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2019, The Year of Recovery

In the dwindling hours of this year that could truly only be compared to a rollercoaster through hell, I have to sit back at least try to find a New Year’s Resolution of sorts.

Last year I decided that the actually concept is well, shitty to say the least, because goals that are made just to broadcast to the world aren’t goals anyone will work through as a year progresses.

But, the idea of a New Year’s Theme seems much more applicable.

2018 was my year to be selfish, in all aspects of life.

It was a year where I decided that no matter what, I would put myself first.

When it came to having a space of my own even that would allow me to control every trigger and give me peace of mind, I chose to shove the constant criticism aside. I chose to acknowledge that either relationships would be strengthened, like that of my sister who I became even closer with after moving out, or relationships would be further strained, like that of my sister in-law who’s negative energy surrounding every decision I made is no longer present or welcome in my life.

There really isn’t anything harder than looking for support and looking for advice and being constantly shut down and demeaned because the decisions in my life allowed me to live differently than my college aged peers.

When it came to the accommodations my school gave me allowing me to miss class and submit an alternate assignment for full credit, I took full advantage. I went from never missing class, to waiting to get to class to take my meds and pushing through, to simply drafting my email saying I’d be out and not fretting about it in the slightest.

It was almost empowering. Knowing that I was allowed to put my health first. Knowing that my teachers didn’t lose respect for me because I couldn’t always physically be in class. Knowing that I had complete control over the situation.

And I watched so many other people plagued by pain of some sort push through. I was thankful that I chose not to hide and that I needed to be selfish in this decision.

When I was constantly belittled and made to feel worthless in my old job, I decided that I didn’t have to put up with that. I decided that I needed to find something that would provide real advancement for my career, not just empty promises.

And I landed an absolute dream of a job. I put myself out there and took on a position I wasn’t even necessarily qualified for and prospered from the day I started. Sometimes we have to ask people to take a chance on us, and it’s worth it. If we constantly hide behind what we should be doing, we’re never going to cease the actual opportunities in our life.

I selfishly asked for help when I needed it.

When I couldn’t get the most basic groceries the day I moved into my own place, I asked for help.

When I couldn’t go to my appointments alone or drive to get there, I asked for help.

When I couldn’t go on at the pace I’d been fighting at, I asked for exams to be postponed. I asked for hours to be reduced.

We all know, eventually I left.

Eventually being “selfish” didn’t prove to be some cure all for my pain. Putting my needs first didn’t necessarily mean that I would get better.

But, in leaving, I selfishly sat and let go of my pride. I filled out my social security application and ignored the hateful things that were spewed my way from all walks of life. I didn’t hide any of it. I put it all out there.

And no, there were some things I wish I had chosen to not be so selfish with.

I wish I had ignored the pain that was bound to come and gone out with my friends more.

I wish I would have suffered through the Bon Jovi concert.

I wish I would have gone to Country USA completely by myself, instead of selling my tickets because my plans fell through and my head “may not” have been able to handle it.

I wish I would have tried harder to discover new relationships and new friendships. Plans fell through twice and instead of saying hey why don’t you just come over here and we can make dinner and get to know each other that way, I let connections slip away.

Mostly, I wish I would quit leaving places without proper goodbyes.

But, New Year’s intentions aren’t always laid out perfectly. They have their pitfalls.

But the social security office deemed me medically disabled.

And I should have been filled with joy when I unwrapped that letter.

But instead my crisis mode kicked in and I found myself in the safe space I tend to gravitate towards ordering my iced coffee. Desperately trying to laugh and be polite to the employees even though I was holding back tears.

And then I just drove. Drove until the road ran out. Drove until the next road ran out. Drove until my coffee was drained and my CD started over.

So, in 2019 my word is Recovery.

2018 saw me push myself until I broke.

2018 saw my dreams fall apart.

2018 saw any hope for the future and the reality that I knew abandon me.

2018 saw another full year without promising treatment.

This next year is bound to have road blocks and moments that challenge every ounce of my being.

But, I won’t be facing with just the mentality of being selfish.

In recovery, I intend to rediscover myself and who I can be. I intend to find new ways of existing alongside my illness. I intend to talk about it, but not as much, and not in the same light.

As much as I want to sit here and tell you that I’m going to fight like hell, I know that that’s a lie.

I won’t fight like hell.

I already did that. And because I fought so hard, recovery is only the next natural step.

I haven’t come to terms with filling out the “occupation” blank with disabled yet. I don’t know if I ever will.

I don’t know what Recovery really looks like. But it starts tomorrow.

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places”

Ernest Hemingway. 

A.

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