The Obligatory New Year's Eve Post (trigger warning for mention of suicide)

It's that time of year again - otherwise known as the last day of the year, or an incredibly arbitrary decision to start one new orbit of the earth around the sun after having completed one old orbit. Anyone going to shed any tears?

I know I'm not. Partly because I cry too much, partly because I don't have enough energy to cry as much as I used to, and partly because this year hasn't been worth crying over.

Don't get me wrong; it started off well. I was happy, I was content, I was doing well in my studies and it turned out that the wonderful, amazing guy I'd fallen for late in 2011 had somehow fallen for me too - and then we ended up getting together. I'm a lucky, lucky lady.

I also have the bad luck to suffer from depression and as spring turned into summer, my mood started to deteriorate. (I feel guilty talking about this, though, as other people I know were going through far worse.) By happy accident, I was also taking my GCSE exams (and one stray AS level) at the time, and I have distinct memories of sitting exams while having difficulty even speaking. It's a miracle I didn't do worse than I did.

The summer was better - and I'd started therapy, albeit not regularly - but still the trend continued and I think the only reasons I lived were desperation, demotivation (black humour time: it's quite difficult to commit suicide when you can't even turn over), and my fella and family trying to keep me alive. I have no idea how I stayed in school. I have no idea how I was doing even half-decently at my studies.

I've been stuck in that situation since September, though with therapy I've been improving. And having setbacks. And improving. And having setbacks. And it goes on and on, and even if I get better I'll still have pangs of guilt that other people in the same situation as mine - and worse, much worse - are still suffering, and that I don't deserve to be better while others are still in pain. Which either means that I don't have a true conception of what being better is like (and frankly that's quite likely), or that I care too much about what others are going through to feel better.

The pessimists assure me that 2013 is going to be worse. I'm not sure if I agree with them or not; I fear that if I listen to them long enough I'll die of despair. What I do know is that tired as I am, I'm not as tired as I was. I have a little stock of energy built up, and I plan to use it doing good for others. I can also run on empty for a damn long time. As in, I can do it for years. I wouldn't be in the best state if I did that again, but I'd have bought myself a few more years of life - which isn't so important to me, but it's important to people I care about.

But to avoid running on empty, I might just need to take some advice already and not try and pull more than my own weight - which I have done before, with disastrous consequences. I'd do it again, because I think it's my duty to pick up the slack for others, but I prefer to learn from my mistakes and not trigger another bout of suicidal depression. There's another problem, too: I'd very much like to help make the world a better place, not because I have a saviour complex but because the world is a terrible place and actually doing something about it is better than leaving it like that and complaining about the state of our planet.

Oh, and a disturbing amount of the people engaged in this struggle are incredibly stupid and dogmatic. (I should point out now that a lot of them aren't, but equally there are a lot of people who know how to spout propaganda but wouldn't know common sense if it hit them in the face.) That's something I've pretty much had hammered into my head by seeing privileged white cis women in rich countries moan that they're just as oppressed as their sisters in other countries (they're all institutionally oppressed by being female, but the first group are rich, white, cisgender and able-bodied - they have huge privileges that they ignore), and people talking about how violence is a solution to everything. I've seen people openly bullshit to try and gain converts, while probably giving people guilt complexes and advocating stupid things like dropping out of college because obviously, higher education turns you into a capitalist drone. (With regards to higher education, it really depends on what you want to do and what you like doing. Dropping out isn't the revolutionary way - some privileged little shithead will jump at the chance to piss around for a couple of years and waste their parents' money. It's highly unlikely to go to some incredibly smart, deserving person.)

These people encourage every kind of bad and stupid attitude, and I'm sick of it. I'm not sick of it because I'm scared of people trying to do what's right but because I'm fed up of influential people fucking up and fucking other people up in the process.

Anyway, what was I going to say? Yeah...I started listening to an idiotic but influential group of people (I was just setting foot in that world, I was young, I was naive, and I was very, very stupid) and felt that it would be wrong of me to take any kind of break while people were suffering and dying, that it was selfish. Then I had my spectacular, dramatic, pathetic burnouts, because I tried to do everything for everyone - and failed. We all fail if we try to do that. No-one, despite their boasts, has ever succeeded, and no-one ever will, because no matter how smart you are, no matter how brave you are, no matter how much of a True Revolutionary you think you are, one person alone cannot unpick and solve the problems of billions upon billions of organisms.

So I shall continue to work hard - but I shall not expect myself to solve the problems of the world alone, and I shan't let anyone else dump the work on me. And I'll find time for myself, to stop myself from burning out again so that I can actually do that work. If anyone objects to that, may I ask how the hell you stop yourself from burning out? I'd like that secret.

Lastly, I'll stop telling you my resolutions. That's partly because they're very personal to me and what I want to do to work on my failings, and partly because I'll probably follow many other people in failing to keep them.

As unlikely as it may be, may 2013 be a happier, kinder and freer year for you all.