Those of you who know me will know that my fondest wish is to be completely average. Where others seek to escape the anonymity of mediocrity, I crave it - I want to be just like everyone else. Basically, I just want to be normal. And what do normal people do in the early days of January? They set themselves long lists of completely unattainable goals that they can beat themselves up about for not completing later in the year, of course! I'd hate to miss out on a trend, despite being at least a day late, so as ever, I am making a desperate leap for a long-passed bandwagon as it disappears into the sunset.
'Revolution is the only solution' - Michael Mansfield
1.) Go back to therapy
In retrospect, it was probably overly-optimistic to think a six week course of CBT would solve all of my deep-seated and numerous psychological problems, but hey, never let it be said that depressed people can't also be optimists - hope, however unfortunately, springs eternal. However, I'm not sure how well the CBT has actually worked, partially because I always left my homework til the last minute at school and I don't know why as an adult I thought I'd be any different, partially because my circumstances have changed greatly since then and I don't feel my problems are the same anymore and partially because CBT is aimed squarely at anxiety, not depression, and I don't know why it's touted as cure-all. I was just (un)lucky that much of my depression, at the time, at least, was triggered by crippling social anxiety, so theoretically I still benefited, but I don't know. Interestingly, at the time, the recurring problem was that I felt unable to communicate with my colleagues, I hated that when I left no one knew I was going and I'm fairly certain most of them won't yet have noticed by absence, and I finished last May. So I think my therapist would be really pleased with how well I get on with my colleagues now, but I can't track any of it back to CBT, because I'm a lazy bitch and I never did the confidence building exercises, so I have to question whether it's a victory for CBT or just the fact that I'm sitting with my peers, who are closer to me in age and more equal in position (at Hotcourses I was an editorial intern and I was sat first with IT and then with sales, owing to space issues) and that my colleagues just happen to be people I was more naturally inclined to get on with. ANYWAY, CBT ramble aside, easily the most beneficial thing for me for those six weeks was having someone to talk to, and when I had my initial assessment, it was recommended that I follow up the CBT with talking therapy, because, in the words of that particular therapist, 'you haven't stopped talking for an hour and a half, and the session was only supposed to be an hour long.' Given that most days now I'm about five minutes away from ending up the subject of a newspaper article that ends with the words "before turning the gun on herself", to talking therapy this year I go.
End note on CBT: I'm really not anti CBT (I'm also going to really make an effort to start doing the exercises and keeping the thought diaries and everything again while I wait for an appointment for longer-term therapy), but I think what annoys me about it is that so much of it is based on challenging your assumptions, based in it's OWN assumption that you're being paranoid. When I was having it, for example, I was convinced that a certain man in my life (anyone who knows who I'm talking about will get that I have no idea exactly how to refer to whatever that fucked up situation was, so forgive the vagaries ) didn't care about me anymore and was going to leave me, and we did six weeks of exercises about challenging my conclusions, and saying "well maybe he's just busy and that's why he doesn't call so much anymore" and what eventually happened? He announced that he didn't care about me anymore and I haven't seen him since. A lesson learned - sometimes they really are all out to get you.
2.) Eat less crap/more not-crap things
It's possibly contradictory of me to go on a health kick when I often say I don't particularly want to live a long life (cut away to futuristic video news clip of 130-year-old Victoria patiently explaining that the key to a long life is hating every single second of it, because if there's one thing the universe loves, it's fucking with me) but that doesn't mean I want to make myself susceptible to cancer and heart disease, or the fatty deposits that are already strangling my liver, according to dodgy magazine article I did that ended with the conclusion that I'd be dead within the month. This thing is going down at a time and in a manner of my choosing. And sometimes I feel guilty about the amount of rubbish I feed myself with, and not to bang on about my debilitating mental illness, they do say eating too much junk food can exacerbate feelings of depression, and whether that's true or not, it probably doesn't actively help at least, plus you do experience a feeling of accomplishment when you successfully eat a salad. And I do like some healthy foods (mixed leaves and hummus and asparagus at least), I'm just unimaginative, plus it's really hard to eat healthily and gain weight, which is another of my goals. I made a gorgeous salad the other day, rocket, baby spinach and watercress with mozzarella, croutons and French dressing, and the whole thing came to about 350 calories, and I ought to be aiming closer to the the 800-per-meal mark. I hear rumours of fat vegans - how does this work? How many pine nuts do you have to eat?!?!
3.) Start making an effort to gain weight again
It isn't a huge mystery why I'm so thin - I have a fairly small appetite, and where other people comfort eat I've always comfort starved, and I haven't cracked a smile since 1997. That's not all of it of course, I quite patently have something wrong with me (unspecified connective tissue disorder aside), whether it be an insanely fast metabolism or something more nefarious, as one enthusiastic young doctor once opined, fantasising his name in the medical journals, telling me whatever it was we could name it after me ('Bad news Sir: I'm afraid you've got Victoria Williams' - sounds about right). So I'm not entirely certain calorie counting and just, as so many sarcastic people have told me, 'eating more' will work, but I can't be sure, because I've never properly applied myself to trying, bar a period earlier this year in the summer when I was doing quite well at sticking to my target calorie count, though I gained a grand total of one pound all the time I was doing it. So I pledge to count my calories and aim for the request 3000 a day. Worst come to worst, I actually really like the weight gain milkshakes I have.
EDIT: There's been another 'thigh gap' controversy, and now I'm tempted to renege on this. Even if I stand with my knees squished together I still have a thigh gap (and a bikini bridge, a bodily feature apparently so ridiculous it was made up as a satirical comment on the pressure on women to look a certain way and I was like 'Umm, hellloooo! Sorry...'). Fuck you, skinny shamers. I'm tempted to diet down to a size zero (pretty easy for me to achieve to be honest) just to piss more people off.
4.) Stop fancying twats
Here's a fact about me - I have terrible luck with men. The ones I like never ever like me back, and neither do the ones I don't like - 'I really fancy that really tall, anorexic-looking girl with the weird short hair and the fat lips. Yeah - that one standing awkwardly in the corner by herself wearing the feminist t-shirt' - said no man ever. Plus, I only ever seem to be attracted to men that make my friends roll their eyes and groan. The word 'hipster' has been mentioned. More than once. I swear, it's a disease. This has sometimes led to ill-advised flings with a fat singer in a bad indie band, a hairdresser who didn't want anyone to know we were dating and a man with a tattoo on his penis. Mostly it just leads to hopeless crushes and unrequited love. I don't know if you've ever fancied anyone who was aware of, and yet still deeply unmoved by your existence, but it doesn't feel great. It fucking sucks. And when it's someone who you're fairly certain is actually a terrible human being as well it just makes it worse - you get an oppressive sense of self-loathing to accompany the gnawing self-doubt. And so I've got myself into a situation where I have a crush on a terribly fashionable guy who has all the personality of a washing up brush and is openly hostile towards me. And is already taken, because of course he is. So now every day it's this internal battle of wits where one half of my brain is going 'hnnnuuuuuuaaaaaaah' and licking it's lips and the other is shouting 'WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!' Well, no more. I can't guarantee I'm going to start fancying nice guys; to be honest, I hardly ever end up fancying anybody, I usually run at an average of one doomed obsession every 6-12 months. But since the end result is the same (soul-crushing loneliness), I don't suppose it matters. What I can do is at least stop lusting after men who've clearly assembled both their wardrobe and their personality from a collection of lifestyle tips in Vice magazine. I'm not sure how, exactly, but I'm working on it. Maybe my future therapist will have some ideas (My old therapist thinks I push nice men away because subconsciously I think I don't deserve to be treated well, but I maintain it's because they're largely bad in bed).
5.) Write more
Fairly obvious. Writing is the only thing is the world I could give a fuck about (and pugs. Writing and pugs) and I barely do any. I have ideas for blog posts for literally years at a time (I've a draft from 2011 on here I keep meaning to finish) and I keep thinking up ideas for Buzzfeed posts only to see them published by other people weeks or months later because I didn't get off my arse and turn fantasy into reality. Fucking fear of failure. Plus, I've had a really good idea for a novel for three years now and it's starting to get ludicrous that I've only written the opening paragraph and I'm having second thoughts about that now, to be honest. I'm not setting myself a posts per day/week/month target, because that's setting yourself up for a fall, but more, I promise. And if I haven't got a full chapter of the book finished by April you have my full permission to tie me to a chair and force me to listen to The Enemy until I promise to try harder.
6.) More Germans
A deliberately broad goal. I love all things German and I refuse to feel ashamed because Germans are just better. FACT. I will fill my life with that which makes me happy. I will pick up learning German again, because I used to be good, damn it. I will go to Bierschenke on the weekends and watch Bundeslige games and eat currywurst and drink vodka sherbert shots and whomsoever judges me will earn only my eternal wrath.
7.) Shun people who don't like the Manics
Because who needs that kind of negativity in their life?
8.) Stab more people in the face
This one is getting its own follow-up post.
9.) Develop powers of telekinesis
Not actually even joking, this has been my goal ever since I read Carrie as a teenager. VENGEANCE SHALL BE MINE (no list of resolutions would be complete without at least one thing that was totally unachievable, no?).
10.) Become a happy, positive person
(OK, two things that are totally unachievable)