Saying yes to things was sort of my New Year’s resolution. Apart from I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I am under no false illusions that come December I will still be sticking to them. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even remember what they were by then. But for the past month I have been trying to be more positive, more outgoing and more sociable.
These three words are probably the last I would use to describe myself. I’ve always been a huge introvert. University had helped me tons in coming out of my shell more and not being so afraid of EVERYTHING but since graduating I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and I’ve returned almost to where I started.
And along with this I’ve become much more reluctant to meet up with people, even my closest friends. I started saying no to every invite, inventing false excuses. Or else saying yes and then panicking about it for the days leading up to it before backing out at the last minute.
Perhaps my biggest achievement since suffering from depression was my trip around America. I spent two months travelling and having amazing experiences and building life long memories. And it was terrifying and there were some days when I seriously considered spending all my savings on a last minute flight home, but I didn’t. I made it right to the end and I think I made the absolutely best of it that I could and now I can look back on it with no regrets and no remorse.
So by keeping that trip at the front of my mind I can convince myself to say yes to more things, because once I’m there, once I’m doing them and once I’m looking back on them afterwards I’ll be glad I did it. Even if it won’t usually be something as amazing as boat trips under Niagara Falls and surfing at Venice Beach, it will just be a couple of drinks in the pub with an old friend.
Of the five occasions I’ve had since Christmas to put this in to practice I have said yes to all of them. And I feel great for it. Now that I have a more active social life I don’t feel so down about the rest of my life. Yes I might have depression, yes I might work part time in a mundane job, yes I might not be exactly optimistic about where I’m heading in the future but I got to celebrate New Year with some great people, drinking wine and playing charades. I got to see one of my closest friends graduate from her master’s degree and then get hugely drunk and spend the evening dancing to our favourite cheesy pop songs. I got to catch up with the girls I went to secondary school with and compare where our lives have got us (and gossip about what everyone else has been up to). And I got to go on a two dates with a guy who perhaps isn’t my soul mate but who took me out to dinner and told me I have a pretty smile.
Right now life is looking quite good really. Ok, it might be the newly prescribed antidepressants talking but changing my attitude towards life is a massive help. Saying yes is scary but once you’re there, once you’re doing it, it will be absolutely worth it.