This year is all about me. I need to fix myself so it must be all about me. Last year I started visiting a dark place I have not been in a long time. I felt alone and that I could not depend on the people I used to. Friendships were lost and I stopped trying to keep in contact with people. I spent the first 7 months growing deeper into a depression. My life became work because it was the only constant in my life. The only place where I felt alive and needed. I took this to the extreme and buried myself in work because it was easy to do and provided me with a sense of worth. I took on more and more at work and made it my life. I thought about it constantly and did not let go of it at the end of the day. It was easy to do with the long hours and long commute. I also had my laptop every moment of the day. I even went shopping carrying a laptop in my bag, brought it home with me when I went to visit my parents, took training materials on vacation with me, etc... I worked over the weekend. I complained to anyone who would listen about how much work I had to do. I blamed work for the way I felt when in reality I was just in a tough place in life. I moved back to Toledo because I did not know where else to go and I wanted to be closer to my BG friends. I wanted the closeness I had with the grad students. What I found out is that things change. People leave and going back to Toledo was not the same. I felt alone because I was no longer part of the BG crowd and hearing the stories was not as fun as being part of them. I buried myself in work so I never made friends who lived in Toledo and never went out with people at work because of the commute. I found myself spending a lot of weekends alone. When I did go out with people, it was like I was watching a show on TV. I was there but I was not part of it.
I hit my first low point when a guy I was dating gave up on me. It's not how he put it, but it is how I view it. I don't blame him. I wasn't capable of being in a relationship. The night we talked, I went to BG and got drunk... and I mean drunk. I was not capable of taking care of myself that night. I am pretty sure that was the drunkest I have ever been. I wanted to relive my BG life and wanted to crash college parties. I felt alive again because the alcohol and crazy night life covered up everthing I was feeling. (As a side note, I think I know how some people become alcoholics.)
After I recovered from that night, I started to realize that I needed to change my life. Change is not easy and I decided that it would be easiest to start over again. My first attempt was to get a job in Toledo to cut out the commute. When I could not find a job closer to where I lived, I looked at places where I really could start over again. New job, new city, and new friends. Finding a job in the tough economy was harder than finding one out of college. I sunk deeper into my depression and stopped doing the few remaining things I enjoyed. I decided to get away from work and took a vacation. It was on this solitaire vacation that I realized I was looking at everything the wrong way. It was not my job that was making me miserable. It was myself. I returned from my vacation and started to make changes in my life. It was not easy. Change is not easy no matter how much you want it.
So here I am today... dedicating 2011 to change and finding myself again. I am making new friends, finding new activities, and working normal hours again. Things are much better but there are still things I want to change in my life... such as losing the weight I managed to gain last year, continuing to meet people, email/call the people I lost touch with last year, get more involved in charity work, take better care of myself, and remember to smile every day.
January is almost over. I feel that every day I continue to make progress and gain confidence in myself again. I am looking forward to what this year brings.