Sunday, September 19, 2010
I am not really sure where to start, or what to write about tonight. I am a mix of emotions.
Ultimately, however, I am feeling blessed beyond anything I knew I was capable of feeling. The love has flown intensely today, coming from people and places I never would have expected. I am ever thankful for the outpouring and feeling more special than ever.
But I would like to take a moment to reflect right now, I think.
As I enter the next year in my life, I cannot help but think of the significance of the one I leave behind. I want to take so much from it. Yet, I also want to honor the fact that it is behind me and move on. It has been full of ups, downs, and in betweens. It has been terrifying at times, but has also been perhaps the most enlightening year of my life. 30 was a good age for me. I can only hope it was just the start of more blessings to come.
I left a job I loved because I was too ill to give it everything I had. I struggled with Disability applications in perhaps some of my darkest and most directionless days. One of the things I find so frustrating about living with mental illness, is that when we are at our near end, we are instructed to figure out our next path. There is no one to tell us what forms to fill out, what numbers to call, and what questions to ask. At least that has been my experience. It is beyond frustrating, and absolutely terrifying.
I did what I could with the resources at my disposal, and most importantly, what little strength and resilience I had left. The medication changes continued, but I finally found a new set of doctors (yes, a team) that knew what I was going through. There was hope, and that hope kept me going. But I just did not have enough strength to keep me going indefinitely, and I ended up in the hospital psych ward for the first time in my life. Yes, it was the most frightening experience of my life, but it also SAVED my life, and I am thoroughly convinced of that now. I will be eternally thankful not only for the doctors and nurses that helped me through that difficult transition, but I am also grateful for the knowledge I had within me that something needed to change, and I was not ready to give up just yet.
It has been mostly a positive journey from that point on. I got on a new medication regime that worked better than anything before. Yes, I've had my ups and downs. I have had complications and road blocks. But I have had more strength than before to get through them. I have soldiered on. And on this journey, I have found friendship, kindness, compassion, and love.
I have become more active. I am happier. I smile more. I laugh more. I am more relaxed, and less sad, less angry, less agitated, and less hostile. I have felt at peace.
I have my days. Some are better than others. Some days I don't want to wake up still. But most days I enjoy getting up to have my coffee, even if it means dragging myself out of bed. Progress.
Each day is still a constant body of work. The work that goes into each day, most "healthy" people would never understand. I work to maintain the peace I have felt. I work to be a better me. I work to just BE me. There is still darkness. But I choose to focus on the light. I choose to swallow 10 pills a day because it means some semblance of sanity for me. It means life, not death. It means light, not darkness. It means happiness, not sadness. No, pills do not fix it. Pills do not "make" me a better person. But they help put my chemicals in such a place that I can function the way I have longed to for a greater part of my life. They help me keep my hope.
It has indeed been a very difficult year. But how can I not revel in a year that has opened my heart, made it bigger, fuller, and beat harder and stronger than ever? This has been a difficult year, but it has been my year.
So thank you, 30, for showing me a strength within myself I never knew I possessed. Thank you for opening my eyes to some of the greatest beauty I have been blessed to see, feel, and find faith in. You have been a good year, because you taught me how to start finding "me" again.