The one bonus of having such a lengthy public record of myself (almost 7 and a half years, although the quality is dubious at best), is seeing trends in myself and what happened in my life.
Two Januarys ago, I wasn’t happy. It was the culmination of a lot, an autumn of stress, a winter of disappointment. Nothing I hadn’t faced before, but this time it was too much and too overwhelming. I hesitate to call it depression, because that word has such a stigma to it. In the end, I came out of my tough spot no worse for wear and it feels like referring to it as something more serious than it was diminishes the struggles that other people face.
Like I said, in the end, it cleared up, but there were lessons learned. It set into motion the wheels that led to me leaving work later that year and it made me a bit more in tune with my own feelings. Especially around this time of year.
Last year in January, I was just finishing up at the old job and sitting on the couch. I was unemployed, but happy. I called it my retirement. Blissfully unaware of what would happen next. I was waiting for a phone call that would never come, a job opportunity that never bore fruit. It all led to a roller coaster of a year that was 2012.
And so now this year, I’m finding myself taking special care to my mood. Making sure I’m minding my pace. Trying to get exercise in there. Eat well, get sleep. The whole healthy circle.
I haven’t had a drink since the 20th and I’m not planning on having another until the Super Bowl this weekend.It will be two weeks, so nothing huge and not really any sort of statement, nor is it supposed to be, but it is a required pause.
On the morning of the 21st, I woke up and I felt something. That dread, that weight, that hole. I’m not sure if it was the booze from the weekend (NHL started on the Saturday, NFL conference championships were on the Sunday) or if it was something more. That morning, I wrote down that “the hangovers aren’t making me happy”. So I decided to take a bit of a break and made sure to go for a run that night.
A week and a half later, it still feels like I’m staving off the wolves at the door.
It’s not a perfect solution, but at least time I know what’s on the other side of the door.