Looking At Yourself – A Way To Grow

Looking back on the year just gone can be quite daunting. However, we all have to measure the amount of growth as a human we have and are becoming. Changes will happen whether we like it or not, so it is most important for us to adapt and learn from those changes, otherwise we may be left behind. 

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Goodbye 2017

As another year is set to pass again, it is that time where I look back and assess if it was better than the year before. When I speak of “better,” I don’t automatically think richer, poorer, more successful, better relationships. I mean I do, but I more so measure how I have handled situations, if I have grown as a human, a man, one of the seven billion people on this earth. Having anxiety and depression sometimes does not let you think of these to compare of. However, years of living with what I still call the “Burden,” I have had to learn to. So lets see how I felt I measured up from 2016 to 2017.

My Depression

Last year was a breakthrough year. Became more confident, spoke more about my feelings especially when I was down. Forced myself to do fun things, (it’s easier for you to force yourself, rather someone nag at you). I felt the most happiest I had for a long time. This year did not improve or stay that way.

I am still happier than previous years, I am still confident. I feel with not having the negative influences around helps with that confidence. Although, when I get into these depressed states I have stopped talking like I did last year. I tend to curl up into my ball and spend the weekend in bed. Then I tend to get more depressed because Tony feels its him as I am not talking. Then once I am out of it we have to go through “The Talk”. The talk where he asks me “what wrong? You spoked to me like crap the whole time, talk it out, you know it is better to”. In these talks over the last few months, I frustratingly say “I don’t know, I would tell you if I did”. Because I don’t know, we would usually bring up other things in our relationship. This is how insecure I can make him feel when I am like this.

You see each and every time I was depressed over the years, there was a thought, a memory which had triggered it, and I knew the answer. This year the few times I acted like a little rat and distanced myself, there is actually no reason. I lay there calling out to my empty brain for answers.  “HELLO BRAIN, CAN YOU HELP ME AND TELL ME WHY I FEEL THIS WAY!!?” Apart from hearing the echo of my question there is not a squeak that replies. This causes strain for myself and to mine and Tony’s relationship. It definitely isn’t fair for him. If only he believe’s at the time when I answer “I don’t know”. I have never had trouble saying when there is a problem with myself, tony or our relationship, I am more than happy to discuss these issues. So apart from the not talking, my depression is same. However, I will be going exploring into the emptiness that refuses to speak back at those times.

My Anxiety

Well, my anxiety has always had a full tank of gas, talking to people, especially someone who I have just met. When at dinner with Tony’s family and his gia gia tells me I am eating way too much in a way she thinks I wouldn’t get what she means. When I am around a lot of people, especially shopping venues. Public transport, paying the petrol man, you get it, the list goes on. Last year everything would boil up and I was having a massive attack at least once a month. Although nothing has changed with my anxiety this year I have had three maximum attacks.

You know the attacks I am talking about. Where it feels like you’re under the sea way down where you start to suffocate and drown. Then oddly, big black walls start coming in around you. These walls come in closer and closer until they squeeze every little bit of life from you. All while this is happening, you forgot you are not breathing because you are too worried the walls are going to squish you as everything you now see it pitch black. The walls have paralysed you so you can’t move or stretch to try a new way to get air in. All you here is massive ringing in your ears, as if they exploded from being deep down in the sea. As it slows down, it literally feels as though someone has put a hand in the water to pull you out. You finally get a breath in, like they just did CPR, and when you finally start breathing on your own, the breaths sound as though you just ran 50 kilometres and every muscle in your body is on fire, giving you punishment for just running that distance. You then just lay on the sand, reluctant to move incase you start drawing again. Then the rest of the day is ruined from exhaustion from an attack that happened.

So yeah, I am happy that the attacks have not been as often as last year. I am over the moon the anxiety does not stop me from what I am doing or who I am talking to. Sure, I have people telling me to slow down when talking, but that is nothing compared to being faced the sea and four black walls.

My Relationship

Well, we are still together haha. Tony and I have sure been through a lot as a couple and individually this past year. We maintain having a social life outside of our relationship as we both think that is very important. Have we argued any different from last year? No. Do we eventually solve those arguments? Yes. Have we loved any different than last year? No, however this year in particular when I see him put effort into the things he loves, or even things he dreads, my heart smiles as this is Tony growing. Nothing has changed how I feel about his family, I love them to bits. Even gia gia who tells me I’m eating too much. Tony has met my mum but he gets to meet the rest of my family at Christmas time when we go to Scone NSW. No matter what, I am very blessed to have Tony in my life. Having someone who has seen me at my worse and is still by my side, deserves a pat on the back and an all his wishes and dreams to come true. I really feel with all ups and downs our relationship has become stronger than last year.

Social Life

There are some amazing people I have met this year. People who get me, understand me, tell me how it is without judgement. I also return all those and more. I don’t go out and party very often anymore, and the people I have found, love doing what I love. Dinner parties, Saturday breakfasts, movie nights, longs talks without any bias oppressions. I also love the fact they we allow each other to have different opinions. If the conversation gets a little heated, we understand it’s just a debate, not a forcing of changing minds and beliefs. My social life has changed dramatically in this last year. The only thing is, I would like Tony and I to meet mutual friends. Of course all our friends are our friends, but we have never met anyone together at the same time and became friends with them. There is a goal for next year.

Money

Once broke always broke, but hey my electricity is running, the rents getting paid, our bellies are full. Even once in a while we treat ourselves out for a nice meal and a date night. This year I did start a savings account which hasn’t been touched and can’t be touched just yet….…

Work

I was promoted from a Disability Support Worker, to a Disability Coordinator, and what a ride it has been so far. Everyone is very supportive. Even made some friends which I spoke about above. The change of pace of not working till 7pm, 8 pm, or even midnight has been good. However the pace from 9-5 is fast and my time management skills really got a shake up. I love it where I am right now I couldn’t ask for more working at a great organisation, within an out of this world team.

So How Has This Made Me Grow As a Human.

Dealing with people with complex needs everyday since starting my journey in my career four years ago, has allowed my empathy to be more vibrant and in tune. Especially this year, I have worked hard and seen the hard work our team put in just to make one persons life that little easier. The respect and trust you are given from these people has validated my values and beliefs are strong. Knowing someone else has complete different ways of seeing life, has allowed me to acknowledge the amount of wisdom, suffering, selfless acts of kindness, understanding, mutual respect that two very different people can have for each other. I feel I have also grown in the way of respecting and loving myself more, I know a lot of these would have been my thoughts last year, however, love, kindness, friendships, family, and the way I deal with things have brought all these thoughts back for me to measure.

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New years resolution

I don’t normally set a resolution for the new year, I would always let myself down. However I am going to set one right now.

My new years resolution for 2018 is to keep doing what I am doing. I have noticed the more you pay attention to the important things in life, like family, friends, love and kindness, everything will come to you gradually and modestly.

Let me know if you measure your growth and if you have any new years resolutions by commenting below. 

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I have been a Community Support Worker for the last four years. I worked in the Mental Health Sector and now currently working with people who have Aquired Brain Injuries in Disabilty. I studied to be a worker in the community, as I myself haven't had the best life. (Although now my life is much better). So I decided to attempt to write my real life story of trauma and abuse, drugs and alcohol, love and loss. All which led to depression and anxiety. Apart from my story I plan to write about everyday important issue that co-inside with my blog.

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