Every year I have a theory about summarizing the past 365 days, and how it will impact the New Year. I’m sure I’ve written about it before but it started in 2014 when I reflected on how that year didn’t’ stand a chance to be good for anyone because 2013 was so devastating to several people in my life/community. 2014 was this year of letting the dust settle, and recovering from tragedy that it couldn’t possibly be exceptional for anyone. But 2015 was IT. 2015 was going to be MY year….
And then my world was turned upside down. By March I was hospitalized and I distinctly remember Bella saying, “It’s okay Stace, you still have the second half of the year….#2015part2.” But by September I had become so ill and hospitalized so many times that the final quarter of the year was recovering from a colectomy and now learning how to manage an ostomy. And my reflection on 2015 was SO SO different from what I predicted.
So 2016 HAD to be better. I wasn’t fighting a flare up, my hair was growing back, I was off prednisone. But my theory stood true in the sense that 2015 was so tumultuous that 2016 didn’t stand a chance because although I was physically better, mentally and emotionally I was not. I learned that anxiety and depression are the real deal and like a tidal wave, those emotions hit AFTER the trauma. It was confusing and lonely and there I was fighting a new battle with my brain, while my gut healed.
By 2017 I had my final surgery, and I was ready to start living again. And things started to happen. All the amazing things I had been waiting for fell into place. I moved out, started in a new city, started a new job, bought a new car, recovered from that last hospital admission, went to Amsterdam and realized I was back on tract. However things still weren’t clicking in my mind and I couldn’t quite figure out why I wasn’t feeling better emotionally. Why I wasn’t BASKING in the joy that was 2017.
A year ago when I reflected on 2017, what I realized that although externally everything was going well, internally my heart was still hurting. If I could summarize 2 things that happened in terms of my mental well being it would be this: The previous 2 years absolutely killed my confidence and self concept. It was as if I had been bullied by the universe and told over and over you’re not strong and let me remind you how. In a very vain way, I also hated looking in the mirror and I had not regained that self worth and conviction in my looks. The second thing is this innate fear that developed of getting sick again. Don’t get too comfortable in this new life because it could be ripped away any second. I couldn’t enjoy all these accomplishments without the worry of it all being taken away, at the split second of a bad flare.
At the beginning of 2018 I did a lot of journaling and self reflection and I realized this was silly. I have the ability to live life in the greatest way, and I am not taking advantage. I realized that things could change at any moment, and that was out of my control. The past few years so many things were out of my control. In the middle of a panic attack your mind spirals so fast that you can’t even control your own breathing and this was not okay by me. And in the middle of a flare up, your body shuts down so fast you literally can’t control your bowel movements which was also REALLY not okay by me.
But I COULD control a lot of things. I could control how much I exercise, I could control what I eat, I could control what and how often I’m reading and writing, I could control how much I drink, and how much I spend. I could control how I speak about people and my approach to each new day. I asked myself, if I wasn’t feeling confident, what can I do about it? And the answer was to take care. Spend the time taking care of my self and all the good things will fall into place. I developed this faith in the universe that if I did my part, it would repay me.
I added an element of spirituality in my life that was the missing piece I didn’t have in 2017. I’ve always believed in the universe and good energy but I put that more into practice this year. That shift in my thoughts daily and in my journaling would bring back positive energy my way and I developed a devoted faith (which I’m still working on) to trust something bigger than me. That was tested to the brinks come July when I prayed my heart out for Linds and believed in miracles and had unwavering trust that she would get better. And when she didn’t I was so so mad at the universe. In a time where prayer was new to me, I felt like it failed. And I struggled to figure out why. Did I not do it right? Did I not pray hard enough or loud enough? HELLO?!
But then I thought about my prayers. I asked the universe to ease the pain. I asked for her to not suffer. I asked for her to come home. I asked for her family to find peace….And that is what happened. In a weird way, they were heard.
So that missing piece in my life remains, and I continue to develop a relationship with the universe that will bring continued healing to my life. As the last few months of this year brought on a new flare up, I think I’ve found the right team of people working in my favour to provide medical but also natural treatments to my little bit of inflammation. And my shift in mind will transmit that positive energy right down to the bottom of my bottom.
Nothing really phenomenal happened per se in 2018 for me. I didn’t travel or get promoted or meet the love of my life (I don’t think). But as documented by the growth of my hair, I can assuredly say this was the year of the most personal growth. With a best friend and sister who sat beside me while I came out from under some very dark clouds, I allowed them to help carry some baggage that was still too heavy to carry alone. I have so much more learning and growing to do, but I’m ready because I worked hard this year and it’s paying off.
So here’s my resolution for 2019: To ENJOY. I’ve built the foundation to take care of myself and now it’s time to enjoy it. To have more fun, practice more gratitude, smile and to stress less. 2019 will be busy but I’m hoping to just take pride in myself and not over complicate life. It’s really simple that we live, and we die and what we do in between should be filled with the good stuff.
Thank you to anyone who still actually reads the words my little scatter brain has to say. Thank you for skimming my FOURTH year in review. YOU are the good stuff and I hope 2019 brings only health, peace and FUN.