Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's Resolutions

One is placed in a difficult position to make New Year’s Resolutions when they are living their current life out of necessity rather than choice and have no obvious “get out of jail free card”. I am not, as many are, “feeling aftereffects… of the katzenjammer variety” and vowing to never again let alcohol reach such preposterous levels in my liver. I have also neither eaten my body weight in confectionary, and then pledged an audacious diet and exercise regime. It is nonsensical to proclaim any resolutions that require any physical component and I am therefore limited to the more challenging resolutions requiring me to earnestly analyse my mental approach and reaction to situations. It is unpleasant, burdensome and upsetting to scrutinise one’s character for its imperfections and a gargantuan struggle to address any inadequacies found. I cannot pledge to not cry from pain, to not feel jealousy at friend’s events I am unable to attend or to not feel desperately exasperated. I need to, however, find methods to continue to be able to see a finish line. I must make sure I do not fall susceptible to the temptation to wallow in my predicament. I believe it is legitimate and even healthy to allow oneself to be upset and dispirited provided it does not become my predominant mentality. 

Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield wrote a book called “The Loss of Sadness” about how normal sorrow has been over diagnosed by the psychiatric profession as depression. Modern society now view the normal or desired mental state as happy and yet, I certainly believe that it is healthy and reasonable to feel sad some of the time. The question is, where is the line drawn, where is the point at which an individual is no longer experiencing a normal degree of sadness in their life, and is suffering from depression? I am not addressing this topic because I am concerned that I may be suffering from depression, simply that I find it interesting. I struggle with emotion of sadness. It, for me, evokes a tremendous feeling of guilt. I am so fortunate and lucky in so many ways that I am ashamed after periods of feeling blue. Do I deserve to feel sad and is it a sign of internal weakness?

After careful contemplations, I have decided that my new year’s resolution is to attempt to use this situation as a reminder, in the future, to not become completely preoccupied by the petty or pointless. I will try and retain my priorities and endeavour to reduce the extent to which I am self-absorbed.


  1. That is such a great goal to have, I am always trying to be less self absorbed, it's really tough to do when you are in chronic pain though! Your blog is fantastic! It's so interesting to read, you are such a talented and courageous writer! I'm following :) I'm also following you on twitter too! Great stuff, you are an inspiration!

  2. Maurice Chernick3 January 2011 at 20:14

    Sophie, it was lovely to see you today looking, believe it or not, still as radiant as ever in spite of the pain that we know you are in! I have experienced bad back pain having had a prolapsed disc some years ago and I certainly did not radiate in quite the charming manner you did today! You are a certainly more than a bit of an inspiration and should be proud of who you are. You also write quite beautifully. And do enjoy the chocolates! I look forward to reading more, and when you are out of this difficult phase of your life, don't stop writing!

  3. I'm 57, and your "About Me" could have been written about me (except the age ;-) ), and I too live in London.

    My message to you is to grab every moment of life that you can, and do with it what you can, because we never know what's around the corner. Living with pain in our youth is absolutely rotten, and it's rotten too when we're no longer in our youth.

    My grandfather told me to make sure I grabbed my life while I was still young, because before we know it it's too late. And he was right. I'm so glad I did some of the mad things I did when I was young, because they gave me some wonderful memories and experiences that have greatly enriched my life, despite "disabilities".

    I love your writing - it's beautiful.


  4. No. You have a right to be sad when you are, and it's a sign of great bravery when you allow yourself to experience it.

    Well, that's my twocents...

    Just found your blog. I'll be back ;)

  5. Arghhh, something went wrong: I put in a quote from you that disappeared. The first line should be
    'Do I deserve to feel sad and is it a sign of internal waekness'