Monday, December 31

2007--a year in review--

Coming right behind us, in less than two hours, is a New Year. What the New Year in store for us-- we'll know, feel, see, touch and figured out throughout its year. The ending of  December 31st, is what's written on a calendar we follow through as leaving everything behind and start anew. I'm not alone to think about what had happened in the past year and wonders what the new year has for me.

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As of today, I realized that I'm starting to feel what I'm really like. I'm more outgoing and personable. Yesterday at work, it strucked me that I can't believe that I can actually be a people person. For a long time, I used to always just wanted to be left alone, not be around people and satisfied to work by myself. Now, I'm almost the first to struck a conversation-even with a stranger. I guess working in a retail store where I have to give a pleasant customer service helped me in a way. I also think that knowing what my mood disorder is, what triggers it and taking the right amount of medication to help lessen the symptoms all played an important part to the healing of my well-being.

 
I remember being naive and ignorant about people with mental disorders. Yes, I was one of those people who judged them even though the truth was I never even knew what it was like for them [until I stepped into their shoes.] I was also not a "fan" of taking medication when it was first offered to me (year 2000), I refused to take it then and went along with other kind of therapy. Which worked for a while (reading self-help books, meetings with therapist, hypnotist..anything that didn't involve medication.) I soon quit after a few sessions because I was feeling good "already." But soon after my third child was born, I quickly went downhill again, I knew what was happening because I would have crying spells--but I was too embarrassed to go back to my therapist because I thought I should be better. I thought once was enough and that I should've been healed. It took me FOUR years to muster up the strength and get over my self-denial to let my husband know what was going on with me.
 
He was there with me from day one.
 
Looking back, I don't know how on earth he and my two older kids got by with me with all those dark-hellish-depression years coupled with my up and down mood swings. Even so, my inner-transformation couldn't happen overnight. Starting in early spring of 2006-I would go through a turbulent transformation. But this move is the one that would pushed me on my way to a better self......internally.
 
Fast-forward to early 2007- a time where it tested my inner strength and values..all because of friendships. This is when I took myself away from harmful people--it almost cost me my life-but the true love that was really there for me was my family--who held me closer than they ever did and hold on to me as long as they could. My in-laws, my husband, my children, my sister, bestfriend and a very few-numbers  of online friends that I grew to trust overtime through communications by emails, snail mails and personal journals. The thought of these very special people and love ones contributed to my inner self-healing.
 
Thank you so much. I'm still here. :-)
 
Tonight, as I sit here and contemplate about the past and the future, I realized just as much as I've learned  that the New Year is not just about "resolutions." For me, it's about everything. It's about the person that I am. It's about the choices I've made and those that I will make. Sure, I can sit down here and say, "hmmnn..let me write my resolution-like--become a better person.." Well, one of the things I learned in life in 2007 was you can start a "brand new you" anytime of the year. There are life-changing events that we can't control, like death of a love one or birth of a new child. Death is traumatic, specially if it's sudden...one may find him/her self suddenly alone..., while birth of a new baby totally changes one's lifestyle--like buying for more and trying to divide time for everything.
 
Well, for facts, my 2007 year did not started off  "right" as I "almost decided to go."  But, quess it was not my time yet because I was able to see a light at the end of a tunnel. And when I came out on that side, things sure were so much brighter. By midsummer, I got a job at a retail store, where I'm still currently working at, which is surprising because back when--I couldn't hold down a job for more than three months without leaving abruptly. On our way to PA for my father-in-law's  funeral, I got called for another part time job to work over the holidays-so I was working two part-time jobs [at the same mall] working 8-12 hours a day, up to six days a week which is unlikely of me in the past..but I managed through [on top of the holiday frenzy!]
 
Late in 2007 brought a sour note for my husband's family--the passing of his father. But the support of those who knew him and everyone who loved him helped my mother-in-law get through this difficult time. His passing had a tremendous effect on me in that I'm appreciating my husband and my kids more. I feel more forgiving of my past childhood I endured from my "mother dearest," and everyday that I see/look at his picture reminds me of how precious life truly is. I'm reminded to enjoy my life on earth, love my family and cherish my friends because I'm living on a borrowed time.
 
Tonight, I'm celebrating the coming of New Year with Josef and Dana (my other son is spending the new year with his closest friend) and my husband is working the night shift. Tomorrow I'm gonna wake up to a houseful of chores: laundry, sweep and mop, taking the tree down/& holiday decorations outside, trying not to forget that every moment is a snapshot in life you can't take back once it's lost-so I grab all the opportunity I can get to spend time with my family--all these to do in a frame called "time" that has an ending yet infinite.
 
I don't have a written resolution for the coming year. What I have is what I've already learned in 2007, what has become of me, and what I'll make the best of [new year] because of these memories.

21 comments:

mutualaide said...

Gem ... you have learned so much about yourself in the last two years ... and you have shared it so eloquently here.  I wish you the best New Year in 2008 -- so far -- but I know you have it in you to have the best every single day.  

So glad you are here with us -- you are a very special person.  :)
~k

ksquester said...

Gem, Thanks for stopping by my journal. First of all let me say how tough your battle with mental illness is.  I am enormously proud of you. I hope you have a support group in your area. One day the world will accept that this is a brain disorder and YOU didn't cause it.  Keep on writing, you are touching lives in doing so.   Lovingly, Anne........Saturday's Child

toonguykc said...

You are doing good things and thinking good things and making yourself better.  I admire that so much!

xx
Russ

garnett109 said...

happy new year

mpnaz58 said...

Wow...very well said...insightful and honest.  Thats where it begins, when we're honest with ourselves, and don't expect perfection.  You have come such a long way, and it shows in your words and actions.  I know you can live each day to its fullest...and more importantly, you do too!
xoxo ~Myra

wwfbison said...

Congrats to you on doing so well and seeing yourself so clearly.  I wish you all the best in life & 2008.
Lisa

justaname4me2 said...

Gem,

This is the most heartfelt and beautiful entry about the New Year I've read.

I'm so very proud of you, your accomplishments, your fight and your positive changes. 2007 is a year you should always be very proud of. You've come a long way my friend and I can't waite to see what 2008 brings you.

Always,
Rebecca Anne

xxroxymamaxx said...

Wow!!  Awesome entry!  Happy new Year Gem!!  I hope 2008 brings you many blessings.  Love, Shelly

fisherkristina said...

You have such insight and wisdom!  Congrats on learning about mental illness and not to judge.  I must take medication, and keep myself stable.  I also learned I must keep myself away from people who do not help me from being stable.  There is so much I learned in 2007.  And you also!  I know you will have even more growth in 2008.  May it be your best year ever!

Krissy :)
http://journals.aol.com/fisherkristina/SometimesIThink

luddie343 said...

How wondrous to find a balance, isn't it?  Especially in the dark, when you're standing on the edge.  You managed to look deep and without fear. discovered that it's okay to be a likeable, loveable person.  No fears!  God love you, Gem, just for who you are, now, with a heart so sweet.  xoxo CATHY

bgilmore725 said...

In a nutshell, you learned quite a bit about yourself, and your own personal strength in 2007. I think new year resolutions are over-rated and easily broken. They are meaningless without commitment of the heart and will. So much dust waiting for a little breeze to blow them away.  You don't need a new year resolution. The discoveries you made last year will lead you into further discoveries in the year to come. Thanks for visiting my journal today! God Bless you and your family! bea

coelha said...

Great entry--I'm proud of you!  :)  Julie

redsneakz said...

You survived the biggest challenge - admitting that you need help.  I hope you continue to get the help you deserve, and the love that you need.

princesssaurora said...

Happy 2008 to you, Gem!  May it be full of joy, love, health and wealth!!!  And, lots of kids hugs!  lol

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

rdautumnsage said...

I can't think of any other more inspirining sentiments than those you have expressed here to start the New Year! Wonderful said dear friend. You and I have both traveled very similiar roads with depression. We both learned we are not a place to dump our cares, rather someone worth building up inside and out. May the coming year and all the years after bring you peace and love you so richly deserve. (Hugs) Indigo

pharmolo said...

Congratulations on being guest editor's pick!
Valuable entry for anyone with a similar condition.

Guido
http://journals.aol.co.uk/pharmolo/NorthernTrip

shrbrisc said...

This is a fabulous entry thank you for sharing .
hugs
Sherry

monponsett said...

I self medicate with marijuana and a copiuos amount of shopping.

rjet33 said...

I gleaned a lot out of this entry.  Thanks for writing it.  Great entry.

Blessings!~

Susan

helmswondermom said...

This was a great entry.  You certainly have come a long way.  It is good to be able to reflect on our lives and come to learn ourselves.  We all have things from the past that make up who we've become.  
Lori

lurkynat said...

i love you so much Gemmi!
thanks so much for your comments
love,nat