My Year in Review

A Month-to-Month Guide of How 2017 was Both the Best and Worst Year

January (January 6th):

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For months my friends and I had planned to drive to Tennessee to surprise our fourth friend in the group. She’s in law school and has absolutely no time to herself because she’s too busy taking care of everyone else. So we thought it was time to get the band back together. The four of us hadn’t been in the same room together since graduating college in 2015. We had the perfect plan and her mom was involved and everything was set. However, Mother Nature had other plans. The morning we were supposed to leave it started snowing in Tennessee. We still thought that we could make it, but our friend’s mom called and said that people were already starting to get stuck on the side of the road. We were three hours away, I still needed to change my tires, and we hadn’t left by 9am.. So we called it. We didn’t go and thus began the most disappointing year. I just didn’t know it yet.

February (February 17th):

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For my friend’s 25th birthday, she wanted to go on a cruise. So if you know me. You know I love cruises. So of course I went. That month I was still working out, I decided to be healthy and I was at a very good weight! I was happy with my body,  with my hair, with myself, with life. I really enjoyed that cruise and the people I went with and the things we did. I went ATVing for the first time through a jungle, who else can say that they did that?

March (March 8th):

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Needless to say, I was high on life. Right after the cruise, I received a contract. A much needed one, since I spent so much gambling, haha, but that’s a story for a different day. I also decided to sign up for a Tough Mudder, so I started to train for that, and luckily there was a gym right next door to the hotel I stayed at so I could work out for free! It was perfect. I was in great shape, working out everyday (almost), but still enjoying life and eating all the good food that Newport News, VA had to offer. Surprisingly, it was a lot. It was a great month honestly. I was still happy, I was on the right track and everything was going so well. I didn’t know that it was the calm before the storm. How could I have known?

April (April 8th & April 23rd; April 26th):

Before:

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At the beginning of the month I was ecstatic. I received yet another contract and this time it was in sunny San Diego, California. I’ve never been and I was super excited to go. My friend’s grandmother lives there and she goes there like 5 times a year, so I convinced her to come join me for a weekend. The first weekend, I hit up all the sights by myself, like the beaches, the Zoo, In & Out Burger, etc. The second weekend when she came, we went to Balboa Park, Olde Town, all the good brunch spots, and the Gaslamp District. It was great! It was also the day after the first incident. I think back now, maybe if I told her then, everything would have turned out differently. But, then again I did tell someone, and I didn’t take his advice.. Granted, I know I should have, but hindsight is 20/20. Regardless, the first three weeks of April were great, I was still working out, the Tough Mudder was at the end of the month, and I was still eating all the good food. I was happy, I was healthy, I was feeling myself. I was confident. All of this is also probably what contributed to my demise. But like I said,

how could I have known?

After:

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On April 26th, 2017, my life changed forever. I was in a situation that I no longer wanted to be in, but I couldn’t get out of it. Yes, I went there out of my own free will, and the night was okay for a while, but when things started happening that I wasn’t okay with, he didn’t listen. I’m not going to go into grave detail, not again, but I keep replaying that night over and over again, to this day. I am still torn, I don’t know if I did everything I could have done and I don’t know if I contributed to it in any way. But, what I do know is I told him I wasn’t ready and that I wanted him to stop, and he told me to relax and that nothing was happening. He got what he wanted because I was scared.

May (May 21st):

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Another month, another project. The month started off with me telling one of my close friends what happened. It was kind of a relief to get it off my chest and to get some things clarified, but it was the first time I said it out loud and that made what happened to me real. Which means that I could no longer pretend that it didn’t.

Dallas, Texas. I was there for three weeks and during those three weeks I ended up self harming. It was the first time in LONG time that I had done so, and I was so disappointed and angry that it came to that. But, I was just so upset that I wasn’t feeling “the way I was supposed to” (according to whose standards? I have no idea), so I thought I would take matters into my own hands. However, not all of May was bad. Parts of it was good because one of my friends got married and it was a lovely ceremony. The month ended with me getting some sort of infection on my lip, which sucked, and a family reunion, which was great!

June (June 25th):

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June started off as a really good month. It was my mom’s birthday so we got to celebrate that. We went to a Nigerian engagement party and we looked fantastic, if I do say so myself. I was doing well. But, like I said, how could I have know what was going to happen next?

The morning of Father’s day I woke up to a charge of almost $800 on my credit card. Long story short, I left my wallet in the car and the window was left down just enough that someone was able to reach in, unlock the doors, and take my cards. That broke me, that was the finally straw, that was my low, or so I thought (until months later). Anyway, as a result I finally let the rest of my close group of friends in on what I have been dealing with the last few months, because I was tired of pretending that everything was okay when it wasn’t. The month ended with a trip to Savannah, GA that had been planned for months, that I didn’t want to take anymore, but I am glad I did because I had a great time.

July (July 7th):

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More Traveling. So I think it goes without saying that this year alone I have traveled more than I have in my entire life. That was a goal of mine for the past few years and I am glad that I was able to make that happen with this year. The month of July was particularly busy.. I went to Maryland for a conference with my family, then I went to Orlando to spend the weekend with my friend and her new baby, and then I went to South Carolina for another project. While I was there my sister and her friend and I took a day trip to Charleston. Finally, I ended the month in Houston for about a week. So I was busy, to say the least.

Like all my other months, this one started off well and then started to slip. On my way to my SC project (I drove), I had a mini breakdown. I don’t know why, I don’t know what caused it. But, for three hours I was on the verge of tears. I cut myself off from social media and I tried to take care of myself on my own, mainly because I didn’t know how to explain what was happening to me. And then there were a few times where I was just immobile because of my emotions, it was scary. Eventually, I realized that I hadn’t let myself fully feel all the emotions that came with what happened to me, because there’s always been something else that I needed to do, or accomplish. Life essentially got in the way of my emotions. It was the first sign of my depression, but I didn’t know it at the time. This is also why I went to Houston, I needed to spend time with my friend and to get out of my own head.

August (August 27th):

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August was a month of new adventures for me. The family that I had been working with for the past three years was moving to California. That was definitely bittersweet for me, because at the time I didn’t know if I was still going to move with them or not. I also was a Camp Advisor (co-Camp Advisor as seen in the photo) for the first time. The Camp that I was involved with during my college years, the one that changed my life, finally gave me one week of a whole new experience. Needless to say, August was a great month. I was back to being happy and almost back to normal.

September (September 3rd):

20170903_154622[1]It only took nine months, but we finally made it. The “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Spinsterhood” (what we call ourselves) was finally reunited Labor day weekend. It was definitely a long time coming and a really good weekend. We ate, we laughed, we took pictures, and we walked everywhere, almost. But most importantly, we were together. More great things that happened that month: I got a new phone, I was finally off from work (after my Labor Day weekend trip I was home for one month), I went to Yelp events and I continued my trend of eating good food. I think since the incident August and September were by far my greatest months. But, what have we learned? Do I even need to say it at this point? Fine, for those who weren’t paying attention. How could I have known what was going to happen next?

October (October 4th): 20171004_181541(0)[1]

There’s no point in lying or even sugar coating it. October was the worst month of 2017. Remember that depressive episode I was talking about in July? That was nothing compared to what happened this month and there was no way I could have known to what extent it would go. I was working 12 hour night shifts every day for four weeks straight. I was fine the first week or so, but then I don’t know what happened. I was crying almost everyday, I wanted to go home so bad,  and I wanted to be away from everyone. I was exhausted and tired and constantly reliving what happened. It wasn’t good. It got to the point were I was crying in the bathroom at work and one night I had the strongest urge to self harm and I was about to, but my team leads came to check up on me to see how the night was going. It was my lowest low and I was scared of what was happening to me and what I was capable of doing.

November (November 12th)

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I had about a week in between my October project and this November one and I jsut ended up sleeping most of the time. My next project was in New Jersey, day shift this time, thank God. Since it was so close to New York and I have a friend who lives there I decided that I would go and celebrate my birthday there. On my actual birthday, I went to a restaurant with my aunt, who happened to be on the same project, and the following weekend I spent time with my two friends from college.

But, of course, November was also another busy month, because I had just gotten off a project, and then I came to this one, just to fly back for a wedding for a day and then I had to fly back the next day because I had to work. So I was just exhausted. But, as the month went on, the days got easier, and my sanity slowly returned. I came home for Thanksgiving and spent time with my friends and family, so that was a nice break. I also finished applying to school so it was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders.

December (December 10th):

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The final month. The beginning of December was not the greatest. After all the festivities of the previous holiday,  I just wanted to lie in my bed and never leave. Which is what I ended up doing. I didn’t willingly leave the house for two weeks. Simply put, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go anywhere, or do anything, and I was constantly complaining. In fact, it got to the point where I was annoyed with myself for constantly complaining  about my weight, but not actually doing anything to fix it. I think it was the photos from my birthday is where I realized that I had gained so much weight, and when I finally stepped on the scale I found out that I had gained thirty pounds since April. That’s a lot, I was at my heaviest I had been since in like 6 years. Originally, I was supposed to be twenty pounds less than where I was in April, but I guess life had other plans. So December ended up being a rude awakening, that just because something happened to you doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your entire life.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Always follow what you want to do, don’t let anyone else push you to do something you’re uncomfortable with.
  2. You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you work for.
  3. Stop letting other people control your happiness. It’s okay to be selfish and do what you want to do.
  4. Step outside of your comfort zone, sometimes it might be worth it.
  5. Enjoy the life you’re given. Embrace both the challenges and successes because both make you who you are.

I know it was a long post, probably my longest one to date. But, 2017 was a year and this was a much needed recap to remind myself that I still had a pretty good year despite everything that happened. I am blessed that I have my family and that we are all healthy. I am blessed that I have my friends and that they are all healthy. I blessed that we as a collective whole, even though we all had a pretty tough year, we made it through. And most importantly I am happy that I was finally able to open up to my friends, which is something that I wanted to do for a long time, I just never had the courage to do so. Granted, there are still some days where I can let them in more, but baby steps.

I pray that 2018 will be better and I will try my best to make sure that it is.

Happy New Year in Advance!

Alex.

2 thoughts on “My Year in Review

  1. Wow, that was one heck of a year… you’re in my prayers, dear. I hope 2018 is 110% better. I know some of what you’re going through and I hope you stay strong like you have been! Keep on keeping on.
    Here’s a good quote:
    “Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are what could have been.” Don’t think about what could have happened, what you could have done, whatever things could be.
    Think about what can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I truly appreciate it. I love that quote, thanks for sharing! That is one of the things I am working on, you’re right I need to focus on what can be done and hopefully that’s what 2018 will be filled with.

      Like

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