Good. Fun. Growth. All.

I am so ready for 2019. It’s going to be a good one, I can sense it. There is already much for me to look forward to.

First things first, my merit raise will go into effect at the beginning of the month. That’s exciting – having a little extra dough to play with. Early on, I will also need to start working on a presentation for a lecture I will be giving in Los Angeles in May. I can admittedly be a bit of an attention whore and public speaking works wonders for my ego. No lie. Both my salary raise and the opportunity to present make me feel so grateful for my job and for the career growth I have experienced since I was hired. It will actually be my four-year anniversary there next week! Crazy.

February is already jam packed with a number of shows that I want to go to: Thrice, Cursive, Poppy, John Maus, and Dropkick Murphys. Going to shows is like church or therapy for me. It just feeds my soul. Hooray for that raise, by the way, because I am ordering tickets for them all as soon as it kicks in (although I already bought my ticket for Poppy months ago).

Oh! also, a sweet little bundle of joy will be arriving in February, followed by another in May, followed by another in June! It seems that all my friends are procreating, and I am extremely happy for them, but also for myself because I see their lives and do not want to live mine that way, hahaha. I am further convinced… Hooray for being and staying childfree! Excuse me while I continue to enjoy sleep, relaxation, my hobbies, and my social life.

Dating? Oy. If I were to tell you the details of my dating life, you would think that it is messy and disastrous. The truth, though? is that it is working for me. It should not come as a surprise, I am all about being unconventional these days, doing my own thing, playing by rules that I have made up. It’s actually quite fun, and my friends who do know the details are all highly entertained. It makes me smile. We shall see where things go… I am going with the flow and making the most of it.

I am also more than ready for presidential campaigns to be announced. Let’s do this.

Y’all – I am happy.

This year started off horribly, but with determination and resilience, I managed to turn it completely around, and ended up having one of the best years of my life. All it took was an adjustment in my attitude. My therapist taught me that in order to control my feelings, I first need to control my thoughts. So that is something I have been working on all year and it has definitely done the trick. I am more in tune with myself and what I need out of life than I have ever been, and that idealist gal I was as a college student is making her way back onto the scene.

Life is good. Life is fun. Life is growth. Life is all.

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Storytelling.

All I can say is that I will have stories to tell. I am not quite ready to tell them here yet, but one day.

Keep life interesting, folks.

December Days.

One week (plus a day) until winter’s official arrival. That’s it. Here we are.

Last year, I am pretty sure I spent December 21st crying uncontrollably. Oh, the darkness, both outdoors and in my head. It was around that date that I started researching potential therapists for myself because I just could not handle things anymore. Signs that I needed therapy? Well, other than the crying… mood swings, inability to sleep, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, feelings of doom, anxiety attacks. The crying, though. I had never cried so much in my life. So many triggers. Seemingly crying over nothing and everything.

As I started to recover from my depression early this year, there was a part of me that figured that once winter returned, I would fall right back into it. I know I wrote about it several times, even during the summer. I have lived with this fear of becoming depressed again ever since I started to recover.

I thought it might happen in October, given the fact that October is the month I lost both Canelo and Miguel.

I was fine.

I thought it might happen in November, given the fact that daylight saving time would end and the sun would start setting significantly earlier than it does in the summer.

I was fine.

Now it’s December. December with all those fucking memories – SO many fucking memories – from childhood, from young adulthood, from the Dustin years, and then the horror of last year.

Thirteen days in – I am fine.

But no, wait. No, no no no no no. I have been better than fine all three months. I am happy, I am enjoying life, I have maintained the most positive outlook, I have cultivated a fantastic social life, I have been kicking ass at work, I have bonded with my family even more so than I already was (thanks in large part to my perfect newborn nephew). I am accepting every invitation, partying, dancing, living it up. I feel great about the gifts I have purchased, the thought I put into them, the fact that I did not spend a fortune. Those who appreciate minimalism will be proud.

I feel gooooood. Really good.

This is actually the most I have enjoyed the holidays in quite a while. It’s not so bad, is it?

It’s simply been easy this time around. This December, this year. I realize that there are still eighteen days left for things to completely fuck all up, but I sincerely believe that will not happen. There is still so much to look forward, more joyful times ahead.

How is this my life? 365 days later – how is this my life?

HAPPY Holidays.

365.

It is so weird.

For months earlier this year, I dreaded this day. It’s the anniversary of the day that pushed me over the edge, into my full-blown depression. I had had episodes of anxiety in the weeks prior, since Miguel passed away, but I was managing. Then this weekend last year happened, and it was bad. Out-of-my-control bad.

The following week was better – I went to the Lady Gaga concert with my best friend Cristina and had an absolutely great time. A couple days after that, I ran a half-marathon, which made me feel strong and powerful. I felt accomplished and seeing all the other runners with their triumphant smiles made me smile as well. That was the last time I genuinely smiled, though, I would say. It was the last time I felt good and optimistic… The day of my half-marathon. A Sunday.

My mind gave me a break and allowed me to feel good for a day. Then, on Tuesday, I was triggered into my first anxiety attack, just a couple hours before I had to go to work (I was working 2pm – 11pm shifts back then). I started shaking, crying, my legs got shaky, and I began to hyperventilate. I crawled into my closet, to hide from the world, from anything that might make things worse, and called my Mom. The last time she had seen me, I was on a high from my race. So this caught her completely off guard.

Aren’t (good) mothers simply amazing? I am sure that hearing me in that state, listening to me describe what I was going through, it must have scared her. I know it must have. But she maintained her calm and talked me through the episode in a soothing way that enabled me to gather myself and make it to work. How the hell did she know how to handle this? How did she know what to say? I was a wreck! How did she pull me out of it in such a way that made me functional at least? Amazing.

I remained gathered enough to make it through each day, but I was not well. People around me started noticing that I was not myself. I was no longer the bright, positive, friendly person that everyone knew. I stopped eating, I was not sleeping well at all, I was crying every day. The things that used to make me happy no longer did. Everything was dull and dreadful. I could not find a silver lining in anything.

Just two weeks after the first anxiety attack, I went in for my first appointment with Nikki and began the process of getting better.

At my second-to-last appointment with her in June, I marveled at the fact that it had been six months since it all began. She asked how I was handling the milestone, and I responded that I was great, but I was not surprised by it. It was spring/summertime, my favorite time of year, after all.

“Ask me again in another six months, when it is fall/wintertime and the anniversary of that shitty time.”

Well, she cannot ask me again. Not unless I go see her, which I still have not done since July.

[sigh]

Here I am. Still doing and feeling great. This time… I am surprised. I suppose I anticipated being triggered again, by the memories and the time change and the colder weather. But I haven’t been. The events of last year, they are in the past. I have learned and grown from them. Toughened up and am a little more hardened, which I needed. I was so vulnerable then. How in the hell did I let myself get there?! Never again! The time change and the weather do not bother me, mainly because I have remained active and social. I have not slowed down one bit, as I tend to usually do this time of year. Nuh uh. Nope! Not this year. This year, I am not letting anything put a stop to the fun and joy.

So… yeah. No signs of depression thus far. No bouts of anxiety, either.

Here’s hoping that this continues until spring returns in all its blossoming, lively glory!

Take good care, friends.

-D