Thursday, January 02, 2014

Goodbye, 2013, Goodbye

This is the meme Jaquandor does every year (here are his answers for this year). Last year, I did it for the first time. So here are my answers for this year. I meant to have this up a few days ago, but, well, I'm sick and depressed and it's not like I'm on a real deadline.

Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I never made New Years' resolutions ever, and then I did last year, and I basically blew them all, so no more resolutions for me. I don't have the personality for it. I understand my schema and how my anxiety flows out of it a lot more this year, and having to look at a list like that and feel like I failed at everything is just not good for me. It's hard to figure out, honestly; sometimes I feel like there's some thing, some block, some obstacle that I just can't can't around, but I also don't know how to recognize it. I have this weird feeling of always losing in a race I don't actually know how to run. I want to just do things every day to make myself healthier and calmer, but I get discouraged so easily and always end up back at the starting line, and I can't really stand it anymore. I don't have the energy to stand it today. Or this week, but especially today.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister. My first niece was born in Australia two weeks ago.

Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thankfully. First year in a while. I did experience a major rejection this year that might as well have been the same thing.

What countries did you visit?

Just the past, all too frequently.

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

My answer from last year was: "Money, security, a more stable job, insurance, self-confidence, more consistency in my depression cycle, less anxiety, better health, and a full night of sleep. Oh, and the Star Wars movies on Blu-Ray."

This year, I do at least have the insurance problem solved, since I qualified for care under the ACA's Medicaid expansion. So I'll be able to go to the doctor more regularly, which means one anxiety has been eliminated. And I also got the Star Wars movies on Blu-Ray as a Christmas gift from my Dad.

What I'd really like to have is just more patience with myself.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Acting as best man at my best friend Carl's wedding. I was terrified of doing it, but overcoming that fear and nervousness and seriously fighting my schema of worthlessness was quite a big achievement for me. That was amazing.

Also getting mental help. Therapy treatment has made a lot of difference in my life. It's still not consistent. I can't always overcome things or get past them. With this illness and my usual Christmas guilt has come a new round of depression. It's actually been some time since I felt depressed, but the depression crossed with the anxiety crossed with the restlessness from illness crossed with other stuff happening here (my wife is sick, my bunny is sick and I have to force-feed her, which is nerve-wracking) makes me want to just take a nap and never wake up. Every time I shut my eyes to sleep lately I hope I won't have to wake up again. That's dark, I know, but it's honestly where I'm at right now. I'm so tired of myself. Everything here is broken, especially me, and it's like I can't do anything about it.

Depression's... depression's not fun. I don't even have the energy to put a good face on it and act like I feel better than I do.

On a smaller note, I made cupcakes for the first time this year. Baking has gone from a source of anxiety to something fascinating that I'm getting confident about. I used to fret over it so much you'd think I was defusing a bomb. Now I just love doing it. I have to set myself a limit on how much I bake so I don't always have cake, cookies, pies, etc. in the house.

What was your biggest failure?

I don't have the best attitude about myself.

What was the best thing you bought?

New pants. I figured out this summer that part of the reason I was so uncomfortable all the time is that I was wearing the wrong size pants. I had it buried deep inside of me that buying bigger pants was giving myself "permission" to be fat, especially after all the weight I gained on Lexapro. Honestly, people, the size I was wearing was about 12 sizes too small. I'm not making that up. This year I at least finally stopped fooling myself that I was a temporarily embarrassed thin person. Fuck it: I'm fat. In fact, I've been so down and depressed and not in control lately that I'm back up to 448. (My all time high was 450, so there you go.) That brings whole new self-esteem issues, but I guess accepting it is probably the first step to dealing with it honestly and effectively. So, the new pants literally changed my life. I am, in all honestly, almost never comfortable or relaxed, so just that little bit of comfort helps.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My wife, certainly. If this is hard for you to read, just imagine how hard it is for her to have to live with it. I know there are days when she leaves for work that she doesn't know if she's going to come home to find me alive. Can you imagine the stress of that? Just the fact that she even comes home is amazing to me. After all these years, it's still very, very hard for me to wrap my head around, because the schema I operate from tells me constantly that I'm worthless, that no one can ever like or love me, and that I don't deserve any rest, happiness or comfort. (Which, actually, is another reason why it's so hard for me to lose weight--my subconscious reacts poorly when I do healthy things for myself, because I "know" deep down inside that I don't deserve to be healthy.) (That's also what made me so afraid of being Carl's best man, besides my agoraphobia--because I react with fear when something actually challenges my schema of worthlessness.)

I think the fact that my wife stays with me is kind of miraculous. It's hard to process that she does it because she loves me, because it's so easy for my subconscious to tell me that she's just stuck with me now or something like that.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Mine.

Where did most of your money go?

Nowhere; you have to have money in order for it to go somewhere. My wife makes money. I can't work.

What did you get really excited about?

Having Medicaid. Getting into my state therapy center on a hardship program so I didn't have to pay for it, because otherwise I couldn't afford it financially. Reading the new Jim Henson biography. FF. Hannibal. Having my favorite pizza for Thanksgiving and not vomiting it up, like I did last year (which was my schema, again, telling me I didn't deserve to have something). Seeing Thor and Star Trek and Iron Man. Still excited about seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug after I'm not sick anymore. Reading old Marvel comics. The Breaking Bad finale.

What song will always remind you of 2013?

"Get Lucky" by Daft Punk. My wife plays it all the time!

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

It varies. Today, I'm very, very depressed and just want to go to sleep and regenerate into a dog or something happier. When I get control of myself, I think I'm happier than last year. The thing is, at this time of year, I'm always caught up in a dark depression cycle, and being sick is making me too tired to fight it.

Thinner or fatter?

Fatter. I'm thinking about taking a look at the YMCA and seeing what kind of programs they have for low income people, because I really need a place I can go and walk or swim all year, because I can't stand swimming here anymore because of the college kid crowd and I can't always bring myself to take control of my energy and work out like I need to.

Richer or poorer?

We're in a steady state of being poor for the last few years.

What do you wish you'd done more of?

All the same as last year: exercising, cooking, meditating. Been more fair with myself.

What do you wish you'd done less of?

Ignored more things that don't matter in the long run. Been less open to negative energy. I wish I hadn't gotten derailed so badly by trying anti-anxiety drugs that just made my blood pressure worse. I also wish I didn't take things so personally. And I wish I didn't spend so much time on Tumblr.

How did you spend Christmas?

Feeling guilty for hours, then anxious, then sick, and then depressed. And then that, for a week.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

I've been in love for years.

How many one-night stands?

I had a one-night stand in a stress dream a few months ago, and it went terribly. I'm good without them.

What was your favorite TV program?

Oh, I said that a few days ago on my pop culture list. Hey, Dance Moms came back last night, so that was pretty great. I already miss Asia! Holy shit, she was talented!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I just hate myself, but I hate myself every year.

What was the best book you read?

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones. Super Boys by Brad Ricca. Pretty much everything I read that's not 50 Shades of Grey.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Janelle Monae.

What did you want and get?

Therapy. Star Wars on Blu-Ray.

What did you want and not get?

Inner peace. Yet.

What were your favorite films of this year?

As usual, I already did that list. Gravity was amazing.

What did you do on your birthday?

I remember I had therapy that day, which surprised my therapist. We went out for breakfast, which is one of my favorite things in the world. Watched some Francois Truffaut movies.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Meh, this question. I've been a jeans and tee shirts guy my whole life.

What kept you sane?

After looking at my answers so far, I honestly don't know. My wife. My bunny. Therapy. Meditating. Reading. Really good cups of coffee. Cutting down on sugar.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Amy Adams, obvs. And Kristen Bell, always!

What political issue stirred you the most?

The government shutdown. You don't take your ball and go home when you don't get your way. I'm sick of how this country pretends to govern itself. Kindergartners are more rational and respectful, and far easier to deal with. Stop trying to tell me I don't deserve access to health care simply because I wasn't born wealthy. You don't know what my problems are. Stop pretending you care to.

Who did you miss?

Thumper. Ellen. As ever.

Who was the best new person you met?

Carl's wonderful wife Kate.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

Don't pretend to be an authority on the lives of others; you don't know what they've been through.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now." Crosby, Stills & Nash. What's that saying? Only a fool trips on what's behind them. Start looking ahead. You're depressed today, but you know it goes away.

Onward, 2014.

1 comment:

New York Erratic said...

Tip for 2014:

Baking is an awesome, cheap, relaxing hobby (as you know.)

Go places and give away your baked goodies. It is a shockingly easy way to both avoid eating them and to make friends. (My only regret is that I didn't learn this until I was 30!)