2013 in review.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

(not in chronological order)

*started my degree

*lots of things related to the above

*went to Budapest

*went mental in lots of new ways

*got assessed for and awarded Disabled Students Allowance thanks to the above

*got straight A grades (so far, anyway). Me. Imagine.

*some unmentionable things

*watched The Princess Bride (yes, really)

*drew a bit. I don’t draw. I can’t draw. But I did!

*went to Beacons festival (barely got there in one piece after being abandoned by the coach driver at Leeds. With all our bags on the coach. And my cardie – which I left to save my seat hahahahahaHA. Meanwhile I’m in a low cut sleeveless top and it starts raining…it was so bad it was funny, so we did the only thing you can do in that situation, pop out the hipflask and thank the fact you’ve got friends and mango vodka to share the pain with)

*discovered lots of awesome music (I do this all the time but new people! Yay!)

*really, the biggest one is ask for help. Lots of help, and frequently. Anyone who knows me well will know that I don’t do that.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any, but I do have some vague ones for this year. Get back into cooking, sort my bloody procrastination out and actually do timetabling and stuff, don’t get so behind with work, go swimming, walk more. Be more creative, whatever that means. Oh, and I also bought a diary to keep by my bed so that every night I can write down things about the day, whatever comes to mind really, just a summary I guess. Good stuff, bad stuff, how I’m feeling. There have been so many times this year when I’ve wanted to look back and see what was happening and most of the time I have no idea. I want to staple or glue gig tickets and things in as well to remind me of actual activities too.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, oh god…my best friend from high school. He is adorable. Haven’t met him yet but hopefully this month. :) And a friend from work.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. The wife of a friend of mine died though and I think about him and how he’s doing every day.

5. What countries did you visit?

Hungary. I went on my own and it was challenging and brilliant.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A little bit more stability in the old mental department. A bit more of an insight into what the hell goes on in my head.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

31st May. I got back together with Nick and just…yeah. I am so happy. (With the relationship. Not in general. Just in case anyone was confused after all the WOE IS ME, hand-stapled-to-my-forehead posts recently.)

20th July. I felt so let down by my mum and I think then, or just before then, really, was when things started to go a bit wrong.

And 4th February! When I started my course. Amazing to think it’s almost been a year.

Oh and another…5th August. When I got the keys to my little flat :)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Asking for help, which feels like something I am doing constantly. It’s really, really hard for me. And getting through my course, thanks to the aforementioned help. I would have dropped out of yet another degree if I hadn’t and it would have shattered me.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don’t really know. I guess just not having much control over my life but there are reasons for that and there’s been lots of stuff going on. Maybe in the earlier part of the year with Nick, thinking we could be friends and we blatantly couldn’t and dicking around again not really knowing what the hell I was doing.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I can’t remember now. Other than the mental health thing, not much actually. The odd cold here and there. Although, my asthma’s been quite bad this year and I feel like my lungs are constantly full of mucus (unless I cough it up, which is equally bad, and more gross). I also had a period so bad that I almost passed out which hasn’t happened for quite a while.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Stuff for my flat. Er…can’t think of much else. Wish I could say my laptop, since it cleared out my savings, but so far it’s been a bit of a pain.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Nick’s. He has been an absolute rock, I can’t even imagine anyone else doing what he has done. Without complaint, with love, with kindness, with consistency. He has been there for me in a way I have never had before. And my therapist, of course, because she’s awesome. I feel like she’s really listened to me and taken on board some of what I’ve said. She doesn’t get it right all the time but when she does she gets it really right and it’s like sunbathing, only without the fear of seagulls pooing on your head.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

My own. My dad, for turning up unannounced after I’d told him I didn’t want to talk (thankfully I’d moved house, but what a dick move) and generally still being an emotionally manipulative dickhead. (He is actually now listed in my phone as Dickhead.) Because it’s therapy, my therapist. There were things that she did that crushed me and that I absolutely hated her for, and although I know they weren’t done out of malice, they had a brutal affect on me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone (or at least remembered feeling so). My family in various ways. I don’t think I will ever be over it, really. I feel so sad that I can’t have the family that I want. And the person I made the complaint about. I am still not happy about what happened, I think they behaved appallingly. I just hope they realised what they did wrong.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, bills, travel, festivals, eating out and a fair amount on taxis when I didn’t feel able to leave the house but absolutely had to.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Beacons! Seeing my friends. My birthday (before it all went wrong). Going to the sheep centre! Seeing Owen Pallett, who I have loved for years. He was every bit as great as I’d hoped.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Pfffffft, like I can pick one. In no particular order: Savages – She Will, Django Django – Default, Julia Holter – Goddess Eyes I, Tsar – Calling All Destroyers, E is for Estranged – Owen Pallett, Bloodbuzz Ohio – The National, Kate Bush – Hounds of Love, Drew – Goldfrapp, Psychokiller – Talking Heads.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Both. Oh, this crazy life.

b) thinner or fatter?

FATTER OMG GARGANTUAN

c) richer or poorer?

LOL, I’m doing a degree and barely working, I’m poorer than poor (but still refuse to give up President butter)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Having fun, but that wasn’t possible, really. I have fought so hard this year and I don’t think I could have changed much. Working normally and not doing my stupid last minute madness thing. Cooking.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Just being so depressed, dissociative and self-hating. But again, I did everything I could at the time. Eating beige food. Cheese toasties, sandwiches, crisps, pasta. Noodles. Easy peasy, nutritionally devoid rubbish.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent it with Nick at his house, with an open fire, way too much food and lots of Christmas telly. I managed not to cry during Muppets Christmas Carol this year, although it was close. It was the best Christmas I remember having and I feel so lucky. I might do a separate post on that actually because it was so awesome.

21. How will you be spending New Year?

I spent most of it working because I am an unrealistic, procrastinating idiot who had no idea it would take so long to finish my assignment. But I managed to take a few hours off and stopped working when my friends came over. And had a really amazing night watching my very drunk friends do brilliant things like fall over in the pub and give lapdances :) We also had a bit of a moment twerking to Milkshake by Kelis, basically very similar to the scene in Orange is the New Black. It was so much fun :)

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Not really. I was already in love. I never stopped loving Nick and when I managed to just…I can’t explain it. When I’d stopped cutting it off it just came back, like blood flow after accidentally sitting on your arm. I don’t know how else to describe it. I think something went wrong that was with me and not us, if that makes sense, and so when we got back together it was basically just the same in terms of feelings, although we’d both changed since we’d been apart.And of course I did my usual thing of falling in love with stuff!

23. How many one-night stands?

None. I wanted some earlier in the year because being single and horny sucks, but they didn’t happen.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. I hate less people because I have become less hateful. HOWEVER, I do have bad feelings towards some people, just because some people are just a bit shit.

25. What was your favourite restaurant of 2013?

This Indonesian place that we went to for Carry’s birthday that Nina and I ended up going to loads. I even went there on my own. Twice. And dragged other people there. And I love Pho just because it reminds me of me and Lauren meeting up and saying, “Shall we? No, we can’t. We’re both broke. No…we can’t.” And then ALWAYS ending up in laughter and going anyway. <3 It’s our ‘date’ place, and we pretty much always get the same thing.

26. What were your favourite TV programs?

HOLBYYYYYY. Great British Bake Off! Best one yet. BREAKING BAD OMG OMG OMG THE END! Nurse Jackie, I’ve got really into it, it’s brilliant. Orange is the New Black! And It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which Nick and I have spent many hours sniggering over.

27. What was the best book you read?

Oh lord. Didn’t read much this year, despite being in a book group, haha. Er, possibly Dark Eden? *tumbleweed noises as I try to remember what I’ve read*

28. What were your greatest musical discoveries?

Django Django! I finally got to see them live after queueing for them TWICE at the Great Escape in 2012 and missing out. Julia Holter, I will never forget that moment when we were in that tiny tent and after all the faff with the sound checks she finally played and it was like sinking into a warm, alluring musical bubble bath. Ólafur Arnalds, I knew of him before but never really listened, and then seeing him in a church in December was absolutely magical. It felt holy. Absolutely beautiful. Savages I guess, they’re not my favourite band or anything but had one of the best moments of my year (possibly my life) watching them in the summer, it was sweaty, intense and one of those moments where you feel like you might pass out because you’re dancing so hard and having so much fun.

29. What were your favourite films of this year?

I don’t do films, really. I did go to the cinema a few times though.

30. What did you want and get?

Nick. :) Friends at uni. My festival ticket! (my friend paid for it for my birthday) MY FLAT!

31. What did you want and not get?

More mental health stability, for my therapist to adopt me, lots of money! And a properly good mentor on placement.

32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was thirty and can’t remember! How bad is that?! Things weren’t great around my birthday. I am genuinely having trouble remembering what I did. Sad. I know that I went out and celebrated the week after but cannot for the life of me remember what I did on the day.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Again with the mental health thing. It’s been a really gruelling year and has barely let up. And more time seeing people I missed. And I don’t know about satisfying, but I really wanted to record my sessions so that I could listen to my therapist’s voice when I felt really low and she wouldn’t let me. I still feel like it would help, but…not to be.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Earlier in the year I guess smart student, now Jeremy Kyle guest. I have stopped making any effort whatsoever and it’s a bit pants. Not exactly a priority though. Plus I’ve outgrown all my clothes.

35. What kept you sane?

Nick and my friends. They are the best, the very very best, from holding me when I cry to making me laugh to buying me little presents and surprising me with their endless thoughtfulness and generosity. Also music, and DVDs of shows watched so many times that they’re almost cellular (Gilmore Girls, of course). And therapy, although it also made me mental. Swings and roundabouts.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Demise of the NHS and other healthcare issues. Benefits stuff, the government just being absolute fucking arses and screwing over the most needy. Same sex marriage, as usual, but with a more positive outcome this time :) Abortion, again as usual. General patriarchy bullshit.

37. Who did you miss?

Friends and family that I don’t get to see often, especially Sofie, and Lauren now that she’s moved. My therapist, when I left the room, which I don’t think had ever happened before this year. Sometimes it was only like an hour afterwards. This year has been HARD, have I mentioned that?

38. Who was the best new person you met?

So many people on my course, and some of my lecturers.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

Sometimes your brain plays horrible tricks on you. Sometimes things seem real when they’re not. Sometimes you have to ask for help, but it’s ok, as my therapist said on the phone the other day (when I had to cave in and ask her to ring me because I was feeling so terrible). I said that I felt so guilty for asking her to call me even though she’d said it was ok, and she said, “It is, it really, REALLY is ok”. And I’m holding onto that because it was a pivotal point for me that I hope I can keep with me for a long time.

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