Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 - Can I have a do over?

Aiming for LightImage by Vainsang via Flickr

I sit here realizing, mostly with a sense of relief that 2010 is over. The last 12 months have not been my friend, for the most part. While there are always good things that happen, as a whole 2010 was a bust. I look back at the last 10 years and see so many changes and see where I was then and where I am now and know I have come a long way and there is still a long way to go.

10 years ago we returned to the Northeast after 5 years in Texas. It was a tough move, I love the south, and I love Texas. Though I was born and raised in the Northeast I have never been a fan of the winters, I am a warm weather person – period! In the last 10 years my girls have grown up, I am no longer consumed daily by their care. My oldest, now 21 has a daughter of her own, my middle daughter (soon to be 20), is working, lives with her boyfriend and is going to school, and the youngest (who turns 18 in a couple weeks) is getting ready to head out to college. It has become easier for me to find time for myself, for what I long to be in my life and pursue my interests and dreams – well, that is the theory. It has been hard to do though, 21 years of child rearing is hard to break, and finding me again has been difficult. I know where I am and what I desire, but I find it difficult to give myself permission to go there, to that place.

I have learned a lot about my capabilities in the last 10 years. I lived in my illness for so long, “knowing” I was not able to do much, I had to control every aspect of my day, my life, my illness and stress would certainly destroy me. That idea was challenged and destroyed time and time again over the last few years. While my illness does run my life at times, it is always there – reminding me of its presence, I am able now to outsmart it and keep going with minimal down time. I have been pushed beyond myself imposed boundaries, and accomplished more than I thought I could. I can’t say that I always liked it and I would love to do things more my way, but it has stretched my way of thinking and my thoughts of what I was capable of.

It is in these things, however, that I also lost myself. In trying to overcome and tackle the challenges in front of me, I let go to the way side many of the things that I lived for, that fed my soul and made me who I was and am. In 2010, my writing fell to the wayside – the longing to put words to paper tear at me, my school work fell to the wayside, and my dreams became lost in the business of work and life. I lost that part of me and long to retrieve it more than anything. To find the balance, to be the person I know I am, the person putting the words to paper.

My photography also fell away, for the same reason – the necessity of other things took over. I regret those moments, the loss I feel now and what could have been. I find myself jealous of those who have the time or are given the time to pursue their dreams, ideas, schooling while it seems the rest of us are here to sit back and merely dream and watch from the sidelines.

I realize this is how I see 2010, as a whole and what I see as my goal for 2011. To undo what I saw happen in 2010, to regain me and live for myself and the person God chose me to be. Yes, I lost some of my faith during 2010 as well, lost to the busyness and necessity of survival. The days passed by me and left me behind wondering where I went over the last 365 days.

Tomorrow at midnight I will welcome 2011; I will look it in the eye and say, “Let’s start out the right way, let’s work together and be who we are supposed to be.” A new decade, a new beginning, a new life and a new dream, a new story to be written.
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