This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Taking Control of Christmas Chaos

This past year I had good days and bad days. I know everyone has their ups and downs, not just people with bipolar disorder. But if you have any kind of mental illness, those bad days can feel insurmountable. Those bad days cloud over all of the good days. There were several times this year when I felt like giving up. There were moments when I thought 'how have I managed for so long with these awful thoughts, these feelings of hopelessness? Why do I have to live a life where I am weak half of the time as I would be if I had the flu?' But I managed! I survived! Some days I even thrived.

But I will avoid making any New Year's Resolutions. Why? In order to make resolutions I would have to analyze what I have not done well this year so that I could resolve to do better. And I don't want to remember that stuff. I want to hang onto the successes.

WARNING! DON'T MAKE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!

Give yourself a pat on the back instead!

This entire series on 'Taking Control of Christmas Chaos' won't be complete without getting you over the New Year's hump.

Making a list of New Years resolutions can just make you more depressed. That kind of list points out the parts of your life that you're doing wrong. You don't need to dwell on that, especially during your weakened post-Christmas condition. You are delicate. You need to be kind.

So here's an alternative plan. Make a list of successes for this past year. If you think hard enough you can find something. It doesn't matter how small it is.

Here's my list:

1. I survived.

2. I kept taking my medication even though it really doesn't seem to help much.

3. I'm still on speaking terms with everyone I know.

4. I survived supporting my husband through four surgeries, several trips to the big city, and compromised eyesight while he recovered.

5. I survived doing all of his jobs as well as mine. (Truthfully, I fell apart several times along the way, but I survived!)

6. I managed to craft a blog post every week.

7. I continued to search new ways to cope with this insidious bipolar disorder. I did not lose hope.

8. I adhered as much as possible to my coping strategies of walking, solitude, writing, quilting, reading and drawing.

If I made a list of my perceived areas of failure, it would be a much longer  and depressing list.

If I listed the ways I could improve on my failures, I would become exhausted and depressed.

If I listed the number of times I lost hope, I would lose more hope.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you ready to make that list of your successes? Try it, it may not be as hard as you think.

I am so glad you stopped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you.

Dare I say "Happy New Year"? Why not!

"Happy New Year!"

Wendy Love

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