After a month-or-so long break, it is FANTASTIC to be back in the swing of things on this podcast! I had so much existential dread about Angus Eye Tea that I almost needed to make a podcast about making my podcast about anxiety.
You’ll notice a few new things around here – first, that now we’re on SPOTIFY. Second, that I’m uploading on Wednesdays now! And third, that each episode will have an accompanying blog post to expand on any shenanigans I briefly touch on in the podcast. I want Angus Eye Tea to be available to all sorts of media users, so if you’re hard of hearing, listening to a podcast is probably a drag. So, voila! Episode Notes are here!
Right, so, uh…my tarot reading for 2019 basically suggested I would have bad relationships, nothing would last, and vacations/plans/projects would be cancelled. That was not really the inspiring, I am one with the Universe sort of mystical wonder I was looking for. I was hoping I would get some cards that would say, “Wow, you’re going to buy a house! And have ten boyfriends who are ALL RICH. Oh, and you’re going to travel the world for free and have no worries at all.”
But, as you heard, that did not happen. Do these cards actually determine the outcome of my life? No. I have free will to act against them, be aware of their warnings, and also, this deck was from Barnes & Noble. How mystical can it really be?
The problem actually stems from an issue where I tend to look back on each year and go, “well, damn. That’s another one down the drain.” I haven’t had a kick-ass year in a while. I have some pretty good stretches, but I can’t help but think of overarching issues that clouded my years. The first example that comes to mind for me would be the year I studied abroad in Dublin. That was the most incredible experience. I pushed so many of my anxiety boundaries, saw Europe, made great friends, and had a great time.
But, after those four months, I came home and fell into a horrific depression. I was coming to terms with the fact that something actually was up with my mental health. It had become apparent during my travels that I had an anxiety “issue” that made me irritable and unable to enjoy certain outings that everyone seemed completely fine with. Coming back to my life, I had an overwhelming feeling that I had settled in so many aspects of my life. That made me incredibly sad after months of adventure, and I continued to spiral from there.
Then, my senior year of college began and I was bored. So, so, so bored. I had a lot of time to think. Too much time, really. I thought about how I was stuck in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I thought about how I would most likely end up back at my parents house in Ohio after graduation. I thought about how I would become scared again and lose the anxiety-fighter muscles I had gained in Ireland. That I would never travel again, and I’d be too afraid to interview for a job. In my eyes, I had peaked and life would offer me nothing moving forward.
And yes, if you guessed “wow, was Elaine depressed that year?”, congrats! You win!
Long story short, I started seeing a counselor, I survived that year, got a job, and here I am today! But if I looked at 2015, would I say it was a good year? Eh. First part – fabulous. Second, bigger part – shit show.
I could go on, but you get the picture – my years tend to have golden months or moments, but I usually can only see the times my depression or anxiety clouded over and took away time from me.
Anyway, going through the tarot reading and the horoscopes made me realize that I want to change how I view each year of my life. It’s easy for me to connect every depressive episode I had sprinkled throughout the winter and perceive my whole year as those darker moments. I’m not someone who can remember all the good parts, especially when I’m in the thick of anxiety/depression fun.
This year, I want to be outside of my head more. I want to help others, whether it be supporting someone’s dream or donating to a cause or donating my time to help someone. It’s easy for me to stay trapped in Elaine’s Doomsday World, and I think this year it’d be nice if I took more vacations. I’ve come up with a quick list below of ideas on how you can better your year and avoid “bad-year-itis.”
How to defeat your “bad year streak”
Keep a journal that you write in frequently. It can be bullet points, blurbs, or really annoying prose that hopefully no one will ever read. The journal will act as your evidence throughout the year to stop you from making blanket statements such as, “this entire year has sucked so far.”
Plan ahead so your year isn’t a shit-show. Sorry, was that aggressive? Right, any who – if you dedicate one day a week or even a month doing something you know will be relaxing, enjoying, or fulfilling, then scientifically you can’t have a bad year. Science and maths say so. Algorithms. Yes.
Stop evaluating how good your life is by one year. Nothing stays the same, so why would you try to judge your life by such a large and varying measurement? You can still have good years and bad years, but that doesn’t mean that your life is graded at the end of each year. And if you feel like your year is graded, who are you competing against and why?
Lastly, stop trying to support your theory that you’re on a bad year streak. If you believe it, you’re going to try to find evidence to prove it. There will obviously be things we can’t control, but try to focus on the parts of your life that you can control