I am sitting here drinking the loveliest cup of coffee, enjoying the sounds of my fake fireplace, and reflecting on this passed year. I know most people do that around New Years but I always start around Thanksgiving leading into the New Year. This year has probably been one of the biggest learning experiences and test of my strength. It was a year of fighting for myself and advocating to figure out what was going on with my body. I learned I am not only capable but I have the will to get to the place I need to be.
I am so thankful for those who stood by me and didn’t let me close myself off. This year has been one of my most challenging years but somehow I feel more blessed than ever.
I’m not sure how a year of turmoil and pain turned into a year of triumphs. Maybe it’s because I fought for myself, or because I didn’t give in, even on my most painful days. I’ve always been determined to get better. I refuse to accept that there is no answers. I have gained so much perspective on people I thought would always be there and the unexpected ones that were. I am able to see the beauty in hardships and coming full circle. I have not actually completed the whole circumference but I am steadily moving forward. In my eyes progress is progress. I have to appreciate every win, big or small.
This year was painful, not just physically but emotionally. There were a lot of growing pains. I had to accept I have limitations, I fought it, but in the end it made it worse. I had to learn to love myself with Lupus, Ehlers Danlos, and all the crap that comes with them. The biggest lesson was the relationships I lost. The hardest thing was to let go, knowing the issue is your health. Understanding anyone you’re close with has to accept your diseases. The saddest part is that you love them so dearly, but you can’t change them and you can’t take away your illness. Most of all, you have to know NONE of this is your fault…NONE.
The beginning of the holidays are significant for everyone but this year is especially for me. I’ve grown. I have fought. I have accepted. I have loved. I could not ask for more of a joyous year. All the craziness has actually helped me appreciate life. The little things, like my kids wanting me to make them hot cocoa, or my husbands face stuble tickling me when we kiss, even the people that aren’t willing to go away…demanding that I let them love me.
This has been one of the best years of my life. A year of I can’s. A year of trusting myself and my instincts. A year of letting go of shame and insecurities. I am so freakin thankful. I love my family more. I love everything more… food, my hair, getting out of bed, going to the store, drinking tea/ coffee, driving in the car, laughing, crying, talking, texting, and on & on. When it gets taken away, because everything is out of your control, the moment balance creeps in you can’t help but think, WOW life is good. I hope you are able to find the few things that have made your year brighter.
It can feel impossible to see any good when it seems like everything is out of control. The thing is, we are alive. Yes, we are in constant pain and we feel alone, but we get to try again tomorrow. Fight for yourself, demand for better care, and know you are not alone. There’s a whole group of us trying for a better day. Every single day I have to ask for help, this woman that has always been overly independent needs help. There’s a lesson in that, I have grown to appreciate more and love harder. I get to see life in a totally different way than when I was healthy. For all of you, please try to find any glimpse of appreciation. There’s so many downs, we have to shine a light on our ups.
***wrote freehand with limited edits, please be kind, thank you***