This year has been tough, to say the least.

Depression has been my biggest issue – so many times this year, I’ve been barely able to function. Work, knitting, even socialization, all came to a halt, like they always do when I’m at my breaking point. This spring was tough, and I spent a lot of time hiding from life in general.

I was doing better, though. I was starting to pull myself out, was actually animating again, started working on projects that had been sitting around for years… And, then, it all came crashing down.

My daughter had just tested for her Tae Kwon Do black belt, and I was so proud of her. My ex’s family all came down to celebrate, and I got a chance to talk to his mom for the first time since I gave her her shawl. That was Saturday.

Sunday, while my daughter was at lunch with her dad, just after everyone else had left, I got a phone call… It was my best friend’s mom. Sylva (not her real name, but the one she went by online, for privacy’s sake) had suffered a heart attack the day before, and had passed away. I was in shock.

I’ve worked alongside Sylva for many years. She taught me a lot about animating for Second Life. She gave me a job when nobody would even give me an interview. She was there for me when I was down, understood when I was hurting, offered help and advice when I needed it, and never once judged me when I didn’t take her advice and wound up in trouble because of it. We were so much alike that it was scary – especially what I learned of her from her family. We never met in person, but all those years we spent together…

Years ago, Sylva made it known that, if something ever happened, I was to take over her business. I promised her that I would do it to the best of my abilities – she had two daughters that needed to be taken care of. Of course, when I made that promise, I had no idea that it would actually happen – that, years down the road, I’d be struggling to fit all the pieces together.

And it is a struggle. Not just with lawyers, and finances, and customers, but with myself as well. I have a hard enough time juggling my own life under normal circumstances, but now I have a huge pile of responsibilities that I need to work with – on top of my own – and she’s not there to help me out.

I’m lucky, of course. I have some amazing friends. My other best friend, Raya (again, not her real name) has been there for me the entire time. She went down to Texas with me to visit with Sylva’s family and help work out what we were doing there. She’s agreed to help me deal with customers and the like – which is a major help. She doesn’t complain when I go on endlessly about all my crap.

And, then, there’s Dray. He’s… Well, I’ve known him online since we were both in high school, but we’ve only met up once. He’s this amazing guy that shares a lot of my interests, and doesn’t judge me for the things that I normally wouldn’t share with anyone else. Even Raya. (Mostly because Raya is somewhat innocent, in some areas at least!) There have been times that we haven’t spoken for years at a time, but he was always in my thoughts, even if we weren’t actively talking to each other. It was never a matter of disagreement, just falling out of touch… Anyways, he came back into my life around the beginning of January, and having him there has been a major help. He’s always been special to me, and likely always will.

It’s because of these two amazing friends that I’ve managed to not fall apart completely – at least, not permanently. But it’s been a struggle. My entire life has been shattered, and even with help picking up the pieces, it’s going to be a long way to where I can put everything back together. I’m trying, though.

Looking back over what I wrote in December, and everything that has happened this year, I think there are a few things I need to focus on.

  1. If something is worth doing, I need to do it. If not, I need to let it go. No more WIPs hanging out in limbo. No more “someday, I’ll…” If it’s worth it, I need to make it happen.
  2. I need to put myself first, at least sometimes. I’ve been working on this one. I keep healthy snacks around for my afternoon blood sugar drop, even if they’re not cheap. I finally pushed myself to get insurance, I’ve even knit a few things just for myself (though, the knitting has dropped off completely for the past few months.)
  3. I need to stop trying to control others’ reactions. This one, I struggle with. It’s hard for me. I want people to be happy, to react well, to smile and be positive. And if they don’t, if something’s wrong, I take it personally. I can’t continue like this. I need to take reactions as they come and move on, not dwell on them forever. (They haunt me at night!) This one is going to be tough, for sure.
  4. I need to give myself permission to not be ok. There are going to be times where I’m going to fall apart, where I’m not going to be able to face people, where all I’m going to want to do is curl up in the dark and hide. This is part of who I am. Fighting it only makes it worse. I need to stop beating myself up because of it, and I’ve been working on that. Giving myself permission to curl up and take a nap, or step away from a situation where I’m getting overwhelmed. It’s ok. It’s not the end of the world.

…and I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but for now, that’ll do.

Now to go curl up in bed with my butt-head cat and get some much needed sleep. Tomorrow: Work!


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