I am not the same size I was at the beginning of this year. 2016 has taken bits and pieces of me over the last 12 months. It has taken things that, at its core, define who I am. 2016 has taken so much of me, ripped off so many details of myself, and cut off so much of who I am.
I want to take myself back.
2016 has been one of the worst years of my life. You think you’ve been through messes. You think, “life has sucked enough, things cannot possibly ever be worse.” You think you’re going to be the resilient one in the face of it all. You think you will be ready. You think YOU are the one who cannot be brought down anymore.
And then you get diagnosed with a life threatening disorder for the third time in your life. You go through multiple rounds of chemo. You gain so much weight and get acne because of the meds you’re on. You develop meningitis for 25 days. Twice.
You spend over 150 hours of this year in an emergency room. You spend an entire year living in and out of a hospital. You have needles poked in your arm over a thousand times. Your best friends abandon you. You are crushed with a crippling amount of depression. You have panic attacks every other night. You find it so hard to breathe because of how lonely and flawed and inadequate you feel.
Nobody understands you. Your closest friends live hundreds of miles away. Your don’t want to be a burden on your fiancé. You quit therapy a month in. You have major surgery. You are in pain constantly. You can’t remember the last time you weren’t nauseous. The surgery was not a success. You had a drug problem. You know every type of pain medication there is because you’ve had to be on them all over the course of this year. You are exhausted. You are left with what feels like nothing. You failed.
You think you are going to be the one that, when hit with life’s plans, will stand tall through it all.
I tried. I really tried. Standing tall. Until this year started taking so many pieces of me that I ended up smaller and frailer than I could ever imagine or remember. I became the worst version of myself right in front of my own eyes and there was nothing I could do about it.
I gave myself no excuses. I kept telling myself, “You were supposed to be different, remember. You have people looking to you to be strong and you can’t even do as much for them as faking your happiness. You were supposed to beat the depression. You were always the happiest girl, what happened to you?”
What. Happened. To. You.
This year happened to me. Life happened to me. Depression happened to me.
Laying my bubble, secluding myself away from my family and friends, I realized how big the hole was that I had dug myself into. I didn’t want to be stuck in this ditch anymore. And if there were any way I would come out of it, it would mean that I would have to crawl. To climb. To get my knees bloody and my knuckles dirty.
I knew it would be hard. And I knew I was not as strong as I used to be. But so what? So what?
That does not mean for a second that I am any less of a person because of it, that I am any less of a fighter. So I’m not laughing and smiling all the time? So what? I am missing pieces of myself and I don’t know where to even begin to look for them. I’m lost. So what? I find my way.
It does not make me any less human. It does not make me any less of a warrior, a survivor. It does not make me any less resilient. I survived this. And I will continue to survive. Because life goes on. The world does not stop turning for anyone. And I have something that is the key to opening this magical door of recovery: hope. I have hope.
Hope is how I move on from the year that broke me. Hope will listen. Hope will hear me. Hope will heal me.
Hope will heal me.