You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. Mary Pickford
I cannot believe that it is already the middle of January. Time flies fast when you are having fun! 2018 is definitely looking more promising than the previous year. I am starting this new year afresh, with a fresh look on life, renewed hopes and exciting new ventures.
My work is going very well with new opportunities and now that I am not isolating myself, I have discovered that I have some pretty nice and interesting colleagues. I am spending more time at work and my paperwork has improved – although I am not quite there yet. I am still procrastinating on many things, but I am on the right path. My manager believes in me and has given me extra responsibilities. Also, working with refugees and asylum seekers, certainly has put a new perspective on my difficulties. Seeing people who have had to abandon everything they hold dear in order to survive and watching how they are determined to make a life for themselves is inspiring. I think that they help me more than I help them in their endeavour.
In addition, I recently starting dragonboating with a friend and I am really enjoying this experience. I had to sacrifice my Saturday morning lie-in, but it is worth it. It is quite a tough physical challenge but our team mates are very supportive and the socialising after the training sessions is tremendously pleasant. Furthermore, when I am paddling, my mind is not racing with thoughts about the past. My only focus is to keep the pace with the paddler in front of me. The fresh air, the sound of the water splashing and the banter and laughter are the therapy that I needed in order to move away from the negativity that had become my everyday companion. There is also a lot of wildlife on the river such as ducks, swans, herons and cormorants, which is an added pleasure. I love the competitiveness as well. I have always been a highly competitive person, so I am reuniting with my old self.
I also joined a Meetup group for the French people in London. Last week, I attended my first gathering and had a very fun time. My French is a bit rusty after 25 years in the UK and most people think that I am not a native speaker or that I am from Quebec, but it was nice getting to know new people and conversing with them in French. One guy thought that my friend and I were crazier than ‘young women’. I am not entirely sure what to make of this! I think he meant it in a good way though, as we are planning to meet again.
As well as these things, I want to continue spreading awareness about Narcissistic Abuse and I would like to get more involved with The Echo Society in the UK which is helping people overcome the many hurdles that they face trying to rebuild a life. It is becoming an epidemic in our modern society and needs to be acknowledged, so that maybe we can stop more people becoming victims. If I can be any help in doing this, I will do the best I can.
These are all my new ventures for the new year but I am also trying to reconnect with my old ventures, which I gave up in order to be someone I was not. Trying to be who I thought I needed to be, and not who I was, just to feel valued and loved.
I have starting being more involved in the charity that I volunteer for (The Islamic Resource Centre) and I have been elected secretary. Since paperwork is not one of my favourite things, it is proving difficult but since free counselling is our main service and they helped me in my time of needs, I am more than willing to give something back. Not everybody can afford counselling at £50 or £75 a session and the NHS is still lacking in the services that they provide. When I attended A&E with suicidal thoughts in the summer of 2016, they referred me to a psychiatrist, and I am still waiting… This is why I am determined to stay on the committee, no matter how hard it might seem to me.
I still need to resume attending my Wu Shu Kwan classes and doing my next grading. It was my dream to get my lack belt before I turned 50, but it did not happen. However, all is not lost! I have just set myself a new goal and I am hoping to do this before I turn 55. My only problem is procrastination. Because I leave my work preparation to the last minute, I am unable to attend my training because I have work to do. I am nearly there though.
I did not make New Year’s resolutions this year. Instead I decided to take New Year’s actions. I still have the odd day off, I still suffer sleeplessness and anxiety on a bad day, but I am far away from wanting to end my life and crying every day.
A new year and a fresh start. When something finishes, a new thing starts. We only have one life and I want to make the most of the years I have left.
2018, here I come!