Last year was a really strange one for me, and mostly full of time-wasting. I’m hoping that by writing about it, it’ll fall into some kind of perspective.
• Some really awesome games came out. Bioshock Infinite, Dishonored, the TR reboot and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag are the ones that spring immediately to mind. I haven’t yet played The Last of Us, but I’m looking forward to that.
• Bunny and I got to do some great bonding while alternating levels of old PS2 games – Ghosthunter, Primal, Beyond Good & Evil and Psychonauts. :)
• I got to spend two weeks geeking out with ncis_love in Seattle. Highlights of that: driving along gazing at mountains and pretty things, nomming amazing desserts, Hanne turning up the radio and getting gangsta every time Macklemore’s Thrift Shop came on, being a total tourist, Vancouver aquarium, hugging Emilie Autumn, meeting Nellie and giving her a new toy, eating amazing breakfast casserole… the list goes on.
• Managed to see a lot more of Kat and Lucy last year, and met Simon and his family for the first time, too. It was really nice to develop those friendships a bit more.
• Also managed to see a bit more of Arty, which is awesome – she lives in the same area as us and yet always seems to end up left out of mini-meetages. So getting to do squeeful stuff with her was great.
• Finally got to spend an afternoon with Max and Karen again, after a few years of not seeing them! Yayfulness for that. I miss those guys.
• Spent a lovely final eleven months of Reg’s life with him, cuddling up and giving him many treats and lovely things.
• Made myself more ethically, politically and environmentally aware, and have been signing petitions wherever possible and spreading awareness about issues I care about.
• Spent some lovely time with Jordy (who saved me from neighbour fail at Christmas by letting me stay at her place - OMG, so grateful!).
• Have come a bit further with my therapy, and have become more aware of my own moods and what might be causing my issues. Compassion-based therapy is working a lot better for me than CBT ever did, because CBT was basically a list of ways I could set myself up to fail, then beat myself up over it. The compassionate approach works on the way I talk to myself - before this year, I thought everyone got themselves to do things by internally yelling at themselves. Apparently not. XD
• Although I had to quit at TEB and therefore give up a large amount of my editing workload, I have more free time because of it – and I’m not slaving away for peanuts anymore.
• 2013 was awful in terms of horrifying neighbour fail. Since we had actually been successful in getting an injunction against him in 2012, and were promised that if he continued to be a nuisance he would face having his stereo taken away and maybe even a prison sentence, we started off the year quite hopeful that this would be applied. Unfortunately, his behaviour escalated and escalated during the year to the point of being unbearable, and then they took away the injunction because he didn’t have ‘capacity to understand it’. Even though a possession order for the upstairs flat had been granted as of June 2013, social services kept putting it off to September… then October… then November… then January 2014. This caused a lot of mental problems for both him and us, because as his mental problems worsened, we had to bear the consequences. Bunny was on beta blockers for anxiety and sleeping tablets, and slept in the study many, many times over the past year. I just spent ridiculous amounts of time under the covers trying to block out his fail. It was awful, and after all the effort we put into getting him out, we didn’t even get him evicted until four weeks before we were due to move house ourselves (6th January 2014). The four weeks of peace so far this year have been very appreciated, though!
• Reg eventually had to be put to sleep on 22nd November. He was so lovely and we still miss him so much, but it was his time, I guess.
• My physical health was terrible, and worsening as the year went on. I did get a hospital appointment in late November and things are progressing now, but most of the year was spent on a waiting list, not knowing if I was actually on said waiting list (since our area of Manchester ended its agreement with the area the hospital is in for some kind of funding reason), and hoping someone would eventually get around to granting me an appointment. As a result of my health declining, I’ve had to skip things that were extremely important to me (e.g. Croatia meetage back in September) and to other people (Christmas at my mother’s, which led to a total breakdown in our relationship and I’m currently not speaking to her - but that's a whoooole other blog post).
• I also had to give up working at TEB, though in retrospect, that’s probably a good thing since they were monopolising my time and paying me less than £5,000 a year for it. It felt very much like a failure on my part though, since I liked the company, I liked the job and it felt like I was valued as a person there. I do really miss working with ‘my’ authors and getting to read free books, though I don’t miss the tight deadlines for virtually no cash.
• I suffered some severe mood swings that have been really damaging to both my own sense of self and to relationships with friends. If I’ve hurt you over the past year, I am so sorry. It was never my intention. I have gone from turning everything inward and blaming myself to being occasionally angry and not knowing what to do with it, but I’m getting there. Believe it or not, it counts as progress in my therapist’s eyes.
So… yeah. That was 2013. Too much sleep, too much stress, too much waiting around for things that were out of my control, but there have been bright spots.