2009 retrospective, Depression, EMDR, fireworks, freelance writing, Jeff Martin, Kindness, kirtan, Meditation, Panic attacks, PTSD, redundant, self-knowledge, Shadow Yoga, Suicide, Yoga, yoga teacher training
As I watched Sydney’s fireworks going off from my vantage point at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (not an actual chair, of course), the following words excitedly slipped from between my lips…
Fuck off 2009! Seeeeeyah! GOOD RIDDANCE!!
Okay, perhaps that was a little vehement. Or perhaps not. Can’t think of too many people I know that had a fantastic 2009. For the most part it was pretty much a total bastard of a year. A struggle. Hard work. Ups and downs. Mostly downs. Generally it was a rather shitful twelve months…
Interestingly for me, it resembled 2005 in that it was both one of the best and worst years of my life.
The worst things about 2009 included:
- Being made redundant;
- Not being able to find a job for four very long months;
- Having a major stack on my bike and injuring my shoulder (it’s still not okay);
- Falling deeply into a morbid depression;
- Feeling suicidal for a fair portion of that time;
- Becoming almost entirely penniless;
- Taking on a job I loathed, because it was the only one I was offered at the time;
- Losing a good friend; and
- Being ignored by my family when I really needed their support (or is that perhaps a good thing?).
The best things about 2009 were:
- Seemingly overcoming my PTSD flashbacks* – I haven’t had one in almost a year, since February 2009. Which is actually pretty major. EMDR saved my life;
- The birth of my second niece;
- Yoga Teacher Training, which also saved my life;
- Being shown great kindness by M, the woman who runs the yoga school;
- Being hired for some freelance writing;
- Meeting my rock star crush (hubba hubba);
- Gaining some good friends;
- Discovering a local Kirtan group, oh and Shadow Yoga too;
- Finally getting a job I really like!!!
- Becoming a yoga teacher;
- Meeting up with some blog pals; and
- Finally, having a really great New Year’s Eve, the first in a long time (instead of being alone and depressed)
* Subject to further observation and continued cessation of flashbacks.
Overall, 2009 turned out to be sorta okay in the end, especially in the final three months or so. But much of the year was such a struggle. And yet, somehow I’ve managed to discover amazing new strengths and self-knowledge – spurred on very much by all the yoga and meditation, for sure.
In the same reflective vein, one of my Twitter buddies recently asked the question: where were you twenty years ago? So, while on holidays I undertook a bit of a mental wander through the past, given we’re now at the start of a new decade and all… the following is what I found.
Twenty years ago… I was eighteen, just finished/failed high school. I was mortified and embarrassed, and my fellow students couldn’t believe it (What? Svasti failed and I passed? I never would’ve expected that, LMAO!). I’d had something of a mental meltdown in my final year and completely screwed up my exams, missing entire sections of a couple of them. Not to mention that inexplicably, I had Physics as one of my subjects, and I’m hopeless at science! I shouldn’t have let my parents and teachers talk me into it. Honestly, I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but everyone else seemed convinced I could. But my brain simply doesn’t function that way – its more colours, shapes and flowers than numbers and measurements. I should’ve stuck with the literature and drama subjects. The assumption was that I’d be going to university. But when I failed, the new assumption was that I’d repeat the year. I tried to do that, switching schools of course, to avoid further embarrassment, but I couldn’t stick it out. There wasn’t a great deal of motivation in it for me as I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and very little support or encouragement. And so I became a high school dropout and a stripper. Heh, go figure.
Ten years ago… I was twenty-eight, and in a very short space of time I’d met my Guru and left my fiancé of almost three years. It was a brand new phase of my life, not that I knew it so much at the time…
Five years ago… I was thirty-three, and within just a few months, I was finally initiated into my Guru’s lineage, I was assaulted, and began a truly horrifying descent into PTSD and depression. Nuff said.
One year ago… I was thirty-seven, and doing the hard yards with resurfaced PTSD and depression. And I was working up the courage to get some EMDR therapy – I can’t believe I thought it would be scary! Not that it wasn’t super-hard, but living without daily flashbacks is infinitely better than living with them! Also, I was on the verge of starting my yoga teacher training (at the time, I was just going for a yoga studies certificate!). For that, I really have to thank my first therapist, H. When she seemed to be getting nowhere with me, in exasperation she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. What my dreams were. And out of my mouth poured a bunch of things, including: I wanna be a yoga teacher…
Today… I’m thirty-eight, and I am a yoga teacher. Which still feels kinda surreal. I’ve found a measure of joy, and a way to generate self-love and self-joy. Can’t say I’m good at doing those things 100% of the time, but I’m working on it. In fact, part of my upcoming plans for this year will include ways to generate more love and joy in my life on a daily basis. I still get panic attacks occasionally. I still experience anxiety when I’m in massive crowds of people (which has to change if I’m going to go to India). There’s still plenty of work for me to do. But I’m endlessly grateful that I now feel equipped to take on these challenges. That I know how to fend off my depression. And I’m watching as I evolve into an actual yoga teacher – not just by certification. Finally, I think I’m possibly-maybe ready to fall in love again, whenever I am blessed with meeting the right person. I can only hope that that’s on the cards for me. And whoever they are, watch out because I’ve got so much I want to share!
So yeah. A year of pain and triumph, too. And it’s interesting to take a look back and notice that there does seem to be some kind of journey unfolding here. Sorta.
Next post… my plans for 2010!!