2018 has been the year I’ve been hoping for. After three long years of medicine, procedures, diagnoses, and surgeries, it was time to have a year that I could feel normal. Although I had surgery this year, it wasn’t as hard as all the rest.
To go back, let me explain. In 2015, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. In the year prior, I found myself slipping away. My health deteriorated quickly and I found myself slipping from reality. I tried to keep a grip on my schooling and in my normal life.
For a time, it seemed to work. Then, it all came to be too much and I felt like I was drowning. In the last three years, I’ve had 5 surgeries and a plethora of medical procedures. I’ve withstood medication changes and the ugly side effects.
While all of those things would have been detrimental enough, there was a greater loss. I was forced to drop out of college. I was in my last year and had only one semester to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.
I’d worked hard and maintained a high GPA, I’d established myself as a professional and I’d begun laying the groundwork for what population I wanted to serve. All the while, losing my hair, losing weight, and having trouble staying upright.
I won’t dwell on the past, instead, I want to tell you all about what I’ve gained. In all the negative and taxing medical drama, I became a writer. When I was forced to spend long hours in bed, I picked up a pen. I started to play with words.
I’d written songs and poems as a child and written short stories for school. In all those years, I never thought it was much more than that. It was just a bit of fun or a school requirement.
While I lay in bed, I started to think, How am I going to occupy my mind? I’ll go crazy if I lay in this bed without exercising my thoughts. So, I wrote a book. It took months, but I wrote it. It was awful and full of errors. That’s okay, I said. I wrote a book.
Then, I wrote another and another. Each book was better and I learned more as I worked. I wrote poems and I wrote short stories. I wrote blurbs and I kept a journal. Each day, I had something to do with my time.
At first, it was a way to distract me from all the pain and grief of being sick. It was an outlet. Well, that outlet became a passion. This year, I’ve taken a lot of writing classes. I’ve expanded my knowledge and I’ve begun honing my skill.
This year, I returned to school, which was a huge accomplishment. I started to feel confident in my ability to finish my degree and make a difference in the lives of our community.
While I returned to school, I continued writing. I kept my passion for the craft alive. I currently have over 40 WIPs. I am learning to better myself as a writer. I have gained so much in my self-esteem, writing-wise.
This year, I took a leap and created a Twitter. I cleaned up my social media presence and started fresh. I began blogging. This is all new to me, but I’m enjoying it. It may be rambling now, but the more I learn, the better it will get.
So, 2018 has brought me normalcy. I finally feel myself again. After a long road of medical procedures, surgeries, and sickness, I’m gonna be okay. There’s no cure, but I can manage better.
I am able to write and read and expand my skill. I’ll continue this year to be thankful for all the things I have. I’m thankful to all the people, across social media, I’ve met. I’m thankful for my family.
2018 comes to a close and I know that I’m lucky to be where I am. I still struggle medically. I still struggle with school and managing it all. I’m a wife, a mom, a student, and a writer.
I’m me, and that is amazing. In 2019, I’ll continue to fight and to write. I’ll graduate and I’ll begin my professional journey. For now, that’s enough.
I hope the end of the year brings you joy. I hope you spend time with family and friends. Spread joy and words. Be in the moment and enjoy each day you’re given. I know I do.
Thank you, 2018 for being kind to me, even in harsh moments.