This has not been my favorite year. Other than my cruise vacation in November and the fact that tonight marks 25 years since I stopped drinking, it’s basically sucked and I’m glad it’s over. Not that the flip of a calendar page will make everything OK again…but it sure makes one feel like it will, at least temporarily. There’s nothing like a fresh start.
I have always thought that fresh start should be in the spring, however. It seems to me like ringing in a new year in the winter is counter-productive; after all, January has little to recommend it (except for the fact that I was born in it). The glitz of the holidays is gone, everybody’s broke, and the weather is dreadful. Of course, I don’t like winter anyway, so I’d rather begin the year when everything is made new.
In the meantime, I get to celebrate my sobriety birthday tonight. A quarter-century since I took my last drink. To this day, I accept the fact that I am an alcoholic and not just a problem drinker. Which makes me wonder why it’s so difficult for me to believe that I really have bipolar disorder and will have it for the rest of my life, just like alcoholism. I go back and forth with it, and I wonder what it’s going to take to convince me once and for all: another hospitalization? A suicide attempt? A manic episode which destroys my life?
Lord, I hope not. It’s taken so much work to bring my illness under control. I keep forgetting that it’s the treatment that makes it possible for me to question my diagnosis. There are times when I get discouraged and tired of taking pills, but I don’t dare experiment with them because of the potential for dire consequences. Besides, I don’t want to disappoint Dr. Goodenough, just like I didn’t want to disappoint Dr. Awesomesauce. He’s a good guy and knows a lot about bipolar, and he’s already helped me a great deal. The light box is definitely working to keep me out of depression, and I’m sure the amber glasses I’m going to try this spring will help prevent the annual hypo/manic festivities.
Going back to the original topic, I am really looking forward to watching the ball drop at midnight. Any year in which you lose the love of your life is an ugly one, and between that and saying good-bye to so many bright and talented people—two of whom were amazing mental health advocates—the impact is staggering.
Good riddance to a lousy year, and welcome to 2017. May it be your best year ever!