This was supposed to be the year the world ended. First back in May, then October, then December… and while that never happened, a lot of things in my own world ended, or changed forever.
I’ve been lucky this year. I’ve lost nearly 75lbs (had lost it, but Xmas put a dent in that number), and regained a bit of my former vitality. I got to spend another year with my dad. A weird thing, since we only get on well in small doses, but he’s been dying as long as I can remember (He had a heart transplant almost 8 years ago), and sick much longer. It’s nice to still have him around.
2012 for me started the way most years had… by spending the last of my money to have a beer with my wife at midnight. (**Spoiler** She still hasn’t left me, by the way, for which someone should probably saint her) We started a walk jog program, to build up some semblance of health and began following (as best we could) a Paleo diet plan.
The cat was also there.
I was off work for most of the first 3 months due to illness. While my symptoms were physical, my illness was not. This year I finally admitted I needed help. I fought it for a long time… saying when I got more work, then higher paying work, everything would be fine, and it was just stress. But that was a lie… and it turned out, everyone knew it but me.
April brought me my first niece. Willow Pearl Reece. She’s almost 9 months old now… and enjoyed her first christmas.
I found steady, good paying, work in May. Planned to move to Toronto for the job, although it took us a few months, and thought everything was going to start an upswing…
In August, I was forced to admit to myself I needed help.
I have panic attacks. Call it anxiety if you wish, but it’s the same thing. I’m also mildly OCD. Combine the two, and when a panic attack kicks in, it can take me days to get myself out of the mental loop that takes me from “Big Strong Stereotype” to “curled in a ball, hiding in the bathroom without a light on, hyperventilating and crying.” From my doctor, I learned that this was exaserbating my depression, which I had always just assumed was how I deserved to feel (I never was a very good person, and Karma, as they say, is a bitch) but apparently my doctor felt I deserved better.
I also learned that cat, unlike dogs, do not necessarily become more cuddly with depressed people.
The act of admitting I needed this help (and then accepting it) changed more than my moods. It made me rethink other longstanding ideas I had held. I’d always tried to be a nice guy, and while yes, I did own a fedora at one point, I would hope to qualify my “niceness” as a non-gender specific thing, and my fedora as part of a halloween costume…
But this was the year I realized being nice wasn’t enough. This blog includes my “Slow Descent into Feminism” post for those interested, but basically, I realized just how harmful society was to *ME* and I am, by definition, a member of the ruling class (Straight, White, Male) and came to understand that the solution was feminism.
At this point in the year, my OCD became a bonus, as I was able to focus, and read a ton of different opinions/works on modern and classical feminism.
I guess I really grew as a person this year. Because that doesn’t sound trite and self-aggrandizing at all….
After moving to toronto for work, work got short and I got cut. Such is life.
Where normally such an event would have caused a downward spiral such as to lead into raging alcoholism, depression, and constant panic… thanks to my new pills, I handled it well.
But it wasn’t just the pills. I had a purpose. A goal. Something I could dedicate my time and energy to that wasn’t freaking out and panic-ing.
I had my writing. I had the work I was doing at the time to help with deputations to city hall. (My help wasn’t really needed, Claire was brilliant. But it felt good to offer some suggestions/thoughts)
I had this blog.
I had good friends, old and new.
I know I’m leaving a lot out. It’s been a busy freaking year.
And the cat is still around.
- Moving to Toronto
- Seeing my blog break 1000 views (if I get 65 more before monday, change that to 2000)
- Having my grandma stay with us for a couple weeks.
- Losing 75lbs
- Meeting too many great people to name. (I’m talking to you, most of twitter)
- Spending a day downtown with Chris and Maddie.
Thanks for making 2012 a banner year for me.