I would’ve written this post yesterday, but the last day of 2015 threw me one last emotional hurdle to deal with – we had to say goodbye to our last cat, Pip. She had been succumbing to age very rapidly over the past few months, but as she lost weight and became unsteady on her legs we knew the end was getting nearer. Cue yesterday, when she wouldn’t stop throwing up and lost all control of her bodily functions, meowing in pain. We took her to the vet, who agreed it was time to let her go – and that before she felt her tummy and found a large mass in her stomach.
The decision was already made. I couldn’t let her suffer. The vet was so kind and careful as she put my Pip to sleep – I had been there when she was born last to her mother Munch, who we said goodbye to in the summer, and I was there when she turned to me as she passed peacefully.
So… that was a final ‘fuck you’ from the year. But, in all honesty, 2015 was the best year of my life. I know that’s a bold statement, but the worst parts of the year were so outweighed by the good parts that they don’t stand out as much as they normally would.
We did say goodbye to three furry family members. Losing Shandy nearly destroyed me, but her death pushed me back onto my medication and gave me the strength to say to my former psychiatrist that I need DBT before I do some real damage to myself. We did the right thing for each of our pets, to save them further pain and heartbreak. And of course, we still have our Lady to smother with love – something which I’m sure she detests…
2015 saw me finally starting to live for myself. I completed my level 3 diploma in Abnormal Psychology, and also began volunteering for a charity I support with all my heart. Volunteering has given me so much confidence, it’s allowed me to meet new people, make new friends and develop skills which also help my BPD.
Despite knowing in my heart that I will probably never go back to a regular job thanks to my disorder, that didn’t stop me from applying for jobs either. I would never have done that in 2014 – the mere notion of applying for a job used to reduce me to a panicky, tearful wreck thanks to my last job. That was a huge thing for me alone. And I actually managed to get a job interview too! Despite the fear and immense anxiety that came with it, I went along and did it. And yes, I did terribly, but I did it. The Husband couldn’t have been prouder if he tried.
Writing became a passion for me again. Not just working on novels either, but writing for other blogs and even starting up this one – I finally decided to make writing work for me as much as I work at it.
I also managed to meet two very famous people of whom I adore. I met the hilarious YouTuber TomSka at a signing, where we both joked about our mental health and he wrote a very dark message in my copy of his book. He was also fantastic to hug – it was like being hugged by a friendly, good-smelling bear, who was also really good looking.
Then, there was the time I met my favourite comedian of all time Nick Helm after his gig in Harrogate. I may have been one of the few who laughed my head off – seriously Harrogate, you have no sense of humour – but I was just so excited to be near the man himself. I just love his dark, angry persona when he’s performing, because he has the balls to act how I wish I could act in real life sometimes. When we met after the show, he was so fucking nice I wanted to cry. I lost count of how many times he hugged me, and when he kissed my head when the Husband was taking photos I think I died of utter joy. He told me I was ‘perfect as I was’ and told me with no hesitation that we would meet again. It wasn’t like meeting someone famous, it was like catching up with a friend – we even joked about a Twitter fight the previous day that I got involved in over him, and it was just awesome.
2015 saw me losing weight for the first time successfully in my life thanks to Slimming World. This is something that I’m definitely going to continue in the new year for sure, as I’ve not only changed the way I eat but I’ve made friends and gained more confidence simply from being the way I am with the people I go to group with.
I also had the joy of being there when my cousin/best friend/soulmate Rox got married to the love of her life. It was a beautiful day and I was so happy to give a speech about how much I loved her, how happy I was for her, and ending with a blonde joke because why the fuck not.
Oh, and that reminds me of the biggest part of 2015 – I got married to the man who made me want to push past the shit I’d faced in life before him and be the best Claire I could ever be. Seriously, this man, my Husband, he is everything to me. I never thought I could love another person just as much as I love him. And he loves me, BPD and all. What more could I want from someone?
2015 brought some trials and tough times. It saw me having to deal with a lot of things that even people without BPD would struggle with. But it also saw me finally learning how to live for myself, along with the family I’m building.
For the first time in my life, I’m grateful for the year that has left us, and excited for the year that is coming my way. Bring it on, 2016.
(But, if Jon Snow doesn’t come back in Game of Thrones I swear to fuck I will burn this city to the ground. Well, maybe not, but I will be very angry.)