Fire in champagne

New Year’s is a traditional time for reflecting on the outgoing year and setting intentions for the one oncoming. Like everyone else, I have been thinking about the way this year has gone, and there’s one adjective that just keeps coming back: crap.

As this year started, I was living in a comfortable home, paying bills, and pursuing various interests. I had even re-enrolled in college. I was unlocking Adult Achievements like I was supposed to. I figured I was cruising into Boss Mode, but I was ignoring increasingly aggressive warnings my body had been sending for years. It’s dangerous for anyone, and foolhardy when you have the combination of illnesses that I do.

So it shouldn’t really have been a surprise when I had a full-on nervous breakdown in January. Consequently, this has been a year full of failures, obstacles, pain, and setbacks. But it’s also provided me with tremendous clarity and opportunity. I now have a picture of where I want to go, and how I’m getting there. I know who I can count on when it all hits the fan. And that group is surprisingly big.

I have an amazing care team at the Institute for Family Health. My mother has been there for me at every step, helping me any way she can. My sister and her husband have been equally supportive, and caring for my older nieces over the summer provided me with badly needed structure and joy. Spending time with Cara, Isabella, and Francesca was the best part of my year, hands down.

On top of that, I have some of the best friends in the world. I specifically want to thank Darcy Ridgway and Grant Beery, who have both talked me through really hard, bad, dark days. Cyn and Deanna, who I often think of as one unit, have kept me from disappearing completely into my own world; it’s impossible to overstate how good it is to know that the invitations to visit are genuine and sent without any pressure, only love. Furthermore, Deanna has been instrumental in helping me get back on my feet with work.

I have been hugely blessed to have some amazing clients this year. Thanks to Nancy, for giving me a chance to help you out. To Lady Parts Justice (and Lizz & Ashley) for your work and your patience as I was sorting this all out. Big ups to the team at Planned Parenthood Action, and in particular to Heather and Miriam, who renewed my hope and joy in my work. And to Jamia and WAM! for the opportunity to work on causes I truly believe in.

I may be telling 2015 not to let the door hit its ass on the way out, but I am full of love and hope for 2016.

Things are hard. I am healing, but I’m also learning that I will never be healed. And that’s okay. I love you all.