Friday, January 4, 2013

The BB twenty twelve retrospective: The second half

Following on from my last post The BB twenty twelve retrospective: The first six months here is the run down of the second half of the year that was.

I had a few more mood dramas in the second half of the year. Anxiety being the usual culprit, but going back and reading this post I wrote in early July reminds me I had some depressed moments as well. Writing this retrospective on the year just gone has actually been quite a good exercise. I had forgotten I felt that way just six months ago and it really puts how good I feel now into perspective.

In this post I'm contemplating writing about my past and what the offline consequences sharing so much of that shit might have. Going by all of the sex, drugs and rock n roll I've written about since then I've obviously thrown caution out the window and published my heart out.

One of the topics I love writing about is my boy Noo. I love that little kid like nothing on earth. I just reread this post on playground politics and it still gets me fired up. This issue has come up a lot during the tail end of 2012. Not in the playground with me this time, in the yard at preschool. I made an official complaint about the behaviour of a child and his parents at our school's Christmas party and then the boy's mother made a complaint about me. But that story is another post in itself because I'm sure the drama will continue in 2013 when Noo goes back to daycare. I will say this though: I will not stand idly by while one little shit of a kid bullies mine and others around him, as his own parents stand there and do nothing. Oh no.

Starting from top left: Noo - A photo per month from December through to January 2012

In mid July I was diagnosed with ADHD, just to add another mental health condition to my list. We all know what that is so I won't bother linking the term to a wiki. I've had a second opinion from another psychiatrist who is an ADHD specialist and who confirmed it. After a few nightmares with my meds, I'm finally all sorted there I think. I don't think my concentration has improved that much but my mood definitely has.

And speaking of meds, my confessions on benzodiazepine abuse is still my second most popular post. I'm guessing this is probably because Zanax, Valium, benzos are search terms that rate quite highly. Or maybe it is because of the shocking reality of what can go on in an apparently reputable private psychiatric facility. Not that I named the joint.

July was a great month at because I posted 17 times (a huge number for me), one of them being an Ode to London. I'm not saying this one is any good, but I haven't written a poem since I was forced to in high school, so the fact that I chucked a few stanzas together that rhymed, well... I think that's pretty awesome.

The confessions continued to come babbling out across my keyboard as I wrote this little tale about Noo, that was followed up closely with another popular post: The dad question part 1. Writing the story about how I met Noo's father through to last time I saw him has now become a little series that continues over part 2part 3 and part 4. I've actually written 6,500 words on this story, the last 1,500 of which I'll post later this week. But that still won't be the conclusion. Sorry to disappoint but there's more to come.

August starts with me being anxious, mainly about blogging. In an earlier post I wrote that I believed blogging was awesome because there are no rights or wrongs, no deadlines - just my own voice and my own timetable. Going by that there should be no stress about keeping this site at all. Whether people want to stay and read that is up to them. But after attending Blogopolis and reading more about the Aussie blogging scene I realised that if I wanted to monetise this space I have to put in a lot of hard work and try not to offend people.

2012 is the year I discovered that there is a lot of politics that goes on in the blogosphere. I learnt terms like 'hater' and 'troll' and I lurked from behind my screen and watched some pretty nasty arguments unfold across blogs, chat forums and mainstream media. Sometimes my breath catches in my chest as I read this shit and I wonder what I signed myself up for. I worry all the time that I'm exposing myself and Noo to the possibility of attack and I realise my earlier anxiety is justified.

Over exposure or the threat of a troll attack wasn't enough to stop me from participating in the RUOK Day initiative in September and I cried as I wrote this piece describing the day when I was not ok. As if exposing my soul wasn't enough, I exposed my body for the I Heart My Body campaign. 140 bloggers linked up with the We Heart Life team to declare they loved their bodies even if they didn't conform to society's norms of what a beautiful body should be.

Starting from top left: Vanessa - A photo per month from December through to January 2012

I haven't posted about it anywhere, which is strange, but in August I started working for my sister as Mala's part time nanny. I looked after Mala two to three days a week up to just before Christmas while Yolanda worked on the thesis for her Masters degree. Hanging out with Mala was such a pleasure and it was also a great way to ease me back into the work frame of mind. Having a commitment to be somewhere to work was empowering after such a long absence, but at the same time I did often feel frustrated that my time was not my own any more. But this is the reality of life. I had to go back to work at some stage (and there'll be more of that this year).

Mid year I signed up to the ProBlogger Training Event in Melbourne and in October made my way down south for the first time in a long time. I learnt more about how to grow my readership and monetise it - one of the most contentious issues around in the Aussie blogosphere right now. But my main motivation for flying to Melbourne wasn't really to learn how to make money from I forked out the cash because I wanted a weekend away, and to get out of my little comfort zone here behind my screen, to meet some people I've met over social media and on their blogs face to face.

I'm getting a little ahead of myself. How could I forget 'the BB sugar experiment'? It started in August with this post about Noo's fussy eating habits and continued with some detail of my own sugar addiction. Things really started to heat up on the topic when I declared I wanted the truth about sugar. That post far outranks all others on as the most popular for both clicks and comments.

After a couple of failed attempts to get on the quit sugar bandwagon, it wasn't until I participated in Droptober - Just Lose 2kg that I finally stayed sugar free, actually lasting seven whole weeks without the evil white powder.

Then on 13 November I had my birthday, again (I'd wish they'd stop coming!), and broke the spell on my new sugar free life with a chocolate cake. Before long December rolled around and I was riding Santa's Sugar Sleigh like the sugar junkie I am.

Noo turned four just before Christmas and Mala turned one the day before Noo turned four. We had a great Christmas lunch at BB Headquarters with friends and family and on Boxing Day we came here to the Blue Mountains to relax and hang out with Nanny and Pa.

New Year's Eve was quiet, just hanging out at home with my Mum, Dad and Noo. I have never really enjoyed NYE until now. Previously there were always too many expectations and hype for a big night out. I always get a little nervous that another year is about to clock over and I haven't done all I've wanted to do. 2012 was different. I have done a lot and a lot has changed within me: My mood is stable, I've been working and have plans for more work in 2013, and my confidence and self esteem are at an all time high. I have the most wonderful kid who astounds me every day with his presence.

It was also the fifth consecutive 31st of December that I've celebrated sober. It felt good. I feel great.

There is a lot in store for me and for Noo this year, twenty thirteen. What a great number: 13. I don't want to sound superstitious, but I have a good feeling about this one.

If you made it this far and to the end of the BB 2012 retrospective, thank you. And thanks to all you wonderful readers who popped by and said hello throughout the year. I know I babble, short posts aren't really my thing. And I know some of the stuff I write about is deep and sometimes alienating and it's sometimes hard to know what to write in the comments, but I really appreciate knowing you're there.

I hope 2012 was a great year for you and that 2013 is everything you want it to be for you and your family.


Updated: Linking in with the fabulous Grace at With Some Grace for...


Anonymous said...

2013 will be awesome. I will continue to come here, I love your babbling. Tanya

Airlie Wood said...

What a beautiful way to start a new year, reflecting on the previous one! Your little boy is gorgeous. Here is to a great 2013! And you are right, it has a positive ring to it, despite the normal evil connotations : )

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Airlie!

Diet Schmiet said...

What a huge year... and sharing the posts about Ned's father and your past life have, I think, been really powerful and wonderful tools for those struggling with similar issues.

And... what shines through your posts is how much you love Ned! (Oh... and from part 1 of this... coffee!)

Happy 2013!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Deb.

Catherine RodieBlagg said...

I think it's important to look back at the end of the year and acknowledge ourselves for all that we've done. I'm glad I got to meet you in 2012.. I hope I get to talk to you more next time xx

The Babbling Bandit said...

Hey Catherine. It was lovely to meet you too. Perhaps I'll see you at Digital Parents in March.

Grace Titioka said...

You're amazing, V. You've achieved so much and I admire you for your strength and perseverance to just get on with it. Keep writing. Everything you have to say is bloody important xxx

Kylie Purtell said...

I just wanted to say how glad I am that I found your blog. Your beautiful, honest writing is one of the most refreshing things for me about the blogosphere and I can't wait to read more in 2013. xx

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thank you Grace.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Kylie. You and so many others that I've found since become a 'personal blogger' have been so lovely and welcoming into this community, it makes it easier to write the hard stuff.

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