Ever since I was a child, I have always enjoyed writing. I have always had grand ideas that crowded my mind and writing was a way to get them out. But as years passed and my mental health issues became more problematic, I stopped writing altogether. It was suggested by my partner that I start my own blog so I could get back to what I enjoy, writing. After much dragging of my feet, in July I started this blog. I had major anxiety related to publishing my writing. Doubts filled my head…What if no one reads my blog? What if I get bad responses from those that do? What if I am not good enough? That last one was the clincher. Much of my life I have feared that I would not be “good enough” and this prevented me from doing things that I really wanted to do.
I started the blog for me. I have so much going on in my head that having a venue to get my thoughts out was what I needed. As I began writing, it took me a few blogs to get in my groove. My first few blogs were lengthy, and my language was like that of a sailor. And as I kept writing, I was able to be more concise. My language was more moderate, while some blogs were humorous, many were serious.
With this year ending in a just a few days, it has me thinking about what is to come. What will 2018 be like? And that has me thinking about all that 2017 brought into my life.
I celebrated my 32nd birthday in January. It was the first year that I was mentally stable for my birthday. In years prior, I was suffering from dangerous manic episodes, being impulsive and outrageous. While in 2016, I had just started on the down whirl spiral of a major mental breakdown that lasted three quarters of 2016.
A few months later in April, I went on my first ever overnight backpacking trip. It was glorious and wonderous, leaving me feeling so incredibly alive. Within days of my return, I found out that I needed to have emergency surgery to remove a large mass from my abdomen. Within a few weeks I was back to myself and within a little more of month I was back to hiking.
In May, I made the decision to yet again, resume working on my bachelor’s degree. With only one quarter of the credits I need to graduate left to complete, I was motivated to finally finish, after working on this venture, off and on, for the last four years. This go around, I have been able to get so much out of my classes and I am soaking up everything I am learning like a sponge.
Due to my success and stability, I came off the mood stabilizer Saphris, and ended up jostling my system and spent most of August wavering between mania and depression. Starting treatment using a new mood stabilizer called Vraylar transformed my recovery and it restored my stability minus the nasty side effect of weight gain. With the start on the new medication, I was successful in losing 22 pounds, which was a huge victory for me and helped me to improve my mental health and how I felt in my body.
The last quarter of the year has been uneventful. Maintaining stability, balance and routine has helped me to remain in a very healthy place.
I am uncertain what 2018 will bring to my life. I plan to continue living in a way that is healthy and focuses on making my health and well being a priority. Of course there are plans to get back to the gym, eat healthier and break some bad habits that I have formed, but I know those will resolve themselves as long as I keep the eye on the prize. I plan to be the most authentic me that I can be in 2018 (hey, that rhymes!) Staying true to myself is the main thing that I need to ensure that I can successfully achieve my goals.
I wish you well. That you may be able to look back at 2017 and acknowledge all that has blessed you in this year we are leaving and that you may look to 2018 with hope, encouragement and motivation.
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