We’re over halfway through the year and, honestly, I’m exhausted. This year has been full-on and it’s been one of the best of my life, but I’m also struggling to keep a balance between working hard and taking care of myself. Sometimes you have to spend lots of energy to do restorative activities, like going to the gym or learning a new skill – so, as much as I’m tired, this year has also been refreshing.
With that in mind, here’s some of the work I’ve been doing this year.
I did some CBT and self-esteem courses at the start of the year, as well as being active in tracking how my meds are affecting my mental and physical illnesses. I’m trying to keep up with my emotional growth in restorative and meaningful ways. It’s awesome and it’s also hard work:
Picture description: My weekly medications, plus some little vegetarian sweets, are organised in a colourful pill case.
As well as having therapy, this year I got my private psychotherapy practice truly up and running, so I’m back to doing therapy, too. It’s been a a crash course in business and marketing techniques and I basically never get a day off, but it feels amazing to be doing what I love:
Picture description: A copy of ‘Private Practice’ magazine from the BACP is lying on a comfy duvet next to a mug full of coffee.
As part of my aim to nourish myself emotionally, I aimed to spend this year going on adventures and travelling to see friends. I haven’t done that as much as I wanted but I have managed to hang out with my loved ones in some cool places around England:
Picture description: A view of York Minster and a blue Spring sky from an adventure with a friend.
I’ve also been nourishing my interests in ways I couldn’t last year by attending book clubs, joining cake decorating classes, and playing video games:
Picture description: This is a photograph of me playing ‘Dream Daddy’. My personal daddy, a fat cutie with a pink beard and a purple cat shirt, is asking his daughter, Amanda, “Can you explain memes to me?”
I’m also trying to nourish myself physically, which means hitting the gym. Yesterday I went to a HIIT class, and today I had to squat to pick something up; it took me two tries because my inner thighs are sore. Turns out I have muscles there? What the fuck?! In all seriousness, though, I used to be very active and it’s nice to be doing exercise I enjoy again:
Gif description: I’ve arrived at my gym class early so I’m messing around with some very light warm-ups, raising one leg gently. I’m wearing workout clothes and a comfy hoodie.
One of my other goals this year was to only write if I was getting paid for it, aside from here (because I love you folks). I’ve managed to pick up some writing and editing jobs. Most of that work hasn’t appeared in the wild yet – keep your eyes peeled:
Picture description: The front cover for Romancing the Page by Laura Ambrose, a collection of novellas that I helped to proofread.
Most recently, after one million billion years of blood, sweat, and tears, I got to attend my MSc graduation ceremony this week. I don’t think I’ve quite recovered but I’m very glad I went:
Picture description: I’m wearing a shirt, a tie, pretty ok makeup, plus grey and blue graduation garb complete with silly tasseled hat. I’m one of the first graduands to arrive before the ceremony so there’s nobody behind me. I’m very nervous and I’m pulling an ‘internal screaming’ face.