New Years means nothing to me. Controversial being Scottish ‘n’ all but there it is. I’m proud of my approach because it’s self-care.
Just about everyone has dates or months or seasons that they find difficult. However, for me, just about every day can be viewed as significant, and not in a good way. Much in the same way that Joey from Friends can make any sentence sound like filthy innuendo, I have the gift of being able to make anything melancholic.
This is a common trait between myself and my mental health friends. Dates seem to resonate strongly with us, causing us distress, with the big hitters like birthdays, Christmas and New Year really putting us through it. It’s not just the date: there’s the build up, the actual day, the recovery. It’s enough to want you hide under a duvet forever. You’ve barely recovered before the next one hits.
New Year is pushed as THE time to reflect on yourself and your life. It seems particularly focused on what you apparently need to improve (you big failure you!), being contented just isn’t allowed, be BETTER, improve!!!!!! In that respect every day is a New Year’s Day for me as someone trying to recover and manage my mental health conditions.
I take each day as new. I have to. Even more than that I often have to split my days up and look at the afternoon or the evening as a new opportunity. If I have a foul depressive morning then I have to look towards my next opportunity to change it, to improve. It might go like this; wake up, feel horrendous, wonder how anything is possible and why bother when everything is futile. I don’t like feeling like that so I need to set a goal for change – just like the masses do at New Year. So my goal might be to have lunch with my family, to make the change, take the step of getting up. By evening of the same day I could be a happy, fully functioning mum again. I definitely believe that resolving to change, setting a realistic goal and then pushing myself is what makes all the difference. I’m not suggesting that a person can positively think their way out of depression by the way – please don’t think I’d ever be so flippant. Obviously having BPD/EUPD means that my moods can change very rapidly – hence the continual resolutions to fit whatever state of flux I find myself in.
Anyway, I can wholeheartedly empathise with the sentiment of New Year, the recognition that you’d like things to be different, and the resolution to do what is needed for change. This is every day with a mental health condition. Without the celebration and parties of course.