Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 A Year In Review – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

New Year –noun
[noo yeer]
1. the year approaching or newly begun
2. New Year's Day
3. the first day or few days of a year in any of various calendars

From the white sands beaches of the South Pacific to the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island, 2008 was the year of travelling and new adventures.

In the first months of 2008 I traded in gliding down the Mountains of Western Canada on a snowboard for the bumpy harrowing drives of the Costa Rican Mountain ranges in a locally made SUV. I saw exotic animals up close and personal and zipped hundreds of feet in the air through the Cloud Forest. I relaxed in hot springs and watched an active volcano.

As the snow melted and the world began to reclaim itself, I began a metamorphosis of my own. I dropped the last of the remaining safety catches I had put in place, risked everything, and decided to become fully self-employed. I gained a newfound appreciation for the arts and was introduced to the world of Canadian Independent music. I became and avid fan of CBC Radio3, went out to watch local musicians perform, and started to use an MP3 player for the very first time. The spring of 2008 was also the year I left my dependence on public transit and was given a vehicle of my own as a gift.

Unbeknownst to me the summer of 2008 brought on some unexpected changes, changes that would eventually lead to my Fall of despair. However the heat of the summer brought on anticipations of exciting things to come, such as a great Canadian road trip in the ‘new-to-me’ vehicle. I have seen the West multiple times, but have never been further East then the capital city of La Belle Provence. It was time to head East. I headed out on a 10-day adventure, taking in as many sites as possible and managing to visit five provinces and six capital cities, returning to Capital City for Canada’s 141st birthday celebrations. The summer of 2008 was also a time for outdoor music, from NXNE in Toronto, to Bluesfest in Ottawa and I even managed to get in a trip to the Wolfe Island Music Festival.

As the sun faded, the leaves began to turn colour and eventually die, my spirits began to darken. I had one more big adventure, a first for me, a five-day canoe trip in the Killarney Provincial Park region. With my growing anxiety I was a little hesitant to go. Coupled with the inexperience of using a canoe, at this point in my life I had been relatively inactive for the past six months and was worried that I would not be able to hold my own. However I was impressed with my overall performance and glad I decided to go after all as it was an amazing experience. Something I hope to do more of in the years to come. The high from the canoe trip quickly wore off and as the nights grew longer my resistance to the anxiety and depression that was building, grew weaker. A landmark birthday was quickly approaching and dread was festering deep into my soul. I was not going to handle this well. I was not where I thought I should be in my life. I was no longer happy with the people around me. I needed a change. I think I was going through a mid-life crisis at the age of 30.

The dark dreary winter set in once again and I began cutting the ties from friends and family. I stopped returning calls, emails, text messages. I deleted myself from Facebook, MySpace, MSN Messenger. I just wanted to be left alone. I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted to disappear. At this point in my life my anxiety and depression had gotten a hold of me so bad that I found it difficult to even go to the grocery store for basic necessities. I was lonely, tired, broke, beaten, scared. I made a choice, I really only had two options as far as I could see it. I decided to go with option number two and reach out for help.

Now here I find myself on the eve of a new year, surrounded by loving friends and family and full of hopes and dreams for the year to come. After the last few dark months the future is beginning to look a little brighter and everything may just work out after all.

3 comments:

cindy adoms said...

C.D., Wow! I hadn't read this far back until just now. Is it possible to be emotional twins with someone you've never met (to the best of your knowledge anyway)? Your withdraw is exactly what I have done and one of the ghosts haunting me now. I suppose I sought help as well, so thank you! Again.

Chasing Distractions said...

cindy, yes I believe kindred spirits are more than possible - especially when it comes to feelings of despair. It's always nice to know there is someone out there that can relate, and being able to take solace in the fact that you are actually not alone after all.

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