It’s been a rubbish year. As years go, it’s been right up there with the worst: a litany of failures and mistakes interwoven with bad luck, bullying, being treated badly and being lied about. Really, nothing to enjoy.
Some people might be sad to see the end of 2013. I say, fuck off 2013, you were a piece of shit. You brought nothing but pain and sadness and regret. I know it’s just the ticking over of arbitrary numbers or the changing of seasons, but at least it’s something: I’m going to be in 2014 soon, which means 2013 will be dead and buried, a line of snuffed-out candles to forget about and not look back on.
Except there have been a few things that have made it tolerable. I wrote something – I wrote a book, called 12 Things I’ve Learned About Depression. Not the most popular thing I’ve ever written, by any means, certainly not the height of interest my writing got back when I was good at it. But it’s something I’m able to look back on and say, you know, this is pretty good. It’s good because it matters, because it’s honest, because I meant every single word, and because it provided the chance to heal some things that I thought would never heal.
Writing about things doesn’t make them go away. I am not cured. I am no expert. I am still struggling along. Things have been falling apart all around me, in my personal life and in my career, and there hasn’t been much that I’ve been able to do about it. This is a low. This is as low as you can go, you think sometimes, and then you fall deeper into the tailspin and surprise yourself at how much worse it can be.
But I wrote something. It might not mean much to anyone else but it means something to me. I’ve been able to tell a story that I wanted to tell, and I did it in the way I wanted to do it. That is something to cling on to. It’s something to hold. It’s something that is there and which will always be there. Words are on a printed page and sent out into the ether; they go and find a voice in someone else’s head. It still is magic, when you think about it. I wrote something. I made words happen.
This year, this 2014, there will be more writing. I may even make some progress in the career I have failed to begin; I may find the ability to go ahead and change the things that need to be changed. And there are other things that need to happen, too, but I can’t even bring myself to think about them. You mustn’t dare have hope. Don’t dare hope.
But I wrote something. That’s all you can do sometimes, look at the things you’ve done and created. Some of the words linger around and begin to make sense again. Some of them take flight.