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

I write to…

Even without meaning to, there are always reasons behind every action that we make. We might not be aware of them at the time, and sometimes it takes a lot of reflection to decipher our own mind’s intentions, but they’re there if you dwell on them long enough. Thinking about why I’m so passionate about writing and why I want to make it my life lead to a few reasons why I spend so much time holed up with a pen, a journal, my computer, and some music; why I write.

I write to make sense. My thoughts are so often jumbled and disorganized and don’t make a single drop of sense. However, when I get those thoughts and emotions out on paper, everything makes a little more sense. When I can re-read my thoughts, I can find motives and reasons behind actions.

I write to remember. I make the same mistakes over and over and over again. I feel like I’ve fallen in love with the same person three different times, but writing down all the experiences the last time around has helped me keep a more practical view. My memory hasn’t been the same after a hit to the head several years ago, and writing keeps me on track.

I write to inspire. I’m not good at a lot of things. In fact, I’m pretty terrible at most things. The one thing I’m good at is writing to be relatable. In everything I write, I want people that might be struggling to know that they aren’t alone. I want people to feel like they can conquer their demons because I’m doing an okay job at that through writing.

I write for therapy. I write because putting my hurt into words helps to remove myself from a bit of the pain. There’s something wonderful in the healing process of looking back to when the pain was fresh and seeing how you’ve made it through the worst parts.

I write because I have to. I write because if I don’t, I get incredibly irritable and cranky. I get frustrated and rude. I get so emotional, but when I finally get that pen and paper back out, the bad feelings just flood out of me and I feel peace and contentment again.

I write to keep myself sane.

A collection of journals, stories, and poems
A collection of journals, stories, and poems

listening to: Muse, Father John Misty