Well, 2008 wasn’t that great for me, since it was filled with PTSD and depression. I’m hoping 2009 will be better: I’m coming off of some of the medication I’ve been on, and hopefully the side effects will go away.
There were, however, some really good things about 2008. My favorite part of 2008 was, hands down, June through August, when I biked across the USA with Bike and Build. Bike and Build runs 7 cross-country bike trips for the 18-26 crowd, each with 30 people. Every cyclist is responsible for raising at least $4,000 for affordable housing before the start of the trip. We averaged about 100 miles a day, and about once a week we stopped and did a build with a local Habitat for Humanity chapter. If you have the monet and you’d like to donate to a charity, let me recommend Bike and Build: it’s an amazing and growing non-profit, and the affordable housing cause has never been more important.
It was an amazing experience: I learned how to do a bunch of practical construction and repair stuff, made good friends with 30 other service-oriented students, and became a black-belt cyclist. My trip went through the Southwest, and I’d never been there before (it’s beautiful). I’m considering doing it again in 2010 and maybe doing the Northern US route this time.
The best part of the trip, though, was the fact that every time we did a build, we were building right alongside the family that was going to live in that particular house. We met a lot of truly amazing people who volunteer for Habitat. There are people who are genuinely trying to help others. I’m so jaded that I needed to be reminded of that.
As for 2009, I’ve never been one for resolutions, but I’d really like not to be depressed anymore. I’m making that my number 1 goal for this year. I don’t want to deal with any more flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, or suicidal thoughts. I want to feel normal again. I don’t want to let my abuse run my life. And I’m hoping if I say that out loud enough times, I’ll be able to get better.