Monday, 31 December 2012

My wish for 2013

I'm not feeling very celebratory.
If I look at the black and white of my past year it seems like there is nothing to celebrate, it was a tough, stressful and roller coaster of a year. It also feels like theres nothing to look forward to celebrate in the New Year --  I have a disorder that can't be cured and is going to make life difficult everyday for the rest of my life (talk about daunting!). This^ is how I'm feeling right now, or maybe this is what my disorder is making me feel right now... 'cause I'm pretty sure I'm smarter than to look at things from a black/white perspective. Either way, its no fun.

Now I'm going to write about the little nuances of happiness that have filled my past year and hope that both my Bipolar and other self start thinking a little more positively. Warning to myself... This might not work, and thats okay.

"HEY, guess what? It worked. After finishing this post I feel much more positive about my past, present and future." [keep reading to see my wish for 2012]

and now, cheers to some of the grey areas!
(and NO not Christian Grey, although I must admit I did read 50 Shades)

I started my first year at the University of Guelph, I love the city, its so beautiful and green, my residence was right beside the Arboretum, I loved walks/runs through there.
Even though I didn't get to class often, when I did I was engaged in what I was learning. I had the amazing opportunity of working with Alastair Summerlee, the president of UoG in one of my classes.
I made some amazing friends.
The Ranch, The Bullring. Enough said, its a Guelph thing haha
I went to Mexico with my best friend, it was incredibly beautiful there and the culture was so vibrant, the people so full of life.
I've become closer with my older brother.
I've found new hobbies and improved at old ones
I've become closer with my parents
I've been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Yes, thats a positive.
After being diagnosed I've been able to prioritize the importance of things in my life.
^sleep, exercise, routine, low stress, realistic self-expectations and most importantly surrounding myself with caring, loving individuals.

Happiest moment of 2012?
Fishing with my brother, (who is essentially addicted to fishing) and catching a small mouth bigger than he or my dad (also an avid fisherman) have ever caught -- on a hook and a worm, *with a bobber!
The hilarity of it was the two of us, in this little tin boat, trying to land this massive fish -- which I didn't know was massive at the time, as he opted not to tell me so I wouldn't freak.
So there we are, him yelling at me to reel fast, then stop reeling, then reel, then keep the tip of the rod down, me squealing like a girl, probably doing the opposite of what he told me. The bobber eventually stopped the line from reeling any further so I had to hold my hands above my head to get the bass up high enough to be netted by my brother who was leaning over the side of the boat with a ridiculous sized net (how we didn't tip I have no clue). We eventually landed the fish, a job well done on both accounts. Brother-Sister high fives and smiles were exchanged.

I'm sure there are other times in my life when I've actually FELT uninhibited joy, as opposed to thinking about the happiness of a situation and choosing my outward mood appropriately to suit, but I can't really think of them right now. It sounds a little strange for this to be my most favourite memory of 2012 but I didn't even have to think about smiling, in fact I couldn't stop smiling! This experience was so brief, maybe 10 minutes for the reeling ridiculousness and a few precious moments with my big ass fish! But in all honesty this one moment made an entire year of struggle worth it. This is one lesson learned that I will carry with me forever. As humans we are able to endure and obscene amount of suffering. So many suffer infinitely worse than I do, every moment of every day... Yet we are still here, still breathing, sill thriving, unwilling to give up.

So this is my wish for 2013: For all those who suffer from mental illness to remember the little bits of happiness, no matter how small, and remember that they are what we live for. Cling to life and force it to feed you more moments of happiness, don't hesitate or shy away, embrace them and hold them with importance.


  1. Hey Alannah, I went through your blog today and just wanted to say it's really cool what you're doing. I've always had a lot of respect for you and thought you were one of the few genuinely good people I've had the pleasure of meeting, but this takes it to a new level. I was really sorry to hear about your sickness but I know you'll kick its ass. Even though I probably won't see too much of you in the future, I just wanted to wish you good luck with everything. You deserve it. Give 'em hell, kid.

  2. Reading this actually put the biggest smile on my face, I appreciate you making your way to my blog and taking the time to go through it. Even more, leaving a comment like this just makes me feel like what I'm doing here is worth it and for a purpose. I hope we do come across each other from time to time. And you know me, definitely not going down without a fight!