Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

"If you want the present to be different from
the past, study the past."
~Baruch Spinoza

I begin writing on 2014 New Years Eve, with just 45min to go till midnight when the famous ball drops in NYC, and now our own New Years ball drops in my little hometown on Main Street; when people will gather in Times Square or at a private party and countdown the last ten seconds together before they yell out, "Happy New Year!" And clink their glasses together in a celebrated toast and lastly of the new year traditions, kiss someone, sometimes many someone's, be it a husband or wife, a boyfriend or girlfriend, an on again off again lover, a crush, or your friends. So, as you can guess, if I've just begun writing, I'm not doing any of those things. I'm alone, in bed watching TV, and putting heat on the right side of my neck trying to loosen up the terrible tightness I'm feeling from thick scar tissue and contractures already forming and an icepack laying closeby on my right shoulder. How pathetic. 

This year, 2014, has been a difficult year.  I started off the year with a surgery and I ended the year just a month and a half ago with my 50th surgery. Actually this whole year has been nothing but doctor appointments, a lot of trips to Portland, surgeries and their following recoveries. There really has been little else for me. I had 7 surgeries this year alone. I had my most difficult time this year during the summer over the 4th of July when I went in to have a double mastectomy performed due to complications with my burn and the scarring in my chest. I had to make the most difficult decision with going ahead with the double mastectomy to begin with and then so much went wrong and happened that I ended up having to have 4 surgeries along with several wound vac changes in a matter of two weeks and didn't walk out of the hospital until yet another week later for a total of three unplanned weeks on the hospital. That was a very hard time for me emotionally and physically. I'm still working through in my head all that happened in those 3 weeks and trying to be ok with my breastless body.

And...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  It is now the year 2015. A new year. And what everyone calls, "a fresh start."  I have always been a resolution maker. And it seems I never truly followed through on any one. I mean really felt with great satisfaction that I...had become regular in my exercise habits (the most popular resolution), was on good healthy eating habits, or had saved money each month without dipping into it and spending it, etc. Many people don't believe in making resolutions cause they just set you up to fail.  I see that, absolutely.  I've done it! for crying out loud. I have failed on so many of my resolutions that I want to be one of those people that doesn't set themselves up for failure with silly resolutions and just aim to be a better me or just have a good year. But, every year I still make those damn resolutions that are always pretty similar to my last years resolutions or exactly the same because I failed in my execution of them in the past year.  However, I'm a kind of person that needs a goal, something to aim for. I told myself maybe halfway through this last year that 2014 was gonna be my year. Even though half the year was over I was gonna get serious and start making some real changes. And I did make some headway in changes to my health. I have so far lost 33lbs and I'm determined to keep that going, only even more aggressive. I may have lost more weight than that in the past couple months but I haven't weighed myself through the holidays so as not to upset myself.  But I digress a bit.  As the kind of person who needs a goal set in my mind to aim for, I will, once again, make a couple resolutions. But this year, my resolutions will be fewer, more thought out in terms of what is really most important to my well-being emotionally and physically. They will be achievable yet challenging.

I thought the quote I put at the beginning of this post was perfect for looking at what my resolutions will be and how to make this 2015 year a really good, no, GREAT and different year for me.  I really want to have a great year. I haven't had a good year since my accident almost 7yrs ago. It's time for  some change. Achievable yet challenging.

Looking back on my past, I have very often gotten really down on myself and how my life is going.  Because of everything the accident took from me and how I'm reminded of it all with anything I do, it's all too easy for me to slip into this kind of black hole that swallows me up and I have no energy or motivation to do even the smallest things like take a shower or walk to the dinner table to eat. Even eating has no appeal to me. So when I can't even do or take interest in such basic things, just the
thought of going to a friend's house, or out doing errands like grocery shopping, and even getting on my computer to write, check emails or see what's going on with everyone on facebook is so incredibly daunting that I just stay curled up in bed or in my chair sleeping or mindlessly watching TV. Eventually, the blackness that had surrounded me for so long will begin to lift and little streams of light will again fuel my body and mind. Things that once seemed so futile or that I had no interest in or energy to give to, I was active with again.  I would find life quasi-enjoyable, as is normal for me, and just wait with an impending doom for the next black hole to suck me down  and under again. This is basically the cycle my life has taken on. And it's draining me in every way.  So I must look back on those times when I was in one of those black holes and study them so I can really try this year to stop all this emotional yo-yo-ing.

I really, desperately want to have a great year, a year full of exciting and positive changes.  So my resolutions are as follows:
1.   Continue on with weight loss.  I am not going to specify a number cause I think that will stress me out too much every time I get on the scale and set me up for failure if I don't hit that specific number.
2.   Keep up with my walking. Try to get at least 5 walks in a week.
3.  Get more sleep at night if possible (dependent on pain which can't be helped)
4.  Keep mind busy with hobbies and friends but make sure to allow for bodily rest also.
5.  Know that I will still have difficult days. If I have a hard day, let yourself be upset but also
remember your strength and focus on getting through that day. Tomorrow is a new day.  Just get through to tomorrow when you can start again.
6. Focus on CREATING myself!!  And HAVE FUN.

Being a Phoenix isn't easy.  Having to recreate yourself from your own pile of ashes is a very difficult task. But I was chosen.  I was chosen to rise from my ashes and be beautiful again, perhaps even more beautiful than I ever have been, on both the inside and out. I was chosen to stand out in the world. I will find my purpose in this world and leave a very large mark on it.  Bring on 2015!  This is just the start of my creation.  Happy New Year everyone!  Be kind and gracious to one another. Remember, everyone you meet is fighting their own personal battle so be a human being and take care of each other. Now GO! and create!


Monica Lang said...

What a great read. Really though provoking and substantial. Attitude is everything, and with a positive outlook, and with understanding that we can't be all holly jolly all the time, we can make joy and peace for ourselves. Thank you for your wise words, dear. I wish you a peaceful 2015.

Sarah Beth said...

Thank you, Monica. I get a lot of pressure from other people to basically, "just get over it', and be all upbeat all the time. But when you've endured a horrific trauma that changed everything about your life, I just can't be all happy-go-lucky all the time. I'm going to have bad days. I'm going to breakdown sometimes. But I'm also going to have some good days too. I just need patience and understanding. I also wish you a peaceful 2015.

Raquel said...

Happy new year!! Remember to be kind to yourself, especially with new and old goals. I gained so much weight when I was recovering and it's daunting to think about how much further you need to go. You go girl :)

Sarah Beth said...

Hi Raquel! Good to hear from you. I know you posted awhile back on a post I made after a long time away from my blog and I'm sorry I never got to responding to you. I will try to be kind to myself as well, I know I need to do that better so thank you for reminding me. Yeah I gained all my weight in the hospital with 3,000 calories squeezed down my feeding tube PLUS being force fed actual food on top of it a few weeks after I woke up from the coma. Then I couldn't do hardly anything except lay in fed or sit in a chair so yeah, the weight really piled on. Thanks for the encouragement 💜