2013 has left me scarred, hurt in a way that I don’t think I can properly express here. In addition to the loss of my child, my husband and I have stopped fertility treatments, he was diagnosed with a serious neurological condition that has left him disabled, and our financial security is seriously compromised. He is probably going to lose his job now that his federal medical leave is up (even after his work has been promising him for months that he could work from home). I’m paranoid at work and am terrified that something horrible is going to happen. My marriage has been tested in ways that I had not thought possible. DH’s grandfather came from the UK to visit and promptly had a stroke (and we’ve been fighting with insurance companies and hospitals ever since). My meniscus tore again so badly that the insurance nurse advised me to take an ambulance to the ER, and I suspect I’ll be having knee surgery in the near future.
I don’t have the traditional hopeful New Year message: I have no hope of getting pregnant again. People whom I deem to have no right to reproduce continue to have children. I am not sure if I will ever go back to being an extrovert, or if my new-found introversion is permanent. I am still grieving. Anger and anxiety are still there, ready to pounce if I let them.
But, I find it easier to breathe. I can generally ignore pregnant women and babies these days. I find that I am less afraid these days, even with tragedy and uncertainty. I very rarely take anxiety pills these days. I am learning to forgive myself. I don’t feel persecuted anymore – I can honestly say that I’ve had a pretty horrible and rotten 2013, but it’s not because I’m being singled out by the universe.
I don’t know if 2014 is going to be any better. I mean, I damn sure hope it’s better, but I’m not expecting miracles. This time last year, the only thing that I could cling to was that on December 27th, 2013, I’d be happy.
And here I am. Not happy. But I don’t think that happy is my goal anymore: my goal is to no longer be empty.
So here are my resolutions for 2014:
- Laugh at least once a day.
- Tell someone at least once a day that I appreciate/love them. Not in a general way, either. A meaningful way.
- Drink one glass of water a day.
- Be kinder to myself. I think I want to start and end each day with an affirmation. I’ve tried those in the past, but even if I fail again this time, what’s it going to hurt?
- Give myself permission to avoid triggers.
- Stop comparing myself to other people.
- Actively play with my cats more.
I think this is a nice start for now.
So, for those of you struggling right now, either from the past or decisions yet to be made, I want to leave you with a wish. A wish from one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.
It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave â€“ let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.