So...back on the blog again. I stopped blogging for a variety of reasons - I started to feel uncomfortable posting as I wasn't sure how anonymous it really was (not really very obvious as with a bit of digging I'm sure you could work out who I am), but mostly depression got in the way of doing anything more than the barest minimum. In September, I completed my Coniston swim (wetsuit) and a 10 mile-most-of-the-length-of-Windermere swim, but the training for this combined with being depressed was exhausting so I just didn't get around to writing about it. Despite the broken wrist I managed to total 1226.4k of swimming - not bad given that there were 5 enforced weeks on the sofa with a broken wrist!
As 2014 closes, I'm starting to feel a little better. A bit of a reduction in my working hours along with some new meds is really starting to help (or maybe that's just having 11 days off work :-). So I thought I'd check in and do my traditional end of year meme. I broke the link between this and previous blogs as part of trying to make it a bit more anonymous so you can't see previous years answers but never mind.
Anyway, I am hoping to do a 2 way Windermere swim in July 2015 and raise some more money for Mind (£2246 target to get me to £15k raised) and so maybe I'll blog along the way. Although it may not be terribly interesting as I won't be doing that many events this year, just some solid training.
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Get put under the CMHT and saw a psychiatrist. Swam a length of Windermere. Coached swimming. More NHS appointments than ever before in my life. Broke my wrist (in fact that was my first broken bone ever and my first ever visit to A+E, although I was there a second time before the year was up).
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I'm not sure I actually made any last year - I was quite depressed - this year the plans are:
1. A two way Winderemere swim
2. Plank a day in January
3. One sugar free day a week for at least 6 months
4. Raise £2246 for Mind
5. Engage with CBT and get discharged.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not quite so many people as in 2013.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My lovely godmother died suddenly in April.
5. What countries did you visit?
Spain (Tenerife). Was supposed to visit Mallorca but couldn't go because of the broken wrist.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Better health and a bit more zen. The same answer applies again this
year! AND, again in 2013. And a better mood. AND again in 2014.
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
26th February - breaking my wrist :-/
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Training for and completing a one way Windermere swim, albeit wetsuited which wasn't the plan, in a far faster time than anticipated.
9. What was your biggest failure?
The things I missed out on because of my depression.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The broken wrist :(
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Not really sure but Malcolm the Bear and Snowdog the Hot Water Bottle cover joined our family of bears which was nice. Oh and the limbo cover for my plaster cast which meant I could have a shower!
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My GP's. She was fantastic right the way through 2014, from getting me looked after by the CMHT, to getting the surgery to ring me at the end of the year to get me to make an appointment because she hadn't seen me for a couple of months (because the CMHT were doing a reasonable job of looking after me and finally I didn't seem to have any physical health issues!)
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Probably my own :(
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and food.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Not sure I got really, really excited about anything this year.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Paul Lovatt-Cooper's Immortal was something I listened to during some of the darkest bits of 2014.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
about the same
b) thinner or fatter?
about 1kg lighter
c) richer or poorer?
probably a bit richer in that a bit more of the mortgage is paid off.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Nothing really tbh.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Trailing around various NHS establishments.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my husband. My parents on Christmas Eve, over to the inlaws on Christmas Day for a bit. Home alone with myself on Boxing Day.
21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Carried on being in love.
22. How many one-night stands?
23. What was your favourite TV program?
I didn't really find the time to watch TV this year :(
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
25. What was the best book you read?
I read a bit more this year than I did last year, I found that reading on the Kindle was much easier and that enabled me to read a bit more. Kindle was necessary whilst in plaster as I couldn't hold a book!
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Dan Forrest, after a singing day in late October. Bit like John Rutter. Here is his excellent arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful.
27. What did you want and not get?
To the top of the waiting list for the CBT. Spent the whole of 2014 on it :-o
28. What did you want and get?
Some support with my depression whilst waiting for the CBT (thanks to GP and G-the-care-coordinator)
29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Paddington was great, and has given me a bit of a fixation with marmalade.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 30. I was supposed to spend the week in Mallorca on a swimming camp but I came out of plaster for my broken wrist 2 days earlier (I negotiated with them to do it then as I didn't want to be in plaster on my birthday). I was absolutely exhausted by that and by the depression. We had a short swim in the morning, coffee at Starbucks and I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed feeling sorry for myself. Oh well. 30 was always going to be tricky to come to terms with when life was a bit crap.
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not being depressed!
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Increasingly flamboyant swimming cozzies.
33. What kept you sane?
Swimming. In August, the 3 hour long swims were really helpful - the first hour would be spent trying to deal with the negative voices in my head, but by the last hour I would achieve a little bit of peace.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The problems with funding for MH in the UK, especially the long waiting lists and lack of beds.
35. Whom did you miss?
As ever, missed my beautiful friend Emily. But also my lovely godmother.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Made a lot of excellent friends on twitter :-)
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
"Not to take good mental health for granted, nor to expect everyone to
understand mental health issues. You'd think I might have learnt these
lessons previously, but it turns out that I hadn't. Hopefully they will
stay with me a bit longer this time."
- yet again, something I wrote last year is just as true this time
around (sorry to the people who read this post at the end of 2012,
should have suggested that you didn't need to bother!)
I like these words that I wrote in 2012 and 2013. And they bear repeating.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I rather like this from The Cross by WWMT:
"You dream of tomorrow
And your life how it will be
When days fill with sorrow
How you'll fight to be free"
39. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?