I remember the beginning of 2016 and I remember feeling positive and hopeful. I remember saying that this was the year everything would change for the better. I would get a new and better job. I would finally get back into shape. I would finally get out of my financial stress. The World might actually calm the fuck down. Everything would be better. I was so hopeful two months ago.
I have to say that for the most part, it has been the opposite. There have been the occasional good bit, mostly at the beginning of the year. I did get a new job that was in almost every respect better than the one I left. I enjoy it still. This was the first major positive change I experienced in April 2016. And for a time it was good and continued to be positive.
That was until June, when to my dismay but not a surprise, my country of England and Britain as a majority voted to leave the EU. I voted remain, but we are not on a course of leaving the EU, which could deliver even harder days ahead. We have seen a rise of racism, of bigotry and over stupidity with regards to some minority groups that have sudden received a louder voice. Things that were held sacred before the referendum, now appear to be thrown aside for the sake of expediency such as our independent judiciary that has been attacked on all sides by newspapers and the politicians and members of the public who appear not to understand the importance of their role. This country feels nastier and terribly divided and I am unsure if that is ever going to be healed.
The year when down hill after that. I had had a rather promiscuous period after breaking up with my boyfriend in April, which resulted in me sleeping with 10+ men. This resulted in me receiving two STIs, one of which I was informed of whilst on holiday in Tenerife(very easily sorted and totally clear now. Always learn from your mistakes). Now Tenerife was a glorious holiday, but even that was tinged with hurt. It came in two forms. I did not tan in Tenerife, I simply burnt – very badly on the shoulders. I was also accused of being a paedophile for simply being gay and chatting to a member of a larger family. But apart from those two things, it was an incredible holiday.
Following that holiday, I fell in love very quick and very hard with someone who I had known for a brief period before the holiday and had chatted to over WhatsApp whilst on holiday. We entered and relationship and declared our love for each other within two weeks. We dated pretty hard and strong for a good month and a half or so before he broke it off with the reason that time was an issue. This didn’t hurt me too badly as he gave the signal that we could have a chance again in the future when more time was available. Turns out, not to be the case.
Then we reached November and my second prediction of the year came true – Donald Trump was elected President-elect of the United States of America and unless something stops him (electoral college rebellion or bullet), he will become the President of the United States of America. People say to me of he won’t do what he said or he will be controlled. I have always got two things to say to that. He has a Republican Presidency with a Republican Congress, who owe a lot of their reelection to him. He will be able to do whatever he likes and that terrifies me. The World is going to be a far darker places for the next few years and it hasn’t exactly been all shiny in recent years thanks to the economic crash that we haven’t recovered from and a Tory government that loves to screw over my generation most of all.
This led me to realise that I also suffered from high functioning anxiety and depression. In fact, because of the year, I have had, they are constant companions currently. My mind is a hive of anxious thoughts all whispering their disappointment or their paranoia or their hatred. Whilst the depression has sunk me into a numb pit that threatens to swallow me whole. I feel completely numb in some respects. I have no idea how I feel about new potential romances because my depression cuts off all real feelings or thoughts regarding that. It means that I feel I might be leading someone on because I have no idea if I truly can or want to commit to someone because I am so numb.
I enter the final month of 2016 with December approaching and I feel almost hopeless. I have little reason to be hopeful. And yet even after everything I have a sliver of hope for my own life. I have given myself two options that could change my life next September. The problem is I have to battle my own anxiety and depression to reach them. But I am after all trying to be a stoic, so I best just get on with it and make 2017 a better year than the shit storm that is about to end. The lesson of 2016 is this: Hold on to hope and never let go. When all seems dark, find that sliver of hope that will keep you going no matter what.