What a year, 2016. Where do I even begin?
It started off in Oakland, which is always great because I love spending time with my brother. I was channeling creative energy into helping him give his place a refresh. It turned out really nice- I love to decorate.
I also started graduate school at SMU. I am shocked it’s been a year. Pursuing a career path that I know is ultimately going to be way bigger than me is daunting. I’m up for the challenge, but I have to mention that it has been a huge challenge.
Personal growth has been a huge part of the last five and a half years of my life and counseling has only pushed me further in the direction of self knowledge and awareness.
That kind of information, if I’m able to apply it to my life, is invaluable. It can also be painful though, if I’m being honest. I didn’t want to recognize that I was struggling for the first eight months of this year. Why would I? I literally have everything going for me this year that I didn’t have last year. I have my own place, I’m headed toward a fulfilling career and I finally feel like I’m moving forward.
If everything was on the up and up, then why didn’t I feel like getting out of bed? Having spent the most recent four months of this year reflecting on why I was feeling that way, I can definitively say that depression is a persistent, sneaky bastard.
It was scary. I thought all kinds of other things were wrong with me. I had no energy or motivation and I perceived almost everything as overwhelming and sometimes even impossible. I spent a lot of time sleeping or in the dark with my eyes closed. I made it to school and work, and that was about it. Eventually I knew it was time to go back to therapy.
Luckily, I found the best therapist I could imagine. She helped me learn to recognize the early signs of depression, develop internal coping skills for depressive thoughts, set realistic expectations for myself, develop more self compassion, pull away from situations that contribute to feelings of hopelessness, and look at the big picture when I need motivation. I made a lot of changes. We wrapped up last week and I’m going into 2017 feeling much more prepared for life in general.
Ha, well, this is what happens when I don’t write. I sit down to write one thing and end up on a completely different tangent. However, it wouldn’t be authentic to write about the fun parts of this year without mentioning my depression because I was carrying it with me for well over half of it.
That being said, I traveled quite a bit this year, gave my own apartment a refresh and even threw a Christmas party. So stay tuned for the rest of my year in review. Thanks for reading.. to be continued..