2015 was, in a nutshell, horrible.
After being diagnosed with HIV only a few months prior, I began the year as a bundle of nerves and continued to progress with them in the following months. Having lost my confidence in writing, I ambled through my daily routine without purpose and tried to work on rationalizing my feelings around my diagnosis. During this time, I was subjected to multiple meetings with government employees, social workers, infectious disease specialists and advocates within HIV/AIDs community in Austin — which not only triggered my PTSD, but left me overwhelmed and emotionally drained.
April began another chapter of my life. On the 7th I turned 23. The day after, I started antiretroviral therapy. I vowed, on that day, that I was going to get myself back on track and continue writing. I restarted, and eventually completed, my fantasy novella THE DRAKE OF EHKNAC. The mere act of writing the final sentence was enough to restore my confidence in myself as a writer.
But alas, the bad times I’d just come out of in 2014 were about to return. In late May, it became obvious that my roommates and I could no longer continue to live in the house in Austin — the home I’d spent the first five years of my adult life in. Finances had plummeted on every side. At one point it didn’t even seem like we would be able to make the final month’s rent. Thanks to the city of Austin and their AIDs services, however, we managed to survive our final month.
After a brief and utterly-terrifying stint that occurred in a hotel (during which time I had planned on staying to wait for my disability hearing before rejoining my roommates,) I relocated to stay with them and their family in Fort Worth. It took five trips between there and Austin in order to move what few belongings we could not store.
In September, my roommates drove me to Austin for my disability hearing (during which I massively disassociated, nearly succumbed to a massive panic attack, and became incoherent at least twice.) I did not receive a decision that day and still have not.
Which segues into the next part: in which, after my anxiety built to its breaking point, I admitted myself into a psychiatric hospital. While I only remained for six hours, I was diagnosed with adjustment order (caused by the move and the anxiety surrounding it.) I was then referred to, and participated in, a partial hospitalization program for two weeks. It was during this program that I began to come to terms with something I’d blocked out during my childhood. While it’s yet to completely surface, and though I am not willing to discuss it publicly as of now, its implications are astounding — and, in some ways, explain some of my past behaviors. I was also rediagnosed with Bipolar 1 (the more dangerous of the 2) and will start their three-hour program this next week. I have been referred to a therapist specializing in cognitive therapy and to address the self-harm issues that have recently begun as a result of my stress.
I’m still waiting on my disability decision. Last I heard, the judge was editing the letter that outlines her decision. It has, undoubtedly, been the focal point of my mental illness.
Much of 2015 was spent in misery, and though I managed to release three new projects during the latter part of it, the suffering I endured was abominable, and something I would never wish on anyone. I am hoping, in this new year, that my life will even out — and that, as a result, my anxiety will drop.
As hard as it was to experience these things, it was at least cathartic to write about them. I can only hope that this year is better.