This is a little bit hard to admit, but I'm looking forward to the end of 2016.
It really just wasn't my year.
Now I know I should be grateful, and I know I should find moments in this past year that are memories to treasure, but I also know I'm not one for falling for the "should's."
2016 was a year that felt very overwhelming. Physically, personally, and professionally.
Truly I am glad to see it go.
I know that depression is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, and every time my neurologists asks me, I'm adamant to say "NO! I feel fine."
This year, that nagging, underlying turmoil that I try to avoid definitely got the better of me.
Perhaps it was struggles with my health, and needing to recover from a surgery.
Perhaps it was losing someone in my daily life that I valued and loved dearly.
Perhaps it is the uncertainty of not knowing where my baby brother is (I use that term loosely, since he is over 30 years old.) and the stress that is causing my entire family.
Maybe it is dealing with the very real discrimination in the workplace that comes from having a disability. Even unintentionally, I don't think my friends understand how exhausting it can be to try to prove worth and value day-in-and-day-out. It is something most people take for granted. When people see me, they see someone who walks with a crutch or a walker, has trouble finding words, and needs a little extra time to think though problems. They don't immediately equate that to competence.
I had a little spat with a friend who told me that I should "just be glad I have a job", and honestly, I thought that was very hurtful, and maybe I took it the wrong way, but for someone to suggest I simply be content having a job as a person living with a disability, and not rock the boat to point out when I feel I'm treated less than others, broke my already fragile spirit.
That's not me.
I dislike conflict. However, I won't sit quietly and watch anyone, including myself, be treated differently because of a disability, or any other thing that makes them unique.
And just because I run out of strength at times, doesn't mean I'm not still fighting a battle every day, and most times, it is a very lonely place to be when I face big issues on my own.
I've learned a few things though.
The one thing I've learned this year is that there are a lot of things out of my control. Mainly all the things I've already noted.
And the biggest lesson: life goes on.
It's almost 2017.
I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions. I like to start each day with a new and fresh perspective. That hasn't come easily in 2016.
For 2017, I challenged a friend to a daily writing habit. I tend to get stuck in my head and write, and write, and write, and write. I have a box of journals. However, 2016's are page after page of ruminating thoughts.
So this year is going to be different.
I've written down 365 writing prompts and my pal and I are going to write (hopefully) every day, and share some accountability, as well as our favorite musings over the year. My pal is going to type hers on her laptop, and I have a love affair with Clairefontaine notebooks and luscious fountain pen inks, so while we will have the same topic, we both will tackle it from a unique process.
I think that will help me shake the funk of 2016 off.
Hopefully, I'll stop ruminating over things that are out of my control!! (Okay, that's a long shot!!)
Next time I make it to the neurologist's office and he asks me, "Are you having any symptoms of depression?", I'd sure like to be able to say, "NO. I feel fine!!" and really mean it.
Are you looking forward to a new year?