Tag Archives: 2016

My Achievements in 2016

The year 2016 is almost over and I feel pretty disappointed. It should’ve been the year in which I finally left the mental institution, but I didn’t. I mean, I’ve been resolving to leave the hospital every single year since 2008, but this time I thought I was so close. It’s even worse, because I get blamed for not having achieved this goal. My psychologist tells me I never want to leave and that I try every single trick to delay my discharge. This to her proves my dependent personalty disorder. Well, it wasn’t me who took four months to come up with that diagnosis. It wasn’t me who still hasn’t referred me to outpatient treatment and it wasn’t because for whatever reason I blocked this – I didn’t.

In many other ways, this year has been a disappointment. Still, I need to focus on the things that I did achieve in 2016. They may not feel important to me at this point, but that is only a matter of perspective.

1. I have not been in seclusion all year. I tend to think that, because I’m supposed to leave and there’s no seclusion outside of the institution, staff are less likely to ask me to go into seclusion. There is likely some truth to this, but I also have been acting out much less over the past year than I used to. It isn’t over yet – I broke a mug and self-injured only a few days ago. It’s better though.

2. My daily medication has been stable all year. I did finally get a prescription for a benzodiazepine to use at most twice a week as-needed. I hardly need it though.

3. I managed to binge eat less than I did last year. Though I resolved to get my BMI under 30 and this was a massive fail, my weight remained stable over the year.

4. We got an elliptical trainer at home. Though I didn’t use it as regularly as I’d have liked, I enjoyed exercsing when I did.

5. I found a craft that I enjoy. This is one of my biggest wins of 2016. Though I don’t make soap or skin care products as regularly as I intended to anymore, half a year in I still enjoy the craft. I also finally felt confident enough to make soaps and skin care products for other people. I never quite felt as self-confident about my other crafts. Recently, I experienced some setbacks, in that a few soaps I made over the past few weeks turned out worse than even my first soaps. However, I’m not about to give up (yet).

6. I didn’t give up blogging, even though I was tempted. I kept up one Dutch blog from early June until now, although December was a bad month. Consistent with more posts here, as always, my posting on there declined. I’m not about to give up eithehr blog though.

In short, my theme for 2016 has been “persevere”. I faced many setbacks and disappointments, but I didn’t give up. I hope that 2017 will be better than 2016, but if it isn’t, I hope I will keep on persevering.

You Baby Me Mummy

Fifty Years From Now

In the future… This is this week’s prompt from Finish the Sentence Friday. The future could be next week or next month or next year or fifty years from now. As I am currently in a bit of an anxious mood regarding my physical health, I am more than aware of my finite existence here on earth. This however also got me to buy a book, really to distract myself but it ties in nicely with the theme, about women who survived breast cancer twenty to fifty years past diagnosis. (No, I don’t think I have breast cancer.) Even though I am not the healthiest person in the world, it is very well possible that I’ll live for fifty more years. For this post, I am going to pretend I am 79 and look back at my life.

It is currently 2066. I am 79. I have lived a much longer life than as a twentysomething I expected to. There have been many times I thought I wouldn’t live for another year. Yet here I am in old age.

I look back on a happy marriage with my husband. We have been living in our home in the tiny village for fifty years. When the housing corporation wanted to get rid of it and my husband earned enough money, we bought the house. It now has a bathtub, which was pretty much the only thing I wanted to get added to its interior fifty years ago. Of course, now that I’m old and my mobility is failing, I can’t use it anymore.

I look back on a nice volunteering career for myself. In fact, I still volunteer. I am a language-learning buddy for an immigrant, just like my grandma was when she was my age. I haven’t earned any sort of royal recognition, but that could be because I changed volunterring careers so often I can’t say I’ve served a particular community for long enough. nO, that was a joke. If I live for another twenty years, five months and twelve days, I’ll meet the mayor because of my 100th birthday. I do plan to live that long now that I got this far, just like my grandma did, only without the cognitive decline please.

Speaking of fame though, I did get some international recognition by publishing my memoir. It wasn’t titled Some Former Preemies Will Go to University after all, because that title was ironic, referring to my lack of successful college studies. As it turned out, I did earn a college degree. It was in language and cultural studies at the university I tried studying linguistics at too. The same professor still taught the intro to linguistics class that I had completed half of just before I ended up in the psychiatric hospital in 2007. Since I didn’t go to graduate school, my sister is still the only one of our generation to have earned a Master’s degree. I don’t care about that graduate degree though, as I mostly studied for the fun of it and to prove myself that I could. After graduating, I now regularly attend sit-in classes in education, psychology and sociology. My heart’s still with the social sciences, but I still can’t do statistics.

I just mentioned the psychiatric hospital. It’s a place I’d rather not revisit. Its treatment methods have “advanced” to a level worse than they were 100 years ago. Instead of getting a sembleance of care, psychiatric patients are just drugged into submission. We have better psychiatric drugs now, at least by the sane population’s standards. There are more of them too and much more people taking them, whether they want it or not. Unfortunately, the neurodiversity and mad pride movements are dead now. The curebies got their way. I can’t say society is a better place for it.

Technolgy has evolved quite a bit in the last fifty years, obviously. I can now easily take pictures with a camera that gives me spoken directions. Oh, this probably doesn’t sound that advanced to my 29-year-old self, but it opened quite the world to me. There are great imaging tools that work with screen readers now. Still doesn’t sound advanced, but I lost pace with technology several decades ago. Even though I was pretty tech savvy as a teen, I was quite a bit behind fifty years ago already, let alone now. Thankfully, I did learn to use a smartphone or I would’ve lost track much sooner than I did. My husband still keeps pace with technology, of course. He’s 77 now and “drives” an autonomous car. He didn’t like it at first, but now that he’s getting old himself, he finds it quite relaxing.

As I look back to 2016, I’m glad I made the choices I made that year. It took more than just 2016 to get physically healthy, but I did set my first steps in the right direction. I also finally left the psychiatric institution. As I said, it isn’t a nice place now, so I’m so glad I left before it deteriorated. Besides, if I hadn’t, I might not have lived this life with my husband.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 (Plus Looking Back at 2015)

Happy 2016! I just returned from spending new year’s at my parents’ and am quite tired. I had fun but also felt pretty easily overloaded while there, so much so that the turn of the year went by in a bit of a blur. So it’s 2016. I keep typing 2015, then when I try to correct myself I type 2017. It’s not because I don’t know what year it is, but simply that my fingers are not used to typing the year 2016 yet.

During 2015, I made new year’s resolutions at the start of the year and set monthly goals at various times of the year. I rarely followed through and hardly ever looked back. Today, however, I am going to look back at my 2015 new year’s goals and also discuss my goals for the new year.

1. Blogging. I resolved to blog at least twice a week in 2015. This was mostly a success. When illness or stress got in the way, I blogged less often, but when I felt well, I often blogged more. I also participated in two month-long blog challenges: #AtoZChallenge in April and #Write31Days in October. For 2016, I will continue to attempt to blog twice a week when physical and mental health permit it. I will give blog challenges some more thought, as they were fun in 2015 but not as rewarding as I’d imagined they’d be. I can’t wait to discover and connect with new bloggers this year.

There wasn’t a year that I started and dropped more blog-related projects than in 2015. I mostly messed with three or four versions of my Dutch blog, but also had the Recovery Bloggers Network running for a week or so when I got the flu and gave up. In 2016, I hope to give blog-related projects more thought before starting them and then giving up.

2. Writing. I resolved to journal more, possibly offline. This has not been a success. I tried several journaling solutions, including good ol’ Notepad, EverNote and various pieces of journaling software. However, the problem seemed to be I couldn’t make a commitment to journaling offline regularly. This may be because of my drive to overshare everything I create. I will give journaling some more priority in 2016, but it might just be online.

3. Crafting. I resolved to improve my polymer clay modeling skills and invest in an art journal. The art journal idea is still on my mind, but it’s been for several years and, like the offline journal, never got off the ground. I did work some more with polymer clay, but can’t say I quite improved. I learned a few bead-making skills, but didn’t really put a lot of effort into it. I also tried several other crafts, like loom knitting and crochet, but quit pretty soon. For 2016, I resolve to find a craft I can commit to practising regularly.

4. Reading. In 2015, I resolved to finish some books I’d started reading in 2014. This goal can be ticked off. I also resolved to focus my reading more on juvenile fiction and autobiographies rather than more academic non-fiction. This did indeed happen. For 2016, I hope to continue this trend.

5. Fitness. This was a massive fail. I resolved to lose five to ten kilograms but instead gained a few. I also resolved to lessen my binge eating, which I also failed at miserably. I did start exercising again, but not regularly enough. For 2016, I am still hoping I can lessen the binges. I plan to get into a more regular exercise routine. I hope to get my BMI under 30 at least, which requires me to lose about five kilograms.

6. Mental health. In 2015, I hoped to find a PRN medication or other way of averting crises that are inevitable. About a month ago, my psychiatrist said that my current PRN medication is the best choice for me, because the only thing that works better in most people are benzodiazepines. Since I have both personal and familial history of benzo addiction/dependence, my psychiatrist is not willing to put me on a benzodiazepine. I unfortunately have not been able to find any other strategies either, although it seems as though my crises have become significantly less frequent. For 2016, I’m just hoping I can stay relatively stable amidst the stress of moving in with my husband. I am resolving to get my crisis prevention plan updated for the home situation.

7. Housing. In 2015, I resolved to find out where I would be living after discharge from the institution. I have decided to go live with my husband, but I’ve not yet found out whether I’ll truly be able to make that transition. I am pretty sure that regardless I’ll be discharged this year, so I’m resolving to make the transition go smoothly.

8. Relationships. I didn’t have any real goals other than continuing to love and stay married to my husband. I’ll tick that off as a success, obviously and make the same resolution for 2016.

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three