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I am in a strange place tonight as I look back over the year.

I have been off all medication for a year. I haven't felt this GOOD  in my life.

I have learned to deal with my emotions instead of let them sink me into the depths of depression and hold me there. I learned to cry when I need to. It was very difficult. I am still not good with my own emotions.

If anything, my long bout of illness gave me empathy, sympathy, and kindness on levels I never previously reached before.

I have been out of therapy for a year, but have noticed it is time to go back in with a new counselor. I am proud of myself for finally learning my signs long before they become Major Issues, and to not balk at it. Therapy is not forever. For me, it's usually a few months where I just need guidance to figure out how to do what is best for me.

I had started smoking around this time last year, and have quit again.

I finished losing the weight I'd set out two years ago to do. Physically and mentally, I am healthier than I was in my twenties. This is the FIRST time in my entire life I have been happy with my body. Since it has been over a year since I have thought I was "fat"... I considered myself fully recovered from the anorexia I feared would come back. Now, if my pants are loose, I eat foods that will help me put me back to my healthy weight quickly. I also am relieved to discover I did not become vain and haughty when I returned to my normal weight, which I have seen others who've lost as much as I have sometimes do.

I have been learning to take care of myself better. Exercise when I can, eat better. Sleep when I need to sleep. Admit when my body is ill, and call in when it needs to heal. Admit when my body and mind are stressed, and cut out other things in my life for that time period to meditate or read, to do more stretching or sleep more to recover. I am trying to let myself understand when my body honestly needs to see a chiropractor or massage therapist, listen to it, and not talk myself out of it.

About this time last year, I successfully moved out on my own. I had to get used to silence and being alone. Now, I prefer the quiet and solitude.

In the beginning, there were a lot of times where it nearly crippled me, the Alone Feeling. Now I forgive myself for hiding when I need to, and learning when I have to force myself to do things with other people. It is a fine balance for me, and it will take some time to figure it out. (It has made me re-evaluate what my physical, mental, and social limits are, my stamina, as much as the previous paragraphs.)

I made countless friends. I am not good at making new friends, so it was a major accomplishment. I am still working on learning how to make new -close- friends. That's a lot harder, I find. Still trying to figure that out. I think it is harder when you are naturally turned inward most of the time. I don't like many social outings--they make me tired or nervous. I don't like crowds--too many people anywhere make me tired and nervous. Most of the things I like doing I do by myself. It makes connecting harder.

I have lost friends this year. One or two, even, that I thought would be around for years. Some people moved. It's harder to keep in touch, but I still try when I can. I am starting to get used to them not being close. (I tell myself it will prepare me for when I move out of state someday again. It is like learning independence all over again. Not sure how else to describe it.) I have regained contact with old friends I thought I lost. I am still working on having better communication and contact with them... but it is hard after years of isolation. I feel like I've lost six years of their lives. (Mostly, because I did.) I have felt like a burden or an inconvenience for so many years, it will take a lot more work to overcome that.

I had three jobs, each progressively better than the last. The current one has been stressful for the last four weeks, but I enjoy it and the people I work with and I feel I am good at it, even if it is not what I am passionate about, and would rather find something I -am- passionate about and also excel in to feel more complete and satisfied. It is good for now. (It's also amazing to look back two years, to when my illness first began to recede, and realize I have more than doubled my income since then. That gives me a lot of pride and confidence.)

I had an experience that was both uplifting and devastating. At the time, I understood I was supposed to learn something from it, but couldn't figure out what. I could only be angry at the world for the irony. It's all I had room for.

Lately, in retrospect, I finally grasp it was multiple things, most of which could not have been selected or understood until after. I had to learn that there was no Right Answer, and that the only way to 'answer' the 'question' was to learn to better quantify possibilities, and fully calculate causality.

In my long list of experiences, I now rate it as the second most difficult and painful. I am better for having gone through it. I learned sometimes there are only lose-lose situations, and I tell myself I made the right decision, even if I was not happy with it. Even if I understand myself well enough to know if I was confronted with it tomorrow, it'd be the sledgehammer all over again. For the most part, I am at peace with it--as best as I can be. I have two regrets about how I handled it all, and the second was that I never said thank you.

I taught myself to play the keyboard. I am forcing myself to make more time to do so when I can, because it soothes me like nothing I've ever known. I am coming to terms with the fact that I had never been allowed to pursue music as a child seriously. I have rediscovered how gifted I am at it, and am reclaiming it step by step, and pushing back when other people tell me otherwise. That alone has built my confidence in ways I've never dreamed--finally standing up for something I was taught to shun in myself.

I have learned to forgive myself for the times I can't play or sing, the times it is hard to untangle what I want for lyrics. I have learned to forgive myself for the nights I can't figure out which key I'd prefer to write in, or am just too damn tired to think and trying to force it anyway--and telling myself it's time to sleep instead.

Time was not lost. It was spent accomplishing or learning other things.

I picked up Spanish again. Quickly. I haven't made time to practice in the last five or six weeks, because work has been crazy, but I should soon. I felt so much happier learning again. Learning anything, really. I don't care if I'm never fluent. Any little bit helps. It was like my brain was starving to learn anything at all.

I discovered the school I want to attend. Now that I am not 18 and don't have my neurotic family holding things over my head, I will go back for what -I- want, and not feel like I wasted time or money. I am still trying to figure out a clearer picture of what I want to do with my degree to better plan what I want to get out of my classes, but that will come. Right now, I am just trying to figure out how I will pay for the first year.

Very nearly back at my I-don't-take-shit-from-anyone mentality around 19, I am more open about my bisexuality and my struggles with androgyny--but not an open book. I seem to have settled inside. I am learning ways to describe why I approach tasks, emotions, and situations differently at various times instead of attempting to explain the truth itself that I happen to be wired in a way most people don't think is possible or automatically shun in revulsion. I only had one hard time all year about not being male in a male body, but that had more to do with the fact I had forcefully repressed it so long I didn't even realize that was exactly what I was doing. Now that I don't fight it, that too has stilled within, become at peace. (But don't expect me to stay happy with it should I end up falling in love with a woman in the future... haha~)

I am also finally drawing boundaries with my neurotic, toxic family. I have cut contact with all but my mother, for the most part. That will be hard to cut. I held onto hope for so long, despite what friends, lovers, and therapists advised and warned. (And I can admit out loud now, it is the vicious cycle of any abusive relationship of "but when she's good...")

She was the only one other than my grandmother I had a close relationship of any kind with. The rest barely felt any notice that I vanished. At most, I hear, they ask if I might come to Christmas this year. It has never been more than that, a basic question of mild interest, then moved on. They never cared or noticed enough to -demand- an answer, to feel betrayal, to be hurt. -That- used to hurt. Now, they are just ghosts, vague memories.

This will be different. It will be the death of a long held hope and dream. She will fight back. She will cling. She will come after me with a fury, then rage off in silence. It may happen over and over. And I will be tempted to relent, knowing it can only harm me further. I fully comprehend ahead of time that the only way to be independent, free, healthy, and happy in the long run may to be take measures someday to vanish completely--move cities and change my name. I have been preparing myself for that all year.

I have no illusions about this step. It will be traumatic. I will experience it as a death. I will grieve it. I will feel insane and lost and depressed. (And furious and betrayed.) I will go through hell to be free. And will be worse when she passes... tripled, quadrupled, because I will never understand why she could only desire to control and cripple me instead of seek a healthy relationship with me, for all the thousands of times I offered. (And worse, I may never know when it happens. I may never make peace with this.)

I am slowly taking steps. It is a mustering of strength and courage.

If I were going to list themes for my year... they would be Confidence, Causality, Chains, and Change. This year was all about letting go.

I have a feeling next year will too, but with a strong consciousness about gaining strength and freedom, and discovering how to empower myself.

I don't really make resolutions, because they come across as punishments, and that is often how we react to them, and a major reason why most of us can't keep them for more than a few weeks. We have a tendency, as a whole, to tell ourselves, "you can't" or "less" and it becomes subconsciously, internally, "you're bad."

I make goals instead, and try to phrase them positively. I also don't generally save them for New Year's because every day is the beginning of a new year in relation to its own date. New Year's is just an excuse to wait. However, this time of year, I do often reflect, rather than get drunk and celebrate. I've come a long way. For the most part, this was a year of completing many long term goals I had, so it is time to shift focus to new ones, which have taken me some time to even generalize.

My new long term goals are to finish school, move out of state to a climate and city I love, and to have the freedom I've been struggling for for decades. That's enough.  Relationships can wait. :) I know myself well enough that that sort of thing just distracts me from what I need to do for myself to feel accomplished and happy, and tends to keep me tied to Wisconsin. Later. It can wait. I have to finish rebuilding myself.

deviantID

Alex0Jericho
Alex Jericho
Artist | Varied
United States
poetry, horror, dark fantasy.
oil paintings.
modeling.
music.

I have been focusing almost entirely on music at this time--hence my long absence.

************

My preferences in film run toward horror and action, and I support foreign and independent film. (all time favourites: Fido, Aliens, Let the Right One In, Willard (2002), Braveheart, Zombies of Mass Destruction, The Abandoned, The Descent, etc.)

Music to me is like oil painting, ever fluid, changing with my mood and MUST have powerful lyrics and/or storytelling, not just a catchy melody and strong beat.

Current Residence: Somewhere in Dis
Favourite genre of music: all of it. sound is holy.
Favourite photographer: Richard Avedon (portraits, not the fashion)
Favourite style of art: bright colours, dark subjects; typically in oils.
Skin of choice: the one i was born in.
Favourite cartoon character: the entire cast of PREACHER. and i worship BATMAN.
Personal Quote: Accept when you have clarity; meditate when you can't~
Interests

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:iconfibreciment:
fibreciment Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014
Thanks.
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:iconsaidge42:
Saidge42 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014

:iconthankyouscript1::iconthankyouscript2::iconthankyouscript3: :iconbigfav4plz: :iconfavesmile:

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:iconreyed33:
ReyeD33 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for faving reyed33.deviantart.com/art/Nev… :thanks:
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:iconwilliamfdevault:
williamfdevault Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Professional Writer
Happiest of birthdays! :blackrose:
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:iconalex0jericho:
Alex0Jericho Featured By Owner May 23, 2013   General Artist
thank you so much!
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:iconpomohippie7:
pomohippie7 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013   Writer
Happy, happy birthday! :cake:
Long time no see; I hope you're doing well.
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:iconalex0jericho:
Alex0Jericho Featured By Owner May 23, 2013   General Artist
thank you so much!

i'm doing well--have been working on music more than poetry or paintings, very busy with my day job with a screwy pre-crack-of-dawn start time, but otherwise well!

i hope you are the same!
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:iconpomohippie7:
pomohippie7 Featured By Owner May 23, 2013   Writer
You're welcome; I hope it's been a great day!

I'm very glad to hear things are going well. :)

Things are going good for me, too, if a little dull but that's okay. :)
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:iconalex0jericho:
Alex0Jericho Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   General Artist
it was a very relaxing but perfect day with my close friends. it ended up being one of the best birthdays i've ever had :D

things have been dull with me--busy, but dull--hopefully that changes a little when i get different hours!
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(1 Reply)
:iconarum1966:
Arum1966 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the Faves Alex.
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