Here I am on the eve of my birthday.

And what a year. It’s hard to believe that it’s already this time again. As Gretchen Rubin says, “the days are long, the years are short,” anvintage-photography-birthday-caked damn is she right.

It’s been a whirlwind. Work has been so busy, and it’s been exciting and fun and draining. It’s so fu
nny how when you let go of something and stop holding on so tightly, suddenly things come to you. For a few years I’d been mulling about wanting to do a specific thing with my work and, although it took a while, after thinking that and not being sure of how I’d make it happen, suddenly opportunities started to crop up. I just decided not to worry about it, and it’s suddenly become a big focus for me.

And what’s been wonderful is that in amongst all this, I’ve been feeling so much better. I feel like I’ve let go of a lot of things, and remarkably, my big healing started when I opened up after Robin Williams’ death. Putting myself out there and seeing how wonderfully people responded, shifted so much for me. And I just noticed (in adding that link), that was almost exactly a year ago.

It’s sad that we all feel we have to hold these things so close to our chests because there’s so much fear of judgement from friends, family, strangers, the workplace. And we all feel we have to pretend to be so strong. This is so damaging – I think to all of us, really. I wish I’d been more open sooner, but then part of the cycle of depression is also that you have to reach this place on your own. No one can tell you when or where or how. Just like making a decision about whether to take medication or seek counselling or whatever you need to do to heal. It’s not like I haven’t felt judged (ironically by people into healing) but this has been my own journey and I’ve done what I’ve needed to do. That’s what counts.

I’ve also learned acceptance. That I may have bad days, really fucking awful days, and that, as Andrew Solomon so wisely expresses, I may be in remission from depression the rest of my life. And that’s okay. Because that’s me and my journey, and it doesn’t make me a failure or less of person. And it also doesn’t mean that one bad day means I’m back down the rabbit hole either. Balance, ne?

And so now I’m ready to tackle a new year on the earth, with a happier, healthier mind. I can’t wait to see what happens next.