My life is littered with a trail of broken promises, each one giving me more material to shape into self-loathing. Which ones were fueled by bipolar disorder, which ones by being an addict, and which by simply being a flawed human, I’ll never know. But I’ve learned, the hard way, that my promises need to be small, short-term, and specific. That’s why I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I don’t think setting intentions is a good thing, or that doing so in a spirit of camaraderie with others isn’t helpful. But they aren’t right for me.
So, for 2023, I do not vow to get my first book, or my first two books, published–but for today, I set an intention of doing the next step of cover designer research. I do not vow to lose weight–but for today, I set an intention to eat in a way that doesn’t hurt me. I do not vow to make a little money with my fledgling tarot reading business–but today, I set an intention to participate in my favorite forum. And so forth.
I need to accept that I live in cycles. No matter how many meds I take, my ability to do things–including basic self-care like exercise and eating well–is going to fluctuate. And when I get into shame about that, it only prolongs the down phase, because people who are in shame don’t take good care of themselves even if they can again.