Mental Health

The Year That Was and the Year that Would Be

This 2018 has been one of those rough years for me: a three-month leave from work due to a rupture in my moods and mental state, sporadic outbursts of emotions on the web, frequent breakdowns, and more of the negative stuff that had overwhelmed me to my core. Through all of the days that I have been up and about—due to work most especially—the bipolar disorder would rear its ugly head, making me feel like the world is going to crash underneath my feet. During such times, it is of no wonder that thankfulness does not make itself ubiquitous enough; well, it is that difficult to be thankful when one’s stability gives way all the time, everyday, due to pressure and stress all around. The tendency therefore is to only see the negative and the gray clouds lingering on top of my head, or black shadows trying to confound me. Difficult indeed when mental illness tries to hold oneself captive: it brings some sort of degradation into the very person it possesses thereby plunging it into deep despair. Positivity is almost never an option when seized by the fits, and this is mostly what 2018 meant: with all the sheer desolation that had cramped itself up at the back of my head, I could not see the light. I would be totally lost, my senses dimmed, my cognitive processes waning bit by bit. Breakdown after breakdown, I almost lost hope that I could still live for there seemed no sense of continuing and moving forward with life in general.

That was 2018.

Fast forward to now, with a handful of days more to go before 2019: here I am, writing down what I think as the 2018 cataclysms that I thought I have, at some point, weathered. Just recently I had another breakdown of sorts (the aftermath of which lingering till now) that have contributed to the pessimistic vibe sprouting on my social media timelines, almost to the undoing of my goodwill to humankind. Well, I was feeling alone and morose about my own state of life (as in the case of my previous breakdowns), coupled with financial and work-related troubles. What is noteworthy though among all these is on how I would surpass my choleric situations one day at a time. I try to end my life but it does not happen. I instigate myself to do self-harm, but while on the verge of actually executing it, I end up walking away. What I don’t realise in the midst of all these is that perhaps, subconsciously, I still desire to be alive at one point or another albeit lacking a sheer appreciation of such. Why? My senses are clouded mostly by the constant insistence of my turbulent mind to search for answers when there is nothing of that sort available at certain circumstances. All I see are gray clouds and tempests, sometimes choosing to see those as though likened to mirages. I can’t exactly say why the negativity appears to be so encompassing it has seeped into me, permeating my being that much; and 2018 epitomised everything that spelled disaster of the mind, if you will.

Now the question arises: will 2019 be the same?

I cannot guarantee that for sure. Nonetheless, 2018 was an eye-opener as instances of my battles with mental illness have become figurative language for change—better yet, a starter pack for it. There was much ado about lots of things about my existence this year that next year I have to strike out from my list. Eventually (and hopefully), things might get better; and when they do, I know I shall be rested and filled with peace. I have not had an ample dose of placidity ever since I could remember so it is of my fervent longing that the forthcoming year be a new opportunity to live and let go of hurts and everything that complicates my condition. I need a break.

It is understandable that, as a fact, I cannot just shove my illness out the window. There is no such thing as that. And I don’t want to project faux and contrived positivity in a way wherein I have to look forward to niceties for the new year, or a sort of game-changing experience that would raise me up from the quagmires of depression, anxiety, and all others that surround my bipolar disorder. It is a matter of taking fundamental steps, little steps, so as I may eventually find my niche. Moreover, it’s also about being more understanding of my needs at the moment while acknowledging the limitations I have. This, among other things, should I work out first, coupled with the need for organization. I need to organize my thoughts, my life, my faith, my perspectives. To work this out, I might as well go back to journaling again—as simple as that. Also, I need to see my therapist and doctor more often. I should not think yet of grandiose notions about completing myself or placing myself in order else I get frustrated. Little things. I need to commence change from the ground up.

So for 2018, I hope that all’s well ends well. This year might have been slopes and crevices and ravines but nothing is too late. I am still alive, and while I am there is always this chance to turn things around more so for next year. I just need to believe that it shall be so and that I always have the choice whether to sink or swim against the tides.

Choleric-melancholic, blogger, teacher, mental health advocate, book lover.

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