Published: Saturday January 3, 2015.
I wrote my previous blog entry on the afternoon of December 31st, 2014 and had it go live at 6am local time of January 1st, 2015. In the 12 or so hours between my writing it and it being published, I went for a 5-mile walk in the dark. In the 90 minutes or so that I was walking around, I saw half a dozen cars and had time to think in an environment that I appreciate.
As each year merges into the next, I’m conflicted. On the one hand, there’s something a bit strange celebrating the number of times the Earth has orbited the sun. On the other, it’s as good a time as any to move from one phase to another. Perhaps the monthly transition happens too often to make a big deal of; when was the last time you celebrated the arrival of July?
The run-up to the end of 2014 was turbulent, but that’s sort of par for the course in winter. I won’t harp on about how much of a first world tragedy my life is, because it isn’t. One of the thought trains on that walk was to recap what happened in 2014. It was tough. Tough to recall, that is, not necessarily tough overall for the year.
At the lowest point, I had fleeting thoughts about being dead. It was almost trivial, in fact. In the midst of a bad depressive episode, I figured out a few ways to end everything. I can talk about it openly here as I have in real life, and I’m not ashamed in what crossed my mind. I thought about how I’d divvy up my savings, who’d get what possessions, that sort of thing. I came out of the really black part of depression and those thoughts fizzled out.
I was low again on December 31st, though now low enough to warrant revisiting those procedural thoughts of bank transfers and boxing things up. I summed up 2014 in some fairly harsh language, and noted that had I gone ahead with my plans and not made it this far, I wouldn’t be thinking these things at all.
I wouldn’t be living in a house that’s too small for both its occupants. I wouldn’t be working on a long-term plan to flush the crud from my car’s diesel filter. I wouldn’t be pursuing my dream of buying land for a self-build house.
I wouldn’t be here at all. And that would be bad. Really bad.
It was at that point that I realised I have no fear. I mean, think about it, I was contemplating death. That’s pretty final, all things considered.
I then realised that getting down in the dumps about this, that or the other (small house, poorly car, or land prices and planning permission) is largely a futile exercise.
I don’t have a good memory for 2014 because I have no love for the past. The past is a fuel for my depression, and the anxiety I used to have was due to the future. I’ve got my anxiety tamed and I’m a far better person for it. I’ve begun 2015 by letting go of 2014, and I already feel better for it.