The New Year

4:51 PM

The new year is a time that's notorious for resolutions, promises, goals, and while I have a few of those this year is more about cleaning. Coming clean and cleaning my act, respectively.

So let's start with coming clean. The people closest to me know that I'm all about talking. I think I've talked a few relationships into the ground to be quite honest. See, for well over 20 years now I've been in therapy and counseling and I've learned to express myself very well. My needs, and wants, and concerns, but for some reason, sharing that with my audience (and the people it can make the biggest difference to) is something that I really struggle with. So here we go.

For more than 10 years now I've been battling anxiety and bipolar disorder; something very few know about me. And why would you? I like to write about and document the things that make me happy not showcase my ugly-cries and personal problems. If you look really hard you'll find a digital paper trail; periods of time where I don't 'gram or Snap for a few days because getting out of bed is enough of a struggle much less putting on a smile and a filter and crafting some smiley, happy, girls-run-the-world caption for all to see. Some days are great and I'm on top of the world, the girl boss everyone knows and loves, and some days are downright awful and I just want to scream, cry, or more often than not sleep. There's something I dislike about putting that type of negativity out there in the world wide web but I'm hoping to change that a little in an attempt to show the reality of day to day life. After all, we can't change the conversation on mental illness if we don't start it, right? 

So that's part one. Part two: in 2016 I began attempting to change my relationship with substances. There were a lot of things that led to this: actions, inactions, people, health, money, and most importantly a hard look at myself and the world around me. We are swimming in a sea of alcohol. Everywhere you turn there's an ad, a bar, a cocktail menu, a meme, a slogan tee, and glamorized phrases like "step aside water, this is a job for wine," and "rose all day." Now it all sounds harmless but the constant presence, the perpetual downplaying of the effects and reality of alcohol have seriously tainted my thinking over the years. It's hard to see anything wrong with something that's constantly normalized in our society as a perfectly acceptable way of life.  

I grew up with an alcoholic father, among other family members who struggled with drug and alcohol addictions. I've seen more than one person hit rock bottom, the ugliness it creates in families and homes, the misery it causes. So when I've gone out and drank excessively and wake up feeling like utter shit, I know there's no plus side or positive side to that-- ever. So I have to keep asking myself why finishing a bottle of prosecco on the couch on my day off is something I want to do. Why I find it so damn hard to resist the charm of an open bar. And why I can't seem to shake the feeling that cutting back and cleaning up my act isn't going to be as easy it as it seems...

But putting it out there, being honest, making an effort; that's where I'm starting and I'm hoping this starts an honest conversation between us, with my readers, and within each of you.

Happy New Year

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