Part of me wanted to go black. Because it really is my favorite color, and I don’t care what people say – black is not boring. It’s beautiful.
But another part of me wanted a bright and energetic color. One that fits the health and the lust for life that I regained in 2012.
That year started with a decision to escape my growing exhaustion and depression. To find a way back up. So, for my 2012 diary I chose the color beige. A “soothing and permissive non-color” that promised me “no more drama”. And I started moving in the right direction:
1) I was kind to myself.
2) I made professional choices that would minimize anxiety and maximize stability. True, I was lucky to be able to work at all. Working kept me afloat. It gave me a reason to get up in the morning and keep moving forward.
3) I was open and honest about my depression. I shared it with my family and my friends, naturally, but also with co-workers and with my social media networks. Not primarily to get help and support (although I appreciated it). It was more like…“This is me. Right now I feel like shit and it might make me difficult to be around for a while. But I’m working my way back up, so just bear with me, ok?”
4) I prioritized work, food, exercise and sleep, while minimizing my social life. People exhausted me. Even close friends and family. This might seem harsh and ungrateful, but it was just a matter of surviving until I got my health back. Now that I’m “back”, I am filled with love and gratitude towards the people who stood by me.
5) I sought professional help. The psychologist agreed the problem did not seem to be “in my head”, and the doctor concluded I had anemia and hypothyroidism. Eventually, I was also prescribed an anti-depressant, which I am still taking.
The results were mindblowing. I got my life back. Colors are brighter, contours sharper. I’m still no superwoman, but compared to one year ago, I feel super. I still hate getting up in the morning, but I no longer fall asleep sitting at my kitchen table at 7 p.m. I’m still miserable when it comes to basic everyday logistics, but it no longer turns me into a sobbing pile of misery on the floor.
I embrace 2013, with a smile and a…(drumroll)…red diary. Not dark, blood red like in 2010, the year of passion and risk-taking. A brighter, lighter red, that stands for energy, joy and generosity. Red for following my heart, loving without fear and taking center stage. Red like my face will be after I’ve run 53K on the 29th of June.