"I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling looking for the key to set me free." - Joni Mitchell
"I am safe. I have choices and options." - (Me)
Last year was a doozy! After everything that happened in 2022 (lots of death and loss of friendships), my body and mind could not calm down. I took six months off from my job with the accountability courts. Scully, my cat, got attacked and that was incredibly stressful-she nearly died and had to have jaw surgery. But at least she looked cute-after the surgery she wore buttons that allowed wire to hold her mouth partially closed. I went back to the accountability court job only to decide to take another break when my dad entered hospice after a major stroke. Depression for me worsened and I decided to enter a women's trauma treatment program. Fortunately, that was a wonderful decision and that program is helping me so much-February 2nd will be my last day.
I did make a lot of joyful connections at outlantacon and dragoncon - people that will hopefully stay in my life for many years. Sadly, the joyfulness of these connections triggered more panic and depression because after so many losses the year before, all I could think of was eventual abandonment. I don't want to live my life afraid of making connections, so that's another reason why I entered Ridgeview's women's trauma treatment program. Even though those connections triggered my mental illness, I am still so glad for them! I have made many friends this year that feel like chosen family to me and I am even in a relationship. If you had asked me six months ago if getting into a romantic relationship was a possibility for me, I would have laughed and groaned, but a romantic connection evolved naturally from a deep friendship formed at outlantacon. I struggled with a lot of guilt and fear for being in another partnership after Nina, which is another reason why I entered the trauma program. I truly love this person and it seems like a genuinely healthy connection and despite my intense emotions and hangups, I still want to nurture this relationship instead of pushing it away or turning it into drama.
I turned 42 this year, which was exciting but not as joyful as I had hoped it would be-it was just too hard to have a big celebration when my birthday was during the time that Nina and I would have been on our honeymoon in Hawaii. I did celebrate turning 42 at DragonCon though by wearing a dress I made out of a towel to the Vogon Poetry Slam-42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything, you know. I also had fun cosplaying this year as Wednesday Addams and as Baby Mayday from the Spider-Verse movies.
(Me as Wednesday Addams and as Baby Mayday-Tragically, I do not have a picture of me wearing the #42 towel.)
That's my year in a nutshell-lots of great experiences but unfortunately a lot of scary, big feelings too. I am feeling much better nowadays thanks to a medication change and this trauma program. I am learning how to widen my window of tolerance for uncomfortable and big emotions since that seems to be a thing I experience fairly often.
I like to use tarot cards as a way to tune into my intuition and I thought people might find the results of my "Year Ahead Spread" from one of my favorite Instagram accounts-"The Tarot Diagnosis," interesting.
#1: What am I proud of from the last year? Knight of Swords - "The Fighter" - I fought for what I needed to stay in recovery-advocated to attend a treatment program and worked on med compliance
#2: What should I continue exploring? 3 of Cups - "Weird Sisters" - Coven Creativity & the Trinity, balancing different spiritual communities. (Several of my new friends and I have formed a spiritual mindfulness group)
#3: Lesson from Anchor: 5 of Wands - "Clash of the Fairy Folk" I need to channel my excess energy by creating art for creation's sake; I need to stay focused on finishing my taxes before taking on new projects
#4: Energy to Bring into the New Year: "Temperance" - Don't overdo it. Be wise with money
#5: Neg Thought to Release: 10 of Wands- "Demonic Fire" Let go of anger and resentment
#6 Positive Affirmation: 2 of Pentacles - "I am safe. I have choices and options." Say yes to feeling safe in my body - ground! - use wise mind-balance logic and emotion mind
(Wise Mind is a DBT concept.)