Many people view the start of a new year as the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. I find myself reflecting on what I’ve learned from the previous year and what goals I want to set for 2018.
Last year was a roller coaster for me. When it started I found myself slipping into depression and convincing myself that I could simply push through it, even though I knew better as I had faced it before. I had a breakthrough, or rather, break down on my birthday in March when I realized I couldn’t continue on the way I had for a few months already. I found myself constantly feeling anxious, frustrated and irritable. I was isolating myself but was tired of feeling alone. I was at a job that left me feeling completely uninspired and unfulfilled. I felt like I was aimlessly walking through my life. It was affecting me as a mother and it was affecting my marriage. I actually had brief moments of wanting to run away and never look back. I had never felt this low, and it scared me.
My break down was my wake up call. I made appointments to see a therapist and my family doctor. I can still vividly recall that moment in my doctor’s office when I broke down and tearfully said to her “I need help.” I explained to her how lost I felt and the worry I had that therapy would not be enough like it had been before. She agreed and together we came up with a plan we both felt I could uphold: therapy, medication, self-care and regular follow-up visits with her to ensure my improvement. I am happy to say these have been working and for two important reasons — 1. My sheer determination to break through my depression and 2. The love and support of family and friends.
This journey I began last spring to battle depression lit a fire in me. For years I didn’t have enough courage to take the plunge and really fight to get a job I loved; a job where I could write and let my creativity flow; a job that would finally make me happy to wake up and start my workday. It became my mission to make this happen. I worked hard on my blog but focused more on the quality of the writing rather than the quantity. I tried to expand my network, looked into freelancing and even began to consider quitting my job to perhaps freelance write full time. It would have been a bit of a risky move financially for my family, but my husband fully supported me and we even discussed a plan we could put in motion to make things work. I landed my first freelance writing piece and although it wasn’t much money it made me realize if I wanted to truly achieve my dream I was going to have to take risks and I began preparing myself for quitting my job.
It’s funny how things work sometimes. What I thought was going to be an occasional freelance gig, that would hopefully lead to more freelance work, turned into an opportunity I waited for more than 15 years and it all happened one afternoon on my lunch break. One simple phone call that I thought was to discuss my freelance work turned out to be a full time a job offer. Accepting that job has been a life changer for me. I am doing what makes me happy and writing every day! I finally know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and actually be excited to work. I have the pleasure of working with not just an amazing team but also a group of fellow mom’s who constantly inspire and challenge me.
It’s amazing how much can change in a year. Last year at this time I didn’t think I was strong enough to achieve my goals, but with a lot of determination and hard work, I proved myself wrong. I’ve learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit for and I have also accepted that there is always room for growth. In one year my life has changed for the better, however, the knowledge I have gained has helped me discover that the path to living a better life is one that will require ongoing self-care and the courage to continue to pick myself up when I fall.
I’m happy to be starting 2018 feeling more confident about where my life can take me. I feel like a new me. I’m not leaving the old me behind but rather I’m taking her along for the journey. Besides, I can’t start this new chapter without her.