Every year on January 1st millions of people around the globe make a solemn promise to themselves that they are going to ‘turn over a new leaf’. We promise ourselves that we are ready to leave behind an undesirable bad habit or behaviour, and for some, we believe we are ready to accomplish a new personal goal in order to change our lives for the better. We have heard them all before; I’m going to start to eat healthy, lose weight and exercise more; I’m going to quit smoking or drink less; I’m going to improve my finances, start a new career, volunteer at my favourite charity or go back to school; I’m going to read more, relax more, take a vacation, study more or pursue a new hobby; I’m going to spend more quality time with my family and friends, less time on social media and improve upon my mental well-being.
We enter into each new year with great intent to follow through on our resolutions, however, statistics show that even with our great intentions, close to 90 percent of people fail to meet their goal, and quickly. Maybe it was because we made too many promises to ourselves, or maybe we just got busy again with life and forgot that we even made these promises to begin with, or maybe we were just too drunk when we came up with the idea in the first place! (LOL)
At one time or another in my life when New Year’s Day rolls around, I have set out to accomplish many of these resolutions and for the most part I quickly become one of the many statistics who could not succeed in their efforts. Nowadays, the thought of making any kind of New Year’s Resolution is met with very crippling emotions. It is a simple reminder that another year has passed and I am still battling to overcome adversity. It is a simple reminder that I am unable to feel triumphant and it is by far a simple reminder that I am still left feeling defeated in my efforts.
There is a great deal of pressure surrounding New Year’s and especially when it comes to resolutions. A new year signifies a fresh start, reflecting on the year that we are leaving behind, a time for a rebirth if you may. It is a time for tradition and rituals like sipping champagne or kissing your loved ones at midnight. It is a time for us to celebrate, a time for reflection, a time to take control and it is a time for great promise. Clearly it is a time for transformation.
Living with depression and anxiety looming over you 365 days in a row, threatening your will to live, your motivation and your purpose can impede greatly on your ability to make that transformation at the start of a New Year. Trust me I have tried. Instead I feel like I am a flying trapeze artist, with no safety net below, no safety harness attached to me, trying to hang on for dear life. Each day I find myself trying to climb up that ladder to the trapeze, stepping on a very narrow platform, grabbing hold of the very cold bar dangling in the air and begin swinging, hoping something will finally catch me before I fall. Each day as I swing from the flying trapeze I aim to soar across to the other side, embracing my future and devoid of the darkness in my past, clearly trying to find my transformation.
As 2018 quickly approaches I will not be making any New Year’s Resolutions this year as it is best to not overwhelm myself with more feelings of failure or disappointment. I will not pressure myself into thinking that the start of a New Year will translate into a new me. I have already lost three New Years to date and I have yet to find that transformation I so desperately need to survive this disease, not without lack of trying. So for now as I enter the New Year, I will try to hang on to that bar, I will try to keep swinging and I will try to learn how to soar.