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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Its 2017

Welcome to 2017 everyone.

People get really caught up with numbers right?! Today is another day like any other. Yet so much significants is put on the passing from one year into another. It is a day seen as a chance to spend with loved ones or to go out and hopefully meet someone special. Though this year I saw more people being local about staying in, wether that was on their own or with a significant other. For me it was great to see this. It did make me feel like there was a little less social pressure to be excited for new year as an event.

Last year I had an awesome New Years eve plan, it was going to be great. I am still disappointed that I didn't get to the event. I was going to have drinks with friends then go to a pub and listen to live music. Two of the three bands I had heard before and they were great. I was so looking forward to it.

Unfortunately I never made it out. That night I had my worst episode to date, it fact it led to raging, self harm and seizures. While focused from some time after 5pm to 5am, spells of rage and seizures lasted for a couple of days. For me this became a sense of realisation at the state of my mental health and the stress my mind was under. I was fighting to keep level, all the while getting deeper and deeper into my illness.

There have been many fallouts from that night, not least missing out on what I'm sure would have been my best New Years night. Since 31/12/15 I have not had an alcoholic drink. While Im sure I could probably cope with one drink, it is just not worth it. I do miss cider and shots, o I do. But the risk for me means there is so much less desire to even try. Many believe this to be because of the antidepressants I am taking, while its not recommended I think that would be fine. No, for me it is about the internal battle that is happening as I fight to keep control of my own mind. Drinking hinders my ability to do that, and its already a struggle. It is for that reason that I don't drink, not a fear of being sick.

As of tomorrow (02/01/16) I have been taking citalopram for 12 months. Another outcome of that night was the realisation that I could not cope on my own, I needed help. I had already been to the GP and had the medication at home, I just happened wanted to take it. Mainly I didn't want to be reliant on medication, I didn't like the idea of having to take something to be me. That thought process going on in my mind on its own probably wasn't great.

With last year ever-present in my mind I tried to keep this year basic. I didn't make any plans. I kind of didn't just want to sit in at home on my own though. So I decided a day or so before that I might go to Portsdown Hill to watch the fireworks and take a few photos. It was something I could change my mind about if I decided I couldn't.

New Years night I still wasn't too sure, but I had a bath in the evening and decided I wanted to go. So I got ready and headed out at 10pm. It was very busy! There were cars all over the grass, road edges and just about anywhere you could get two or more wheels off the road. It was nice to be outside, taking photos took my mind off being alone and the thoughts of last year. It was quite peaceful. Sometimes I need to not be reflective, if that makes sense?

I feel like I was able to have more of a balanced thought process because of the friends I have spoken to and listened to in recent weeks. The community of mental health bloggers that I am part of is amazing. I treasure you all so much. I spoke a little about these guys on my recent podcast (Ep.48 Mike's 2016). Its been a difficult year, but one in which there has been small victories and amazing people discovered.

Today (01/01/17) has been a killer, my head is pounding. I know I have over done the screens a bit in the last week, great prep for going back to work haha, but I think part of it is because of that subconscious battle that is going on in my mind. Getting through Christmas and new year is a massive success for me. My natural instinct is to look for the next challenge that will come at the end of the month. But for now I am trying not to focus on that. Today (whats left of it, Im still in bed and it 6pm!!) is about today, its about acknowledging the success and achievements that have been made. As such I would like to say a big thank you to all those special individuals that I have had the pleasure of meeting, talking to, hugging and sharing with.

Thank you.

We all have our own battles and we continue to fight, 2017 is a new year, but it is just another day. While some feel 2016 has taken from us; hope, people we love and admire. I choose to remember (I try to) that 2016 is just a number we came up with to measure stuff. In 'reality' there is just one day at a time. 2017, 2016 it makes no difference. Make the most of each day, talk to your friends (and family if you are so inclined haha), make new friends, discover things about yourself, adventure.


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