Number three on my extensive list of New Year’s Resolutions was, in bold, no-nonsense letters, ‘Write blog WEEKLY. No excuses.’ My two-term stint of writing for the Cambridge Tab over, (you can find my Tab columns by googling ‘Cripple in Cambridge’), returning to my neglected blog seemed a good way both to maintain my writing and to cure the narcissistic desire to tell as many people as possible all my little thinks.
I’m good at making resolutions. Whether it’s a boldly scrawled New Year’s list, a neatly scripted Sylvia Plath-style page of ambitions for a new academic year, a drunkenly tapped out iPhone ‘note’ of more productive uses of time than yet another Sunday night Life, or simply a Monday morning post-it note, I have a real talent for planning personal makeovers.
This is the third week of 2015, and these are my first words. As it happened, the dawn of the New Year came slap bang in the middle of a fairly severe episode of mental illness. Thus far in 2015, most of my energy has been devoted to getting out of bed.
The fact is, when your physical and/or mental health isn’t quite up to scratch, resolutions aren’t all that helpful. It’s all very well resolving to dedicate summer 2012 to a regular programme of physiotherapy, but come September’s broken ankle, you’re back to square one. It’s all very well promising to be happier, but sometimes that’s just not something over which we have control.
The number of people in the OI community whom I know also to suffer from mental illness is high. Whilst I’m no psychiatrist, the connection between a body which, however hard you try to fix it, will break around you without warning, and a mind which sometimes gets worn out, doesn’t seem so hard to draw. Sometimes, no matter how rigorously we do our exercises, or how religiously we take our pills, our bodies and minds can let us down.
This year, for the first time in a while, I did not resolve to ‘get fit and healthy’. I resolved to work towards my own picture of health, whatever that might look like. If there’s a cast and a couple of grey days in there, that’s ok. And if, a year on, I still feel a long way off, that’s ok too.
And, whether my next blog is in a week or a month, I resolve to make it a whole lot less soppy 😛
Happy New Year xxx