2018, man. It kicked my trash. Or at least it feels like it did.
My initial reaction when I look back on the past year is to see a lot of pain and a lot of failure. I kept discovering new and alarming health problems, anxiety took over my life, I struggled to get out of bed every morning, I had difficulty falling asleep at night and frequently never went to sleep at all, I went from loving my job to frequently feeling exhausted by it, I got freaking shingles, and my cat finished out the year by eating a rubber mat and needing $3000 surgery. Add onto that the fact that American politics is more of a flaming trash heap than ever (one that I can’t stop obsessing over), and I feel a little bit overwhelmed.
But then I reevaluate. Maybe I’m not exactly where I hope to be in life, but I’ve made some incredible progress that I ought to be more proud of and grateful for:
- I bought my first home!
- I adopted two fluffy, cuddly, naughty, ridiculous cats who bring me so much joy and calm (when they’re not eating non-digestible housewares).
- I visited New York, saw my first Broadway shows, and experienced works of art in person that I’ve loved for years based on text book photographs.
- I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with its original cast. #keepthesecrets
- I SAW HAMILTON (and a lot of other great plays and musicals).
- I met regularly with my awesome book club to talk about awesome literature.
- I spent time with most of my family, and we even started having bi-monthly family dinners. We’re terrible at togetherness, so that’s a big step for us.
- I researched my ancestors until they felt real to me.
- I read 100 books in just 365 days!
- I ran dozens of successful events for my job, implemented a few creative new ideas, and even had my work featured in a Buzzfeed article.
- I got help from medical professionals who believe me, who care about me, and who assure me I can heal.
- We uncovered some root health problems, but that means we now know how I can feel better.
- I lost around 20 pounds that were pretty uncomfortable to carry around.
- I went gluten free, almost perfectly, from July through the end of the year (and still counting).
- I lost my heart to a whole lot of Instagram foster kittens.
- I discovered this life-changing cover.
- I fell back in love with French music.
- I got a little bit better at using my camera.
- I blogged. Not a lot, but enough that it feels real.
With all that in mind, 2018 feels like it was a pretty big year for me. I experienced some hard moments and plenty of wonderful ones. I’m still tired and worried and fighting my way through the fog of chronic illness, but I’m moving forward. So here’s to 2019, another year of progress!
Symptom improvements: I’ve had a few really good nights, in terms of falling asleep quickly. I’ve also had far fewer really late nights and have often been in bed, lights out by midnight, or at least by 2:00 am (better than the frequent 4:00 or 5:00 nights I was often having a month or so ago).
Getting up is still torturous, and I’m surprised at how much sleep my body wants – 10 – 12 hours, or more, a night. Hopefully getting my sleep apnea treated will help with that (more to come on that soon!).
Something I haven’t noted before is how much my plantar fasciitis has improved since the summer. Cutting out gluten, weirdly enough, instantly and completely eliminated all pain in my left foot. Since then, I’ve bought a few pairs of expensive, supportive shoes, and, combined with a bit of weight loss, they’ve kept the pain in my right foot to a bearable level.
Still hoping for improved concentration and energy levels, but I’m feeling hopeful!