2008, Almost Over, Let It Go
Only a few hours remain to 2008. A few highlights and low lights:
Low point of the year - the economic-financial collapse. State governments are slashing spending, public services are being cut, savings are disappearing, businesses are in crisis, people are losing their jobs, prospects are grim. This is not a good time to be living with a mental illness. From our point of view, we are already in a great depression. Many many more, unfortunately, are about to join us.
High point of the year - a new President-elect. When TV screens across the nation made the news official, most of us - even those who voted Republican - experienced a great cathartic release. Even as the world was tipping into crisis, it was a time to give thanks.
For me personally, it has been the type of year that has given literal meaning to manic-depression. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Much of this year was spent in a state of burn-out - a kind of low-energy enforced hibernation - the result of years of cumulative stress. Fortunately, I recognized what was going on and cut back on my activities, work and social. Over time, I felt myself mending, but I am by no means out of the woods.
At the same time, I experienced milestones that included attending my daughter's wedding, getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time in 30 years, and discovering YouTube and the power of making my own movies. I also had an all-too-brief relationship with a wonderful woman who gave me a lifetime of great memories.
In the middle of it all came devastating news that my good friend Kevin, age 28, threw himself in front of a train.
I run my own business, and this is the time of year I take stock. I look back on the previous 12 months with a view to making hard decisions about 2009. Last December at this time, for instance, I put my email Newsletter on hold. Now, I'm looking forward to resurrecting it.
Like nearly all of you, I am facing the new year with a lot of uncertainty. The impending economic depression may well sink my boat. I try to focus on the things that are within my power to change and not worry about the rest. But that is like being told not to think about elephants. The year 2008 posed a major challenge for me. I have the funny feeling, though, it was only a warm-up to 2009. Let's see what happens ...