This Year in Retrospect: 2021

It’s been really difficult trying to get back into writing again. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps my attention span isn’t nearly what it used to be or maybe I just haven’t been as emotionally “activated’ to write something. I’m not entirely sure. Like with the last post, I was clearly upset with the state of things which is why it is so heated and politically charged. So we voted him out. Did it fix things? Honestly I don’t think so; more of us are getting sick since like since when the pandemic first started, we’re still as divided as ever but at least the man in charge isn’t inciting that divide. After years of this I’m honestly just tired of thinking about it. I’m vaccinated so even with my weight I hopefully won’t have too worried if I get sick as long as I can keep my appetite up. Regardless, I still don’t know if I can ever be in a crowded building again without feeling extremely uneasy. This year has just been surrounded by a lot of fear and just now am I realizing just to the extent that has been. Part of that can be attributed to all the changes I’ve made so far; I’m living in a new place, dealing with a new set of bills and other life stresses and I couldn’t do this without the help of my partner and my newly mastered skill of compartmentalizing my problems.

I’m constantly scurrying from one moment of comfort to the next because I have the strength to get up, get out and do what I have to do every day but without the medication that helped tamper my mood shifts and lessened the blow my depressive phases had on my motivation to do the basic of things (like eating or getting out of my pajama pants) that I’m making up for energy I lost and playing catch up when I DO get out of those phases. I am still on the waitlist to see someone out here so hopefully that can help me secure my footing a bit more so I’m not overwhelmed with everything but right now there’s a lot I really don’t have the strength, or more accurately the courage, to do. For example I think about my friends a lot. I don’t talk to them much, some at all. Maybe it’s partly because I really haven’t changed much in the past year just getting by day by day or maybe because there are people in my life who despite my severe anxiety getting in the way of communicating with them now, they will always hold that place in my life.

God damn I take forever to write these things, in the time that passed since the last paragraph I have actually started my first appointment with a new psychiatrist and am being put on a new medication so hopefully I will be able to pick myself up and get better at some issues I’ve been having which is mostly avoidance; social and otherwise. I suppose my whole life I’ve always been battling between the dichotomy of wanting to spend time with and talk with my friends and the need to be alone for comfort from the severe anxiety communicating with others brings me. And in the past I often chose the route of just toughing it out through the anxiety in return for the attention (a reasonable amount of it because too much was overwhelming) and most importantly validation. Validation that despite my telling myself over and over again I have no social skills, I’m awkward, you make people uncomfortable that there is still some people that actually like spending time with me, that go out of their way to invite me to spend time with them. And I can go off on an even longer tangent about that but long story short, talking with my friends took a lot out of me and made me very anxious (which is why often I wait until they message me first even though a lot of the time I’d want to message but fear controls my life) but it was worth every minute of it because the joy and fun that I got outweighed any other fear I was feeling… most of the time. Sometimes the fear or the depression was too much.

Now however I have chosen comfort more often than forcing myself to reach out. I think I remember the moment it happened, probably around the last time I was seriously suicidal. God I hate that I have to use the words “last time” or “again” when describing being suicidal but I often have to because having a disorder that is cyclical means a lot of my moods and the low points have their cycles too. I often have suicidal thoughts just a part of having serious depressive phases bi weekly but there are the few occasions where I don’t think my final fail safe of just being too terrified to actually be permanently dead was no longer stopping me from wanting to go through with it and early 2020 was my latest one and that broke me. I shut myself off at least to the idea of making an effort to spend time with people. If they asked then sure but I needed that alone time to heal. I needed to stop refreshing social media pages, to stop going into panic attacks brought on by loneliness, to stop splitting on people I care about. And I got better. A lot better actually it’s just not in anyway that’s easily apparent. Most of the stuff that troubled me and I had to deal with behind closed doors, but I got better. My habit of checking page stats and tumblr pages just faded, I started to enjoy my alone time (mostly) free of judgement, and most importantly I started to– or more accurately I stopped seeing things and people as “good” or “bad.” Sure there’s extreme cases, but there are some things that make us feel better or feel worse than other things and just because a person has made me feel bad or done something awful to me it doesn’t make them a bad friend. They were being one in that moment of course but the same can be said for the plenty of times that I was being a bad friend. I could be a better friend now with how little I contact and stay in touch with them. But those people I have kept in my circle, have labeled my family or my favorite person I all did for a reason and that’s because even though there have been bad moments that come with any friendship I suppose the good moments showed me how much they cared. They might not still but what matters to me is they did. So I healed in most of these bad habits that affected my Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms and my emotional mood shifts but I got the bad habit of not talking to anyone and a lot of the time avoiding messages I did receive. Thankfully a lot of my friends still try messaging me again even if I haven’t answered the last one and by that point I usually get the courage to talk to them again so that has helped a little but I want to get better. That’s why it was so important for me to get back into therapy and medication because I was really making progress and sure I was doing okay by myself but I don’t think I was “improving” more so I just found a place of comfort and stayed there but I wanted to be able to make more of an effort to my friends and my family.

It’s starting to improve as I actually have taken some effort to reach out to friends I haven’t talked to in a while. I met up with some high school friends when I visited my family and it was really nice to see them again and for our friendship to just resume right back where we left off. That really was comforting. My best friend I was most worried about just because I had taken so long to reach out and the attempts I had made had gone which I concluded was I just chose old methods they don’t check anymore and I talked myself out of any other options. I totally forgot about Instagram so I actually managed to message them and it felt so nice to catch up with them again I really wish I could’ve done it sooner. I’ll be sure to be making more of an effort to keep in contact with him because I like having them a part of my life and not just a memory or sentiment of “the best friend/mi hermano de otra madre.” Now I’ve got to go through the list because there’s still more people I’d like to stay in touch more I just have to get over that initial anxiety hurdle and I’m hoping taking better care of my mental health and getting professional help might assist with that. We’ll see.

Besides the sort of negative stuff my significant other and I have moved out to a new place and it took some adjusting at first but I really like where I’m at and especially who I’m with. It’s hard to talk about the good stuff because I fear of either jinxing it or just come off as bragging or undermining the issues I was talking about earlier but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention something about my relationship because although I have the least to talk about in that regard because I only know how to talk about things I’m complaining about or self-reflecting on my mistakes about this relationship is probably the most important temple of this year. That secure anchor that while I at times was sinking and swimming chaotically I had someone who could help reel me in. I don’t think that’s quite how anchors work but having someone I love to my core and I know loves me back really helps me feel like I can get through the tougher things I have been dealing with this year. I hope this a (relatively because the pandemic is still going on and I’m still picking myself up from a long period of social isolation) good year or– since I should use the terms good or bad less– I hope this year brings plenty of moments of happiness and love and that the moments of sadness and stress are not to overbearing for either me or my partner and me, as a unit, to handle. On top of that I hope this year brings happiness and love to my friends, whether I still talk to you or not.

In my thoughts,