In 2014 my anxiety about life became enough for me to go to the doctors and be booked on to a course of CBT. One of the things I learnt about myself is that I tend to sabotage myself using “All or Nothing Thinking”. For example, “I can’t show restraint so I’m going to eat nothing.” Or in this case, “I find some parts of Facebook problematic and difficult so I’m going to delete my account.”
When asked about not being on Facebook I’ve been telling people that it has been bad for my social life but good for my mental health. For most of the last ten months I have been super happy with this trade off, but in the last few weeks not being on Facebook has started to frustrate me. I’ve wanted to group message friends, take part in discussions that happen in a Facebook group, or stay in touch with someone that’s moving away. Of course, there are other ways of doing these things. But Facebook is the easiest. And it’s got to the point that the only reason I am not on Facebook is because I made a big show about deleting my account and I’m embarrassed about telling people that I’ve changed my mind.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a collector of things. I come home with pockets full of pebbles, shells and beer bottles. I have flowers and leaves pressed between pages of books, and scrapbooks full of tickets, cards and photographs. I love to buy postcards of places I’ve been.
Every year, as a family, we went on holiday to Greece. Every year, I bought a little porcelin house as a souvenir. They line up in my childhood bedroom: fifteen years of different islands and happy memories.
Image from https://unsplash.com/
I am going to enter 2016 with the idea that I have everything I need to be happy – relationships, possessions, job, health – and my resolution will be to enjoy them rather than to improve or acquire.
My word for 2016 will be peace. I’m going to focus on staying still. This seems counter intuitive to me too – how can there be growth without movement? But since wondering what happens at the end of the list, I’ve started to think that this is something I really need to explore.
I’ve always been good at striving towards something, but not very good at enjoying it when I get there. 2016 is going to be a “let’s enjoy what I’ve got here” kind of year.
I will still obviously do things. But I’ll do things for the sake of doing them, for fun, rather than for self-improvement or to get me somewhere I think I will enjoy more. I’ve never approached life like this before. I’m pretty excited about trying it.
Basically, it’s going to be the year of being myself, and of being AWESOME.
As things are winding down for Christmas I’ve been sorting out things on my computer, ready to start work again in January with organised files. One of the things that needed tackling was my bookmarks which was full of every single webpage, blog post or article that I thought was interesting in 2015: so quite a lot.
When I read something that makes me stop and think, I bookmark it, thinking that soon I will email it to somebody or write about it on here. Usually, I do neither of these things. But rather than see my digital hoarding tendencies go to waste, I thought I would post the best of those things here.
In no particular order…
As 2015 is almost over, I thought I would have a look back over some of the things that I’ve done.
I recommend that you do this actually, because when I first sat down with a pen and paper (I do my best thinking unplugged) to write a list I didn’t think I had done that much. But I discovered that not only had I done more things than I thought I had, a lot of them are really awesome things that I’m proud of.
How many times have you started something or somewhere new and told yourself “This is going to be different”?
I went to university determined to reinvent myself but found myself feeling out of place downing shots in nightclubs, desperately lonely and wondering why.
I switched to more interesting jobs, only to slip back into the same patterns of procrastination.
I started new relationships promising myself that this time I will be the perfect girlfriend, that I won’t let the crazy show. Only to find myself binge eating cookies whilst crying my eyes out.
Despite this, part of me believed that coaching was going to “fix” me. That now I know that most of my suffering is caused by my own thoughts, I’ll be able to coach myself out of having a crisis. I’ll be completely in control all of the time.
How wrong I was
I seem to have accidentally stolen a scarf, having driven home wearing one that my mum lent me to keep warm while I was visiting at the weekend.
I don’t regret doing this as much as I should because a) I love it and b) it led to me learning something new this week that I’d like to share with you.
In the run up to our elopement, when we were planning and dreaming and talking excitedly into the night, I assumed I would a post about it after it has happened.
But it’s now been over a week since we got married and I still have no desire to write about it. Although I think I may have figured out why.
I wrote a piece for xojane.com about how I stayed in an awful relationship because I thought that was all I deserved. You can read the whole thing here.
If you feel like you’ve read this before, it’s because it originally featured on my old blog. I’m gradually moving my most popular and commented on posts over to this site.
So here’s a story about a time when my car didn’t start.