Reflecting and Looking Forward

It is December. It is time to evaluate the year and think about how I want the next year to be. Although 2018 was a very low bar year – family deaths, family crises, my own health struggles, and a lack of creative energy – I did not have high hopes for 2019. But with some effort and some support, things turned out pretty well for me this year. I’m not saying everything is sunshine and rainbows and cotton candy clouds and unicorn farts, but I’m able to work what I thought I couldn’t.

I am in a much better place now than I was this time last year. Mentally and physically, I am well. I changed anti-convulsants because the first set made me weepy and miserable and did not do a very good job of preventing seizures. The new medication works does none of that, thankfully. My neurologist is pleased with my progress and did not increase my dosage the last time she saw me.

This year, I also started anti-depressants.

Another first for me, I am a bit disappointed in myself that I didn’t start taking medication for depression a long time ago. This year, my medication has made me more productive, confident, and clear-headed than I have been in my life. My life. I picked up the book I pushed aside years ago and started writing again. I took my legal classes and got through them without giving up halfway through. I worked enough at my Day Job and wound up getting a raise and a new role even though it was hellish and exhausting and the year before it nearly broke me. And I think my personal relationships with my spouse, friends, and close family members, have improved, too, and I owe that to breaking down and telling my doctor I needed help earlier this year.

I had my follow up not long ago (the follow-up to this embarrassing check-up). My doctor was very kind to me and told me she saw great improvement. “You came to me hunched and anxious,” she said of my appearance. “And look at you. You’re calm and doing well now!”

I’ve also lost some weight. Most of that is because my medication kills my appetite (and I’m not telling you what medications so you can beg your doctor for some — these are medications for seizures and depression, not for weight-loss). Some more is due to increased activity — not much, I hate the outdoors, but I try to stay active as a supplement to feeling good. I’ve been genetically privileged enough to admit that weight gain and loss has never been too much of a problem for me, but I’ve got to admit…this feels good. And I hate admitting that. I’ve always taken my general physical appearance in stride. I’m a bit cartoonish looking: a conflicting swath of red hair, toothy smile, mess of freckles, but big tits and small waist and big blue eyes. The former three characteristics made it tough growing up, but I made it work in the end.

I got to go to Seattle, which was a dream of mine. I went on a grunge tour. I went to Pike Place Market and freaked out at the volume of people shuffling around.

I found out I was going to be an aunt. Again. Twice. But I will maintain my decision to not have babies — and maybe my next post will be about that.

And one really huge thing happened that I kept off of this site: my abuser died. I’m only now feeling the weight of that knowledge. Maybe I’ll write about that psychic wound.

Next year, I’m setting my expectations low again. I do better when I’m not aiming too high. I want to finish my current book and I want to start a new one. I want to keep podcasting with Dr. Nokes. All are fun creative outlets for me that keep me sane when $Day Job$ brings me down. I don’t yearn for attention and acclaim from either, though. Would it be nice? Of course! But as long as my friends and family are reading and listening, that’s good enough for me. For my books, as long as I’m making the people I love think, I’ve achieved something. For the podcast, as long as I’m making Doc laugh and helping his students learn, I’ve done some good in this world. Then I can go back to the 8-5 and not worry so much.

And I’ll continue to take the pills and stay healthy.