Posted in Dating / Relationships, Mental Health

What Does a New Year Really Mean?

I have bitter sweet memories of the New Year period and I have never really held it with as much anticipation as I hold Christmas. This has become especially true in recent years as I have greeted some with dread and others with a sense of release and or relief.

In 2011 (into 2012) was the first time I dreaded a change of year. My marriage was heading for divorce and I feared what was to come, the changes I was about to go through. In truth, I wanted 2012 to be over quickly. It proved to be even darker than 2011 and it was that year I hit rock bottom. I went back onto anti-depressants after coming close to suicide.

In 2012 (into 2013), I was filled with a sense of renewal, partly born out of the feeling that it really could not get much worse than it already had, but also a distinct feeling that the worst of it was already over. I went through a lot of shit and I got back up the other side with a combination of support from friends and family, therapy and some tough decisions.

In 2013 (into 2014) I really started to look forward to the future again. I had been on many dates and at the end of that year, would meet the person who I now proudly call my girlfriend. I had made a tough decision earlier in the year to launch a career as a freelancer and around Christmas-New Year, that hard work was starting to pay off. The wheels of change were in motion and I started to feel a lot brighter about the future.

In 2014 (into 2015) I was a long way away from where I once was. I was in a new relationship and we started the first tentative discussions of where we felt our relationship was going and whether we might be able to afford to live together soon. 2014 was too soon, but it was also not financially viable for us. Good fortune for both of us, for Mirror Image in the summer and for myself in the autumn, suddenly made our hope a very real possibility for the early part of 2016.

I woke up on New Year’s Day with a sense of looking forward to the next 12 months and beyond. It’s hard to look back now and truly understand how difficult things got in 2011 and 2012. I still wonder now how I managed to get through it, but I did, and I am glad I did.

No matter what difficulties this year might bring for you, try to focus on how far you have come and, ultimately, that things will get better.

All the best for 2016 to all my readers.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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