This review of 2018 is more a way of me taking stock of everything than telling all my readers about it. It’s a way of trying to make sense of what has been a pretty chaotic time.
Where to start? At the beginning I suppose. The first couple of months of 2018 went like most others in 2017. My relationship was falling apart and I was trying to get to grips with my new job. To be honest, January and February are something of a blur. I think I was just going through the motions and each day kind of blended into the next.
It was March when everything changed and the ride began. The hammer of inevitability struck. Just a couple of weeks after my son’s third birthday, his mum and I brought our relationship to an end. We’d been on a rocky road for a long time and neither of us was happy. She hadn’t been able to get over my misdeeds, i.e. my cheating on her a few years prior and texting other women, and I felt like I was trapped by her distrust.
Not once have I defended my actions during our relationship. I did a lot of things that I shouldn’t have done. She maybe didn’t handle the situation as well as she could have done, but the simple fact is that she never should have been in the position to handle that situation at all.
So, I moved back to my parents’ house just before my thirty-fourth birthday. We quickly settled into a rhythm of me having Caellum every weekend and seeing him a couple of times midweek too. This seemed to be working alright until June when the holiday to Turkey came around. My mum, who is fighting terminal cancer, took a bad turn with her mental health and everything suddenly changed. She missed the majority of the holiday due to her breakdown. Worse still, on a personal level, was that she felt it best that Caellum stop coming to stay for a number of understandable factors.
As you can imagine, this made things somewhat difficult where my ex was concerned. The only way I could spend proper time with Caellum was by staying there again at weekends. A lot of the time this was no problem as my ex and I do get along; however, it was tough in the respect that we were both still trying to move on from the relationship and being around each other made that difficult. There were times where the tension could have been cut with a knife.
To coincide with all of this, my own mental health took a dramatic turn for the worse. Depression, something I suffered with for a while after Caellum was born, and anxiety hit me like a tonne of bricks and my life descended into a dark and deep hole. My confidant was a person I’d got talking to properly in late 2017 and she became a crutch I depended heavily on. Her support stopped me slipping deeper into the mire.
When she suddenly had to take a step back, things got worse. In November, I actually began to go through phases of suicidality despite the fact my mum got through her bad patch and I could start to have Caellum at my parents’ house again. I’d never before felt like I wanted life to end and it was a horrible sensation. There was no way I’d have ever acted on my feelings for the simple fact that I’d never willingly see Caellum grow up without a father. Honestly though, that was the only reason. If not for him then I daresay I’d have gone through with it.
There were four or five bouts of these suicidal feelings. The final flirtation with them came one day in work, a couple of days after my ex had announced, quite out of the blue, that she had got into a relationship with someone. I’ll admit that this caused a clusterfuck of emotions to surface; anger, despair, jealousy, uncertainty, and fear to name a few. The sensation that I wanted to end it all hit me while I was sat at my desk and it came over me greater than it had before. I don’t cry easily at all, yet I was fighting back tears of anguish and had to disappear for twenty minutes to compose myself.
That was the day I decided the self-pity and self-flagellation party had to end. I knew I couldn’t go on dipping into these dalliances with suicidal thoughts, so I stopped. At the time of writing this, 11:42 on 31st December, it’s been two weeks to the day since I felt so low as to crave death. I’ve had my down moments, but, in general, I’ve felt much more positive.
In general, 2018 has sucked balls! It’s had good moments, such as the aforementioned family holiday in Turkey, watching Caellum continue to grow and develop, and making new friends. In the main though, this year has been awful and I’m glad to see the back of it.
There are going to be changes in 2019. I’m not going to wax lyrical about them here. The time for talking is done. It’s time for action. I won’t be the guy to drone on and on with oft-spun platitudes about how things will be different. Instead, I’ll just get on with it. I need to stop chasing validation from others and start making myself proud, feeling satisfied with what I do. That’s been one of my main problems in life. I’ve always sought the approval of others in every single way, which is why I’ve made so many silly mistakes. When a person lacks confidence in themselves, they’ll go to all kinds of extremes in order to get it, much in the way an obsessive compulsive will perform certain compulsions in order to provide temporary relief from an obsessive thought. The compliments or nice actions of others give me an ego boost, though the euphoria lasts only so long and I soon go in search of more. Perhaps what I have is in fact OCD. Hmmmm…
Anyway, continuing to assess and evaluate my mental health and then applying fixes to remedy whatever issues I have is the way I’m going to work from now on. I’m not going to allow myself to slip back into a downward spiral of self-pity and suicidality. The time to start respecting myself and allowing myself to feel pride in my achievements is the way forwards. When you hit bottom, the only way is up. As Tyler Durden says in Fight Club, it’s only when we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything. 2019 will be a better year; I’ll make sure of it.