I spent some time today with a woman from Sri Lanka. As we parted ways I wished her a Happy New Year. She wished me the same then remembered that in her culture before the New Year, you actually thank people for the past year, and only after New Years' do you wish them a Happy New Year.
Lately I've been thinking that I'm going to be really glad to put 2008 behind me. It hasn't been a particularly bad year, no one really close to me has become gravely ill, or died, and I am definitely thankful for that. Yes, the market has taken a plunge, but I still have my job, and a good paying one at that. I have a great husband whom I love dearly, and my relationship with my mom has improved markedly. Greg and I did not get to travel together this year, but I did have a great business trip to Hilton Head/Fort Worth and San Antonio last May. We still have the trailer that sometimes feels like a stone around my neck, but at least this year I've got hot water and a real porcelain flush toilet to drown in! I've got a few close friends and good neighbours I know I can count on. I've got a new puppy (and Dutchie, Mr. Mao and Buddy, of course!) I have a roof over my head and enough food in my cupboards that I could survive for a month if we were snowed in.
So why am I so looking forward to 2009? I think because I am very, very close to hitting an emotional rock-bottom. I can't keep my house clean, I can't be bothered to cook dinner, my bills aren't paid on time, we live pay cheque to pay cheque, I can't be bothered to blog (which used to be a huge source of entertainment and also an outlet for me.) I make do with the clothes I have because I can't stand going to stores because (gasp!) I might have to try something on and I feel overwhelmed when I do go into a store. I don't answer the phone, rarely return phone calls and turn the upstairs lights out so I don't have to go dog-walking with the neighbourhood clan.
I know I have a problem. I used to think it was depression, and I know that is part of it but for all the years I made fun of Two-four and her diagnosing everyone with anxiety...it's either rubbed off on me, or I've been denying it. I cover a lot of this anxiety up by drinking way to much. I've always enjoyed drinking, but dare I say it? It's gotten out of hand and I know I need to do something about it. It's starting to affect me really negatively and this has got to change. I'm not a stupid person, or a bad person, but I think that this is the one thing that I've really got to get a handle on in 2009. I think I started drinking more when I found out that I couldn't have children so I just threw caution to the wind, figuring that it didn't really matter how much I drank. I didn't need to be responsible to anyone except myself and Greg and my pets. I've always done well at work, so I know I can function. There's that word: Function. I am a functioning Wino. I have a functioning Wino husband too, so I always have someone to play with.
I've been thinking about how to get a grip on all the things that used to matter to me, and that I've let slip. I know I need to start with myself. For years I've been complaining about my weight. I can pay all the money I want to go to WW, but it's useless if I use up all my points in wine. I complain about my dirty house, but if I got off my ass (and Greg got off his!) we'd have a clean house. I want to go out and be social, but I'm always thinking about how I'm going to get home, because in order to be social a few drinks goes a long way. And one thing I don't do is drink and drive. So, I'd rather be safe, and stay home.
People think that by being a nurse you know how to take care of yourself. I beg to differ. I think part of my problem is genetic, partly a lack of self-confidence/esteem, but trust me, a lot of nurses chose to be nurses because they learned how to deal with problems at home when they were growing up. They were the problem-solvers, the pleasers, the high-achievers. At some point, it all becomes too much. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty (most, in fact) who remain strong, level-headed and able to deal with issues head on, but I also know enough who use alcohol, drugs or food as a coping mechanism.
Anyway, maybe this is a problem no matter what you choose as a career all I'm saying is that I think I should know better, being a nurse. At some point I chose not to be as strong, to care less about my own surroundings and to let things not bother me by choosing wine over dealing with daily living.
At this point, I am not willing to go elsewhere to seek help. My doctor is aware, and has been aware for a while, but I'm not ready to admit it anywhere else but here that I need to help myself.
And that is my New Year's resolution. What a start. I've got a lot of work ahead of me.
For what little blogging I've done: Thank you for stopping by and being part of my year. Even if I don't leave comments on your blogs, I do catch up with you throughout your year. Thank you for making me laugh, for sharing your day to day life, for letting me glimpse through the lens of your camera, but mostly for making be feel like I have a connection.