For those of you who aren’t aware of the back-story of my process, 2017 was an exhausting year that marked the end of a difficult transition period for me. I ended 2017 in a state of depression, anxiety and exhaustion. [I summarise some of these difficulties in this post.]
So, when 2018 arose, I had very little energy left.
I had a few thoughts which guided me towards some themes: mostly around recovery, reconnection, sharing experiences, physical health and recovering my mental wellness.
And it was only when a paragraph leapt out at me from an e-book that the theme became clear.
“I trust my next breath will keep coming. I trust the sun will rise tomorrow.”
– ( The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte [Affiliate Link] )
How has the year gone?
I haven’t set any specific measurements for this year, but I’ve dropped my medication dose, completed a round of therapy, my husband reports I’m less mopey, and I feel actually happy again. I hadn’t fully realised the depths of my lows until I came out of them. In hindsight, I hadn’t been “right” for a few years, but I hadn’t fully understood just how not-me I was.
While I still have my darker days, and I accept that the anxiety, depression and compulsive tendencies will likely remain a part of my core self for life, I’m able to live my life without a cloud darkening everything around me. I am content with my eccentricities and enjoying the idea that the medicine allows the “me-underneath” to shine.
And when I have those lower moments, there’s just this internal shift as I close my eyes, take a single slow breath, and mentally tell myself to “trust.”
I’m not trusting any specific thing or applying it to any situation, and I am not someone who believes everything happens for a reason. It just doesn’t add up for me.
But I can trust that I am a natural being and nature has existed for millennia and if my cat follows his instincts and responds to the environment… if my plants lean toward the sun… then I can trust that whatever is going on for me, I can trust it will move, it will end, it will change. And I will still be standing once it passes.
So trusting, this year, has not been a big, planned shift with clear measurements, but the one measurement I do have is in my free Daylio app.
Looking at Autumn 2017 and Autumn 2018, I’ve gone from ~11 days a month being low in mood or overly anxious to 2 or 3 days a month. I’ve essentially dropped from 33% of the month being Hell to just 9% being “not good.” [In 2018 I bought the full version which opens up more mood options, but the colours are still the same -> five colours marking the 5 states of my joy. The extra options just give me more space to explain why I was that colour.]
And of the “low” ratings, we had 85 in the “meh/low/awful” in 2017. This year so far? 37 in those 3 categories. Plus, I’ve not had a total of 8 weeks off sick from work this year: progress is always good to see. [Also, I only click ‘work’ if work impacted my mood/mental health; I do work more days than are clicked!] <3
The reason I talk about this here is because this year I may have had a lower morning ‘score’, but being able to pause, to check-in with myself and remind myself to trust does seem to have turned around my moods by the evening when I complete my day’s rating.
One of my concerns with the Word of the Year is that picking a ‘challenging’ word might bring more challenges (even just in my perception) and I still want to just to sail through the next year, pretty please life.
So rather than pick active words like Strength or Create, I might move on with the Trust theme and think about something like Flow or Ripples – something soft and gentle suggesting quiet, calm movement. I don’t want to sit still, to ground myself, I want to keep progressing. But I want to do so without a big upheaval this year.
There’s still time to ponder. To trust that the word will make itself known in a gentle manner.