It is hard to see the future with tears in your eyes.
— Mohawk proverb
Today’s kick-off prompt is a tough one:
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
I’ve been thinking about this all day, and for 2010, I’ve chosen Lost. It may be that my choice is colored by the way I’ve felt for the last few months, and therefore isn’t really representative of my entire 2010, but it’s the word that seems to fit best, so I’m going with it.
I used to say, “I never lose things. I’m always afraid I’m going to lose things, but I never actually lose them.” This year, though, that changed. So far this year, I’ve lost: numerous earrings (one half of about 4 pairs, I would guess), my favorite ring (and if you know me, you know I loved this $20 Target ring with an amethyst stone so, so much), another ring, my cell phone, and the birth certificate I ordered from North Dakota a couple of months ago. I’m sure there are other things, but those are the ones I can name off the top of my head. So there’s lost in the literal sense.
I’ve also been feeling lost in many more less tangible ways, particularly lately.
I have a hip/back problem that often causes me a great deal of pain for which I’ve seen three doctors and two physical therapists since last December, and still no one knows what’s wrong with me or how to treat it. So they’re lost, and so am I.
At work, which I rarely talk about here, I feel like I’m drowning. I feel out of place, even though I’m one of the most senior people at my level. I rarely feel comfortable in the presence of my coworkers. I really should be looking for work, but I hate job-searching, not that there are many jobs to be had. I expect I’ll be able to stay on, and I probably will, if only because it’s become clear to me that I lack ambition. The people around me are moving out and on, they’re publishing articles, they’re teaching, and I . . . well, I envy them, and I’d like to do those things, but the truth is, I’m too lazy to work as hard as they do. I don’t want to spend my free time researching and writing articles, though I know that’s the one thing I have to do if I really ever want to teach. I’ve made several fairly big mistakes lately–nothing irreparable, but all things that could have been avoided if I had paid closer attention. I let work pile up until it absolutely has to get done, and I feel guilty and rushed as a result. My boss and I have been butting heads lately it seems, due, I suspect, largely to my underlying apathy. Monday morning in bed, after 5 days off for Thanksgiving, I rolled over to David and said, with tears in my eyes, “I don’t want to go to work.” I felt like I really, really couldn’t face it.
And that’s another thing about this year, or at least the last several months. I feel increasingly incapable of doing things or caring about things. You’ve seen–or rather, not seen–the results here. I haven’t posted with any semblance of regularity in ages. I don’t write anywhere anymore, not even in my journal. I don’t email my grandmother because I don’t have the patience to type out a long email about my vacation or what else is going on. I’ve gained loads of weight because I couldn’t be bothered to follow a program as simple as Weight Watchers for more than a few days at a time. I make the flimsiest of excuses not to go to the gym or for a walk around the neighborhood. I’m having trouble falling asleep, but if I had my way, I’d sleep most of the day. I’m drifting. Lost.
I went off my antidepressants on July 4. Less than a month later, I was back on them because all the scary feelings and panic of last summer came back. I’m not blind. I know all of the things in the last paragraph are symptoms of depression, and I know I’m not handling it well. But I cannot express how desperate I am not to have to increase my medication.
So: Lost. The year that was.
For 2011, I’m choosing happy. Simple, perhaps, but it’s my goal nonetheless. I want to get mentally healthy so I’m not carrying this burden of sadness and anxiety around with me. My brother and I have started the process to have our (step)mother adopt us, and that will hopefully be completed by the spring. I want to figure out what I’m doing with my career so that I don’t dread going to work. My mother always says, “If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.” I want to spend more time with old friends and find ways to make new ones. More than anything next year, though, I want to marry David in the fall.
So: Happy. The year that will be.