This has been a very long year. My New Year’s Eve last year was spent in Weill-Cornell’s psych unit and was thoroughly uneventful. My neck and back were broken because I had tried to kill myself in November. I made a lot of people worry, and they still do. I threatened them with loss, and that’s an awful feeling. I made a promise to myself not to end up back in the hospital this year, and I followed through. The last couple of years I had a handful of stints in the hospital so this is the longest I’ve been “free” for a long time. It seemed like if I left I’d just end up back there later. The last hospitalization was the longest and also the worst. It ate four holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. This year I don’t really have the energy for much but I did get to Christmas, and that was a big improvement over last year. I can do something tonight if I want to.

Living, really living, requires resolve. Over the last year I have grown and become stronger. I am determined to keep myself going, not to retreat, not to backtrack or regress. Things that would have totally destroyed me before (like an intense fight for instance) upset me but they do not rock me to my core.I can bounce back and deal with the issues instead of shutting down. This is new. I like it.

I spent months in physical therapy trying to get my bones to work again. I took so many painkillers just to get through the day. I started going to the gym all the time to get stronger, more flexible, back to my normal self. Now, I’m not in constant pain, I can move myself around with relative ease, and I can do a lot of the things that I used to be able to do. I still hurt if I do too much or too little and some tasks are hard, but I haven’t come up against one that I really just couldn’t perform.

“What are you looking forward to in 2017?”

I am seriously looking forward to getting healthier so that I pick up my old hobbies like cycling again. While my bones healed I didn’t think it was the smartest sport to continue, but now that it’s been over a year it’s probably safe to start again, though don’t worry I’ll be asking my Dr. first. In that vein, I intend to get back into Pilates, which sort of fell by the wayside as I retreated the second half of this year, because it helped my pain and flexibility so much. I’d like to keep myself strong; that seems the best way to heal.

I am really excited for school. My brain is craving education, something, anything to learn and do. That’s why blogging has been so much fun because I’ve just wanted something concrete to do that has results and it’s a brainless video game. Writing is very satisfying. But school will be fascinating because they’re all subjects that I really haven’t taken before. It’s a pre-med program so I have to take chemistry, orgo, physics, statistics, psychology, calculus, biology, etc. I’ve been a humanities student for so long, this will be a totally different school experience. No long papers, no creative theses. It’s so refreshing to think about. The last paper I wrote was like thirty pages long. That’s not even the longest requirement I had at the time, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was definitely not a lucrative career path, and I figured that out almost all the way through the master’s degree. Oh well! It blazed the way for this new path in medicine so it was a worthwhile experience no matter what.

I keep thinking that if I hadn’t had the experiences that I’ve had the last few years, I wouldn’t have been inspired to go back to school and change career paths entirely. Being hospitalized really solidified my suspicion that I wanted to be a nurse. After I graduated from college I had a similar idea but I didn’t follow through because shit hit the fan. I had a cocaine addiction and needed help. I got it and recovered. Haven’t touched it since the beginning of 2009. The nurses at the rehab were inspirational too (really most of the staff there was awesome, with a few serious and notable exceptions, but that’s life). ALL I’m saying is “everything happens for a reason” and all that bullshit that seems to actually be true a lot of the time.

So health, gym, and school. I’m excited to reconnect with friends since I’l  be more active. I’ve missed them. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and getting to hear new stories. Who knows, maybe there is another great friend just waiting around the corner. That is definitely something to look forward to.

Husband will graduate this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing him happy and accomplished. He’s worked so hard at this degree that he really deserves to walk away happy with it. There’s still a lot of school to go, job searches and things like that, but this is a major achievement for him. I’m incredibly proud of his resolve and determination. He’s been fearless about this. And it’s been hard. I interrupted a lot of his studies with my episodes, but he has persevered. He even got an A+ this semester. I think that’s pretty damn cool. I’m looking forward to our relationship healing more in the new year, which I think will happen as a result of me going back to school and demonstrating that, “Yes, look, I’m stable and I can handle this.” I understand the instinct to worry about shit going down, but I’m choosing to be positive as much as possible.

2017 is going to be a very different year, and I’m excited.

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