2022 – The Year of Change

18 December 2022
Author:
Smiley

This year has been a crazy roller coaster and I’m sorry that I haven’t been around a lot and it was never intentional life got in the way and I have struggled to do many things I love… I stopped streaming, stopped doing art, stopped playing games, stopped hanging with friends, I stopped doing a lot of things that brought me joy and calmness, maybe that has added to all the stress and anxiety and crazy of this year, but it’s been so hard when everything is so exhausting. I haven’t been around much for many reasons and not just because life got busy, another reason is because my world and my self-worth has been filled with so much negativity lately that I haven’t wanted to put that negativity on anyone else and I haven’t had the energy to continue putting up a façade, so I’ve been quite content to suffer in silence which I realise is unhealthy.

This year started in a down with being unemployed after losing my job in December and having been unsuccessfully looking for work. I have no idea what exactly I wanted to do, but I knew after two years working from home during Covid I wanted a change, but still my future was uncertain and that alone is stressful. Things got better when I got the job at Cleanaway and got to start on an amazing new adventure, I was so grateful for the opportunity and couldn’t wait to start this new adventure. Unfortunately, with the excitement in the career area other parts of my life started to go downhill rapidly, I found out that the house I was living in was going to be sold and I only had a couple months to find somewhere to live and with a new job and no real job security I didn’t even know where to start. In the end it did work out in my favour, and I was able to buy my own little place for just Izzy and I to call home, to have a freedom that we’d never had before, it took a long and stressful time to get from panicking about finding somewhere to live to being in my own home, but things are settling down and for the most part I’m happy, we are happy… I’m so proud of my girl Izzy on her adjusting to the new place, such a proud fur mamma.


Another huge part of this year has been loss, with love comes grief and this year I have had to grieve a few times, thankfully it was not another 2020 because I don’t know if I could handle another year like that, but still losing two people who I love is still enough grief for one year. To my grandpa and my cousin, I probably never spent as much time with you as I should have or wanted to, but I will never forget you and I will love you forever, it hurts that neither of you are here anymore, but I am grateful that you are no longer suffering, your pain is gone. Death is never an easy thing and emotions are not always easy to deal with and they can surprise you, one minute you are happy and laughing the next you have tears running down your cheeks.

Another thing I struggled through this year was the second anniversary of my Nan’s passing I thought by now it would be a little easier but there has been a lot going on this year many accomplishments and I wish I could tell her about all these things I have done, but not just that I miss everything about her especially her smile and her cuddles, life is not the same without her and never will be but I was so lucky to have her in my life for so long. Maybe experiencing loss again made it a little bit harder, my cousins funeral was only days before the anniversary so maybe that had a lot to do with it too, seeing old photos of the two of them together, seeing my family grieving all over again. I know I don’t have to have a reason to still be grieving as everyone grieves differently and everyone grieves people differently it’s just a part of life.


On top of all of that I have been dealing with difficulties at work, it’s been very hard and quite disappointing, it has been an incredible stressful experience a rollercoaster of its own with a lot of ups and downs. This new career started off exciting and filled with positivity, it was something new, different, and exciting and I had made a new little family in the group of women who I started this adventure along side of, we went on this adventure together and it bonded us. Like all things though, they change I was so happy and proud of myself when I started, when I learnt to drive a truck and I successfully got my truck licence, unfortunately things were not so smooth… when I had my medical done it came back showing I had severe sleep apnoea, due to this I was at risk of losing not just my truck licence but my full licence all together if I didn’t get treatment, it was a stressful situation as I started to use a CPAP machine which was a struggle and still is, I was also struck down with COVID which made using the machine even harder so at work they took me off the road until I could use the machine and safely do my job. In the end after much stress, panic and worry I managed to sort out the issues and can use the machine enough to do my job, but this was nothing compared to what happened next.

It was only maybe a month later when everything changed all over and I was once again taken off the road again, I was getting ready to move house, I knew how sick my cousin was and knew I was just waiting for a phone call any day, and then I felt like I was completely failing at my job and it sent me spiralling, I felt like I was letting everyone down and that I couldn’t do anything right no matter how hard I tried, I felt useless and worthless and I went to a dark place very quickly and with so much other stuff going on that I just let myself spiral and I didn’t reach out, I didn’t want to tell anyone I didn’t want to be a burden, I felt that I deserved to feel that way and then everyone was going through so much I felt so pathetic being torn up over something so trivial in the grand scheme of things. Anyway everything at work changed when I got taken away from driving the garbage trucks and got moved to another department, working in hard waste driving a smaller truck and doing much more physical work than ever before. It hurt more than I care to admit, I loved driving the garbage truck and picking up bins I enjoyed it more than almost any other job I’ve ever had, being alone in the truck and just able to listen to music and go at my own pace was great and so having that all taken away from me has been extremely hard and the reason why I feel like such a failure.

Things at work are still hard and I struggle every week just to get through it, I’m so exhausted that any time I am not working I’m too tired both physically and mentally to do anything else at all. Hard rubbish collection is extremely physical, and painful, my body hurts more than it ever has before, even when I was suffering through my medical issues and having surgeries and recovering, I at least had the energy to do the things I enjoyed still. Now I never have the energy to do anything, any time I am not working I’m too tired to enjoy life at all I just want to curl up and sleep. It’s not just that my body is suffering a lot, my muscles hurt constantly, I’m covered in bruises all the time and I have eczema all over my hands from wearing gloves all the time too. Dealing with these issues doesn’t help with the exhaustion and with physical exhaustion comes mental exhaustion, the more exhausted you are the harder it is to keep your mental barriers up and I feel like they are falling all around me all the time. The only positive of the change is that I have lost some weight which makes me hate myself a little less – but is it worth it? I haven’t decided yet, I’m honestly struggling so much, and I don’t know realistically how long I can keep going before I completely break, and it’s hard to admit that but it’s the truth.


When it comes down to it all I am lucky to still have a job, it could have been much worse, can always be a lot worse. I’m going to do everything I can to keep going, but I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to keep going, I feel broken and that feeling keeps growing every day, every week. I know this year isn’t quite over yet, but I wanted to get this out there now, it’s hard to share your feelings when you feel weak and embarrassed, but I know that I have already been keeping these things too myself for too long, it’s too unhealthy and I can’t let it sink me further. I appreciate all of you and I’m sorry that I haven’t felt comfortable or strong enough to share my struggles with you, but I am now and that is a start, I hope that when the new year comes around things will be different and maybe I won’t feel so exhausted all the time and I can slowly start getting back into the things that I love, that bring me joy and help to clam all the anxiety and stress inside me.

I wish you all the best for the end of your 2022, I hope you enjoy the holiday season and get the chance to spend time with family and friends and that you manage to enjoy yourself, I know from personal experience that this time of year can be hard for many people, but I hope you still manage to find some joy. 2023 will be a new year and I hope a better one, wishing you all the best and I will be back again next year with more updates, I will try my very best to be more open and honest and share with you how I’m feeling and what’s happening. As much as I struggle with keeping my feelings to myself and not sharing, I understand that talking to people helps and I will try my best to not to dig a deep hole for myself to hide in.


Here’s a random collection of photos from the last few months, there’s been lots of changes but there has also been positive things in a sea of negative and I do want to share those, because I am proud of myself.

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