2015: My year of uncertainty, frustration, turmoil, chaos, sadness, trauma, disease.
2015: My year of support, growth, love, perspective, positivity, reflection, health.
It’s hard to explain what this year has done to me. I’ve debated seeking counsel to help sort through this whirlwind of emotions I’ve been put through and even after the clarity from all the drugs I still have trouble figuring out how I should feel. What I do feel. What I do know is that it’s okay not to know.
In 2013 it was a bad year for a lot of people. I wont list the examples catastrophes that seemed to be occurring to the people around me but I did recognize there was a lot of pain in 2013. So one year ago, as I sat in the pub listening to live music with a bunch of my sister’s girlfriends we reflected on 2014. And I argued that since 2013 was so bad, 2014 didn’t stand a chance. 2014 was the year of recovery. It was the year that the dust settles, we collected our thoughts and we salvaged ourselves from the turbulence of the year before. But 2015: That was going to be the year. 2015 was going to be great. 2015 was going to be the year that things come together, and we could celebrate all the good things that happened. 2015 would be MY year…..
So was I wrong? Maybe not.
2015 came with a lot of pain. A lot of tears and a lot of challenges. I probably hit my lowest point only to find out a month later I could go lower. And then lower. 5 times I hit rock bottom and my life was confined to a hospital room. A sickness so bad that shitting my pants with blood was almost a daily occurrence.
I remember in March sitting in the Emergency room, knowing I would be admitted for the first time and put on steroids, crying because of the potential weight gain and puffy face. But then by April when I was 1 day away from being weaned off and had to start again I was laughing and taking selfies of that puffy face because the tears were now from being isolated in the hospital again with C-diff and a very real fear of surgery. And by May as I pulled clumps of hair from my head and steroids were clearly not working I was actually hoping the doctors would allow me more time on them. And by October I was actually greeted with “Welcome back!” by nurses from May. And finally by November I was the one reassuring a young girl crying in emergency room that it would be okay and it actually wasn’t that busy tonight.
2015 came with a lot of support and love. I’ve never been so surrounded by comfort and encouragement by family, friends, old peers, classmates coworkers, doctors, nurses and strangers. To be told that I’M inspiring are words that I’ve never heard before. People have reached out from all over and it’s incredible to say the least. It’s overwhelming and I don’t think I can ever quite articulate how thankful I am.
2015 brought a lot of joy. Sometimes it was laughing at watching friends eat Swiss Chalet with hospital gloves on, or giggling while modeling different ways to wear a head wrap in the hospital. Sometimes it was being greeted at work with hugs and smiles from little humans. Sometimes it was the simplicity of having a meal at home or a sleep in my own bed. Sometimes it meant a day without an accident or more recently without an ostomy leak. Sometimes it was a puppy, a trip to New York or a party in a Raptors suite. Big or small, there was A LOT of happiness. A lot of joy was brought to my life this year and if anything those low moments accentuate the high moments. (And I don’t mean high from all the drugs…that was cool too though)
2015 brought a lot of growth. A lot of perspective and a lot of reflection. I’ve never been more self aware and conscious of my own body or mind. Never in my life have I contemplated my own health and happiness. I’ve never considered more what truly makes me happy and what I really do want out of life. I’ve learned to pause and reflect, evaluate and assess what is important. A timeline of where I want to be by a certain age is thrown out the window when your life is put on hold for a year. But does that really matter? If I don’t have a dream job or a house by the time I’m a certain age? Does it really matter if I’m not healthy?
And finally 2015 brought health. In a year filled with sickness, infection, dehydration, malnourishment, anemia, disease, I am on a mend. I am healthy. For the first time my blood work was in normal ranges (except for iron which takes a long time to rejuvenate but is on the rise). For the first time in a year I have energy, I have hair growing back, I have clear skin and strong nails. For the first time in a year I can eat normal foods. For the first time in a year I have not been completely consumed by colitis. For the first time in a year I can enjoy myself.
So 2016, I come to you with humility. I come to you with an open mind and a vulnerability that accepts the fact I can by no means predict what the year is going to be. 2016 isn’t going to be MY year just because I deserve it. No. But 2016 can be happy and healthy if I commit it to it. I come to 2016 with diligence and persistence to work hard, stay positive and roll with the punches.
Wishing everyone the happiest of new years. Enjoy your fresh start and may this year bring you nothing but health and happiness.