If you’ve been wondering where I’ve gone, my sincerest apologies. It’s been probably two months since my last post, and the reason for it is that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. The holidays (i.e. the whole of December) are always a stressful time for me: there’s all of the anxiety and financial impact of gift shopping, coupled with all of my fears about navigating celebrations with my family (they’re a complicated bunch of people). Both my Mom’s birthday and my birthday are also in December, which means more anxiety ridden gift shopping, now fueled by thoughts of my mortality.

M. also traveled with me to New York in December to meet my family for the second time and to celebrate my birthday with me. While I was ecstatic to have his company, his presence added another level of anxiety into my interactions with my parents, who are great people but have certain ideas about what my partner should and should not be like. This trip also took a lot of emotional energy to organize, since M. and I had no idea if we would be in the same city as one another by the time December rolled around. We’re still uncertain about our future.

Then we bid farewell to 2015 and a new but related set of anxieties rose to the horizon. The start of a new year often represents a world of fresh possibilities, an opportunity to make some positive changes to my life, but it also feeds any guilt or shame or sadness I may have about what I haven’t yet changed. And there is so much I want to change. I want to consistently maintain this blog. I want to be neater, more punctual, more social. I want to have a healthier sleep schedule. I want to finish my sewing projects. I want to save more money. I want a new career. I want to write more. I want M. and I to be happy with one another, in whatever capacity. I want to be happier with myself. These were all my goals for 2015 and the fact that they are the same for 2016 is disheartening because I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. And my lack of forward momentum ends up affecting the people around me. The longer I am mired in confusion and stasis, the less able I am to be a reliable and supportive friend or roommate or daughter or sister or partner. And the guilt from that eats at me too.

So, to reiterate, I have been feeling overwhelmed. And that feeling is feeding a new round of depression. I’m a lot better equipped to handle my depression now, after years of therapy, but it’s always strongest at the beginning, because the temptation to shut everyone out is the strongest then too. And if I give in to that temptation the sadness just keeps growing.

My best bet now is to start tackling the source. I am overwhelmed by all of the things I want to do, but if I focus on one thing at a time, and hold back the guilt I feel about all of the other things waiting for me, I think I can get somewhere.

I just have to find the strength and self-love to keep moving forward.

— S. (a.k.a. AMisplacedPen)


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