opening, and the right level filled with love to show my that maybe this thing is worth continuing fighting for.