Looking Back At 2016

Like most people the end of the year brings about a lot reflection for me. I feel like I’m constantly taking stock of my life but now seems like a good time to look back at the year that was. 
2016 was okay. There were some good points, there were some bad. 

My anxiety and depression has seen me win and lose the fight from time to time. It’s always ongoing and will probably never end. The blog has been an invaluable way for me to chronicle what has been happening to me. Sometimes it acts as a journal, detailing what I’m going through, other times it acts as a platform for me to try and destigmatise the effects of mental illness. The conduit has been great but also, at times, it has been like an albatross around my neck. 

I don’t pertain to have all the answers to this. In fact, I’m still looking for most of them myself. There are times when people contact me asking what they should do. I can try and advise people as much as I possibly can but I really don’t have the answer to their questions. I wish I did and sometimes I rest my head on my pillow at night wondering if there’s more I can do. But that’s something I’ll always do, I’ll always try to help as much as I can. 

The blog had occasionally caused people to worry about me. Honestly, please try not to (believe be, I know that’s a hell of a lot more easier for me to write than it is to actually do). When I started writing I promised I would always be as honest as I could be. There would be no point in me writing is I wasn’t going to be. But for me it’s a way for me to get the darkness out from inside of me so it doesn’t fester. It’s an outlet so people know they’re not alone with what they’re going through. I know that it’s caused some worry with people. My mam has called me a few times to make sure I’m okay. I know she understands that her son is alright, sometimes she just needs to hear it herself. 

Another negative thing for the year is that I feel I’ve let some friends down. Like I’ve said, I will always over analyse every situation I’m involved in (like writing this particular blog entry several times) and, yes, there are some times when I could have been there more when people have needed me. But I’m only human, I try to do so much and sometimes I fall short. There have been moments have I’ve not been there as I’ve been focusing on myself, on my problems and issues. I will always feel guilty for every time I feel like I’ve failed them, no matter what had happened and I’ll always be sorry when they feel I’ve let them down. 

It has also been the year where I’ve questioned myself a lot about what I’m doing. I’ve made decisions that have been hard for me to take but I know that, really, they’ve been for the best for me. It has become a time where I’ve had to focus inward on myself and start doing things that keep me happy. Again, I know some may feel possibility disappointed in these choices but they weren’t things that were made lightly or in passing. Once again, the future offers me possibilities.

It hasn’t just been all doom, there have been some wonderful moments. The blog has encouraged honest dialogue between myself and others. I feel like I’ve been able to help and support people where I can. I’ve been able to educate and help tell others tales to help them. By doing that, they’ve also helped me. They’ve made me realise I’m not alone, there are others out there who empathise and are ready to listen. There are some real angels out there in this world. 

I’ve made some wonderful friends this year and taken other friendships to greater strengths. There are people out there who have been there for me and offered me so much support and encouragement. They all know who they are. This year would have been so much harder without them being in my life. I’ve also become friends with some other blog writers too. Their work helps motivate me and pushes me to write better peices too. 

I’ve fallen back in love with writing as well. The actual process of trying to articulate how I feel into words is satisfying. In fact, I’d say that writing had certainly helped clear my thoughts at times, making my head slightly less cluttered. Before I used to channel my feelings into my music, now it comes through peices like this. At times it’s easier (I can do this at any time) and other times harder (getting the right words into place can be pretty tough).

The journey has been quite a spiritual one, as well as an emotional one. It’s made me look deeper within myself than I’ve ever done before. Flaws were acknowledged and embraced in myself. Strengths have been shored up. I’ve looked for answers to questions, some I’ve found and others……..well, we can’t have everything, can we? 

I have tried this year to acknowledge and overcome my weaknesses whilst trying to build on my strengths. I believe that I’ve become a better person and I hope that others see that too. My goal for the new year is to continue building on these foundations and create a positive version of myself for myself. 

The road ahead might be uncertain but I’m forward to traveling it. Let’s see where it takes us. 

As usual, if you’d like to chat to me further you can email me at theorderofthedog@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I’ve created a closed support group on Facebook also called The Order Of The Dog. It’s there for people who struggle with mental health issues as well as people who want to support and get a better understanding. It’s a closed group which means only members get to see and interact with what’s posted there. Finally, please feel free to share this blog with anyone and anywhere you think it might help.

The Order Of The Dog.


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