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ruminations on another year gone

(every year around my bday i do my reflections on the past year. this year i’m 33. note: i do not share my actual date of birth for security reasons. its enough for ppl to know that i’m a pisces.)

Its been an interesting year. If my memory serves, at my bday dinner last year it was very shortly after I got neuroleptic malignant syndrome and was generally feeling like garbage and very crazy overall. My memory of that time are really vague. I know I ended up feeling embarrassed and ashamed bc I accidentally chose a very expensive restaurant to eat at and my practice is to treat my friends out to dinner… but I couldn’t afford it so one of my friends bought dinner instead.

In about a month or so past my birthday the Suit would be settled and whatever tenuous hold I still had on my career at that point would be torched and that would be that. I was deeply depressed (which was somewhat overshadowed by my liver and kidneys slow death). I went off all meds for most of the summer. Which also meant that I spent most of the summer lying in bed and doing nothing much at all.

Also around this time (well, okay, april or may) I received my Official Autism Diagnosis(tm). Which yay and all. It cost a lot of fucking money that I didn’t have. But it was worth it in the end bc between that and being depressed and anxious, I’ve now established that I’m permanently disabled with my student loans, so they are now being paid off by the government. I think in a month or so I’ll have already saved enough money by not having to make loan payments to compensate for the costs of the diagnosis. This is perhaps one of my biggest victories from the past year.

Eventually, in the late summer I’d get back onto medication and things would start levelling out for me. Which, great, just in time for me to actually start working again at work and keep my job. Always a positive.

More importantly, I had the epiphany in late August/early September that my ancestors very likely want me to commit myself to a life of philosophy and writing. I decide to listen in the hopes that they’ll stop taking increasingly more drastic measures in order to ‘nudge’ me onto the right path. In so doing, I attend my first reading as a writer and, at long last, tie my IRL identity to this pen-name.

And, my god, since that time about six months ago, I have absolutely been walking the path. You can look at my blog archives and note that since about late august my posting is a lot more frequent. So far, my life has remained fairly stable so I’m guessing this is a good sign that I’m doing as they wish.

I think my biggest victory the past year was surviving. I’m here. I’m alive. I didn’t kill myself. I didn’t die from other (mysterious) causes. I’m def. not ‘better’ but I am stable. Its weird to be on meds that make you functional but you can still tell that the depression and anxiety are there. In the background. Like the anxiety isn’t a surprise given that I don’t expect it to go away. And that panic attacks are just a reality of my life. The depression is a bit more of a surprise given that its been over a year since this episode started and its still here. I think this might actually be my longest depressive episode thus far.

Overall, my biggest insights this year were around dis/ability. Like. I wasn’t suprised by getting an autism dx (given that I obviously thought it could be a thing enough that I spent money to get myself assessed). But it was interesting to learn about the alexythemia. And then learning about aphantasia and biographical memory. I really have a much deeper understanding of how my brain works than I did before.

Plus, this is the year that I really started conceptualizing myself as ‘disabled’ and (now) telling people about this and just generally being open (ie, telling colleagues that I am disabled). As noted elsewhere, I’m still trying to integrate the ‘chronic’ aspect of this all (re: ibs and sleep apnea).

Pretty sure that I’ve almost identified most of the things wrong with me? Hard to tell. And certainly stuff is likely to change. I’m still pretty sure that I don’t have the right psychiatric diagnosis. But… I’m not sure it is worth pursuing further, given my general lack of access to mental healthcare.

Idek what I want to say. So I’ll stop writing. The last year was fucking garbage and probably one of the worst of my entire life (esp the 2015 portion of it). Between various disabilities and whatever I don’t really remember much of anything.

Here’s hoping that 33 isn’t such a garbage year.