At Life’s Four-Way Stop

It’s that time again, it’s the end of the year. It’s time for me to ask myself if I’m better off than I was one year ago. Two years ago I said yes, last year I wasn’t sure. This year I don’t think I am. I have way too many questions, not enough answers, and (what I see as) a lack of any real forward movement in my life.

With that said, there is one area of my life where I think I made drastic improvement, and that is being able to identify and deal with my depression and anxieties. However, I believe it’s mostly because I have fallen into a pretty bad depression and I have more anxieties. So, basically there’s more to work with there.

Overall, 2014 was a challenging year for me. I started off the year unemployed and not knowing if I was going to be collecting unemployment. A blizzard in early January made the wait to find out even longer as the Unemployment offices were shut down due to a state of emergency. To make a long story short, I did end up collecting, but I also was employed by the end of January. There’s good news and bad news about my employment. The good news is that I actually do like my job. The bad news is that my salary is the lowest it’s been since the late 1990s. It’s a weird trade off for me, but it’s one I was willing to do in 2014.

My low salary has not helped my stress levels though. While I remained debt free in 2014 and have not used a credit card in almost five years, I am just getting by. I sometimes joked that I work just to be able to afford enough gas in my car to get me to the supermarket to buy whatever food I can afford, with as many coupons as possible. I don’t dislike eating Ramen noodles, but I also know it’s not exactly healthy, but it’s sometimes all I can afford.

I don’t know if I can say that my social life is better off than it was. While I KNOW that I have more legitimate friends than I’ve had before, I’ve also never felt lonelier than I do now. This is a subject I’ll probably get into in more detail in a future post, but my inability to connect, or reconnect, with certain people has taken its toll on me. I can most assuredly tell you that if I were to leave my house more often or hang out with people more often, it would not necessarily help me. My social anxieties have also become heightened. I’ve gone from being slightly uncomfortable in social settings to almost outright dreading them.

My depression levels have risen to such heights…
wait, is that possible?
My depression levels have sunk to such depths that my motivation to do almost anything is not there. I barely leave my house on weekends. On some recent weekends, I’ve barely left my bed. I will sit in my room watching clips of things on YouTube because I don’t have the attention span for anything beyond 4 minutes.

I wanted to read one book per month in 2014. I ended up reading ONE book. However, does it really count since I started it in late 2013?

One aspect of 2014 that I am truly proud of is my running in five 5k races. All five of them were better times than the races I had run in previous years. I went into detail about my feelings on these races in a previous entry. I will likely run more races in 2015, but as of now, I don’t know when.

I did have some specific fitness goals for 2014. One of which was met ever so briefly. My default weight seems to be about 205 – 210 pounds. It seems that getting under that range is not too easy for me. Surpassing that range is a lot less difficult than it used to be. But, I wanted to be under 200 in 2014. I started the year at 204. There was a point in 2014 where I dropped to around 195 pounds. I would have liked to have been proud of that accomplishment, but it was immediately after something upset me and eating and/or holding food in was slightly difficult. I felt my depression robbed me of being proud of my accomplishment. And I’m back up to around 210 pounds.

The other specific fitness goal I had for 2014 was to be able to successfully pull off a Black Crow pose in DDP Yoga. Well, I’m still not even close. However, I did not try often. I only did the routines that it’s featured in a few times. I’ve more or less planned out my entire year of DDP Yoga workouts, so let’s see if I can get it done this time.

One other thing that happened to me in 2014 is something that I see as a mix of good and bad. I wrote some particularly deep blog entries and judging by some of the responses I received from people, I may actually be helping people with their issues. When I received text messages from some friends after one of my entries and those messages included them telling me how much they mean to me and/or telling me of their own battles with depression, I felt good. Not good that they’re suffering, but that my little blog here actually gives them support and comfort. Yes, I know this is a good thing that I’m writing about. A problem that I have with it is that regardless of the compliments, support, and friendships, I still feel lonely and insignificant. I wish that was different.

I have used the exact same New Year’s Resolution for the last few years, and it’s simply “to make it better” in the new year. Going into 2015, I’m not even sure what “it” is, but I know I want things to be better for me. I really NEED things to be better for me. I don’t want moments of hope to turn into months of despair. I don’t want brief glimpses of happiness to be washed away by harsh realities. I want my moments of hope to turn into real sustained happiness. Of course, I don’t know how possible any of it is. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t keep going…
Even if I don’t know where that destination is.

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