2017 | a year in review

I can't believe 2017 has finally come to an end! It's so weird to say that because even though to me it feels like the year lasted for at least a decade, I still can't believe it's already time for me to write another year in review post! Wasn't it just yesterday when I published my 2016 review? Anyways, 2017 was probably one of the hardest years for me yet. It was the year that made me question everything, mostly myself and my existence. And although I still don't know why I exist, I know that life is worth fighting for. Some of the few good moments this year taught me that much.

January was mostly snowy and cold. It consisted of a weekend trip to Prague, which was probably the highlight of the month, long walks through the icy landscape and time spent with colleagues. I'm pretty sure the weekends went by way too quickly and workdays seemed to last forever. I probably spent most of my free time during the week going to the natatorium or doing home workouts and waiting for the weekend to begin. To me, January always seems to be the most uneventful month of the year. Or mabye I just don't really ever remember most of it because it was so long ago.

Another snowy month and just like the year before, I spent one wintery weekend with my family. We went skiing, walked through the icy forest, ate too much and for a while, everything was bright and beautiful. I was both happy and sad and spent a lot of time thinking until I finally realized I'm not who I used to be. That's when I decided it was time for me to change something about my life and started looking for a new job.

March was productive and mostly sunny. I made plans for the future and felt hopeful. Philipp and I spent every single weekend together, went on numerous walks, took a decent amount of pictures and made a lot of memories. One of my favorite days was a sunny Saturday we spent hiking in Saxon Switzerland. Those early spring days were refreshing and I remember I was feeling quite good about myself for most of March.

Jutta came to visit around Easter and made April worth remembering. We spent a few days together, walking around, taking pictures, eating donuts and talking about life. It was great. The rest of April however wasn't as great. It was mostly spent planning and thinking and after a family event towards the end of the month, I started feeling incredibly down. I felt like I wasn't good enough and that I wasn't trying hard enough and that I didn't deserve to be happy. It was shit.

I spent the first half of May feeling restless and even though things in life were going pretty well at the time, I knew something definitely wasn't right. I remember sitting at work, feeling like shit, constantly being down, wondering whether or not I should go talk to a Doctor about my feelings. The only thing that somehow kept me going was the thought of our upcoming vacation. Knowing that we would be flying to Iceland at the end of May made me survive the weeks prior to that. And when we finally went to the airport and I knew that new adventures were waiting for me and life for me would change once we got back, I felt hopeful and happy again. The last few days of May were some of the best days of my life. Iceland totally took my breath away and even on our first day, we made so many incredible memories, thinking back at it makes me want to cry.

June was great and Iceland was amazing. We spent the first two weeks of June driving around the island in our rental car, discovering volcanoes, hot springs, glaciers, waterfalls, fjords, rocks, canyons, beaches, sheep and had the best time exploring Iceland's stunning nature, taking pictures, not thinking about tomorrow. And even though we saw a lot of the island, there's so much more to discover still. When we finally had to go back to the airport and leave, we didn't want to go. I've visited a lot of places in my life so far but none of them ever made me feel as good as Iceland did. Ever since we left, I've been wanting to go back. The rest of June went by in a blur. I got sick a few days after I returned home and before I knew it, the end of the month and the last day at my old job had come.

In July, everything changed. I moved to a new city, started a new job and I was hoping that all those changes would make me feel better about myself again. But instead, I started feeling even worse every day and halfway through the month, I found myself sitting at the Doctor's, bawling my eyes out. I didn't know what was wrong with me, I just knew that July soon turned out to be the worst month of my entire life. As far as I remember, I cried every single day for the following weeks. My head was overflowing but at the same time, I felt so empty. I didn't know how on earth I would be able to continue living my life like that. I felt like a zombie, was incredibly tired and could hardly concentrate on anything. I don't even know how I managed to go to work feeling like that every day. Just thinking back at it makes me shiver. I can honestly say that I never again want to have to feel like this, ever. I remember I was so glad when the end of July came. It was the last Friday of the month, the day I handed over the keys to my old place and met my old colleagues at the opening of one of our projects, when I found out that what I was experiencing is called major depression.

August started just like July had ended. I felt nothing and everything at the same time. I had been struggling every single day for weeks and I knew I just couldn't do it any longer. I didn't have the strength any more, to go to work and pretend everything was fine when in reality, I just sat there all day, trying to hold back my tears, feeling numb, barely being able to do anything. Going to the Doctor's again and finally getting a sick note was a relieve. At first. But when my boss called me the next day and yelled at me for being ill, I honestly just wished I didn't have to live another day. I felt even worse then because I thought it was all my fault and I wasn't entitled to feel like I did. But luckily, I soon after realized that my health is way more important than any project at work or anything else and I rather not work for someone who yells at me anyway. In hindsight, I'm quite glad that things worked out the way they did. And after having so many shitty weeks, I was actually able to take my mind off all the crap and enjoy a couple of relaxing days by the seashore at the end of August, which was a much needed break.

The month that always used to be one of my favorites was one of the weirdest months for me this year. It was both hot and cold, sunny and rainy. Some days were good and others not so much. I tried to find motivation, forced myself to be creative and felt inspired but depressed and lost and tired all at the same time. Most of my memories are blurry and I remember I barely had the strength to go on longer walks. I tried my best to take my mind off my problems though and taking pictures of my pregnant friend Lisa and visiting a couple different museums and castles definitely helped.

October was hopeful and eventful. I finally found a therapist and started seeing her regularly and talking about my thoughts and feelings really helped me. After thinking about it for months, I then decided it was time for me to openly talk about my depression. I was scared at first but all the positive feedback and messages I got showed me I'd done the right thing. Being open about it not only helps me, it helps others as well, which is exactly what I want. Hearing stories of others and learning more about myself and my depression gave me hope and motivated me to keep going. Throughout October, I tried to focus mainly on myself and things that make me feel good, like exploring, taking pictures, being creative.

Even though we started November on vacation and had a few good days away from home, it was a weird month again. I felt kind of motivated but not really and kind of depressed but not really. I started filming, editing and uploading videos again, more or less regularly, which kept me busy. Grey weekends were spent taking walks and dark evenings reading books. I had a few breakdowns and spent too much time thinking but other than that November was pretty uneventful, or at least I don't really remember anything special happening.

For some reason, December is always the month that goes by quickest. And so it did this year. I tried very hard to get in the Christmas spirit this year but before I knew it, Christmas had come and gone. Seeing Enter Shikari live in concert, having mulled wine at the Christmas market with former colleagues, thinking about Christmas presents, baking cookies and painting and meeting my friend Lisa's newborn baby for the first time were my highlights this December.

After ending 2016 on a good note, my hopes for 2017 were high. Sadly though, most of the year turned out to be a total shit show for me. Iceland was amazing and I'm so grateful for all the wonderful moments I did have this year but still 2017 leaves me wounded. I don't really have any plans for 2018 yet, I just hope I'll continue learning and growing. And I hope that one day I'll be able to look back on all of the things that happened in 2017 and be glad they happened the way they did.

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1 comment/s:

  1. Ein sehr berührender Jahresrückblick. Ich finde, du fasst das Gefühl der Depression wunderbar in Worte und deine Fotos sind einfach wunderschön. Ich hoffe sehr, dass 2018 ein besseres Jahr für dich wird. Du bist nicht allein, auch wenn es sich manchmal so anfühlt. Wir sind so viele, die diese Gefühle kennen. Ich wünsche dir das beste fürs neue Jahr! Anni