The Rollercoaster Year

Like many, 2016 was a rough year. For me in particular, it was probably the year of rollercoasters. The year started off so strong and so full of possibilities, but my mental health kept throwing massive stumbling blocks in my path. With the spring came warning signs, the scariest suicidal and self-harming thoughts I had ever experienced. The summer had the crash. I reached the end of my rope and was so thrown out of whack that I needed a month to recover. The fall topped it all off with regular therapy appointments and a possible new diagnosis. I still haven’t made as much progress as I would like, but I now have some answers as a starting block, and I’ll hopefully be able to move forward with healing and solutions in the new year.

This year was a tiresome one for the world as well. So many deaths, so much fighting, so much hatred across humanity. During the presidential election, my stress got so high that I was physically sick. Especially in these last couple of months, it’s felt like events keep happening and kindling keeps getting added to a fire that could burn down the world. There’s a part of me that’s almost scared to see what could progress in the next year.

Thankfully, in spite of the tough, the worrisome, and the frightening, there has been hope. I’ve accomplished the goal I set for myself a few years ago to see new places and experience new things. I visited two new cities, greatly expanded my professional circles, and further proved to myself that I can fight through difficulties. There has been love and an abundance of smiles. Friendships have strengthened, my family has more than doubled, and my ability to trust and communicate has grown more than I imagined. I’ll be forever grateful that 2016 was the year I said yes. Not only yes to marriage, but yes to accepting help when it was needed, yes to believing people mean what they say, and yes to learning that love can be given freely.

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Fayetteville, AR- December 2016; photo by Cavalier Photography

Feedback

If there’s one thing that I’ve enjoyed about writing on this blog more than anything else, the chances it’s given me to connect with other people is hands down my favorite. I’ve written about how flattered, yet taken aback, I’ve been when it comes to old acquaintances or friends emailing me to let me know they’ve been reading my blog, but it struck me again just how incredible it can be.

Yesterday, I got the pleasure of having lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in over 10 years. She was only back in Texas for a few days visiting family before flying back to LA, so getting to spend a few hours catching up with her was really special. We got onto the topic of my blog and how she had started reading it months ago, and it was just so exciting to get to audibly hear what somebody else thought of it. The thing that struck me most is that she found what I’ve written so far to be relatable and open, which has always been my main goal.

Deep in my soul, I have all these dreams of being able to help people who are struggling with the same types of demons that I’ve fought for years. That isn’t to say that I wish some of my past experiences on anybody, but being a support system for somebody who might not have anyone else has been a goal of mine for a while now. Yes, I do get caught off-guard every time anybody tells me that I’ve been able to inspire them the smallest amount, but it’s also exciting. It means that being as honest as possible on here is accomplishing exactly what I’m hoping for: letting people who might be struggling know that they’re not alone.

I don’t think I can say this enough times, but I like being an open book when it comes to my writing. It’s a freeing experience. I have this tendency to dwell on specific moments for far too long, but when I can write down the thoughts going through my mind, it’s almost as if I can remove myself from the situation a bit and look at the problems more objectively. I think exposing all of the dark moments is the best way for me to truly heal, so I’ll continue down the path of sharing as much as possible for as long as possible.

Cotton plants on the way out to West Texas - October 2014
Cotton plants on the way out to West Texas – October 2014