Every year, I write a letter to the year that’s passed. I’ve been thinking of what to write for this years letter for a few weeks now. In the end, I’ve decided just to write what comes out and go from there.
This year has not been an easy one for me. When the Multiple Sclerosis hit on December 31st of 2012, it was as if someone had flicked a switch. There was a clear line drawn between life as it was and life as it is now.
January as a difficult month for me. I spent almost a month pretty much bed ridden. I was deaf in one ear and the left half of my face was frozen. I had to learn to walk again with the aid of a cane. It was a slow process, but I did it. I fought and won the battle but not the war.
Things continued to worsen. In March, my Wonder Mum took me to the emergency room when I lost the ability to speak and type. I went through a battery of tests (Cat scan, MRI, Lumbar Puncture, blood work, vision tests, etc.). In April, I finally had a name for what was wrong with me: Multiple Sclerosis.
I would have to wait until August 21st (the day before my birthday) to find out what kind I had (relapse and remitting) and what kind of medication I would be able to take (Copaxone, a daily injection). It was like getting to know myself all over again. I really didn’t know who I was anymore.
Rediscovering myself has been quite the process. I had to learn to walk again, talk again, type again. I had to learn to eat full meals and do things for myself again. As I fought, as I battled my body, I thought briefly if giving in, of just letting go. However, that’s not how I was raised. My Wonder Mum taught me to rise to each challenge that was presented to me, and I did and will.
Each day brings new challenges, new things I am relearning how to do. Things that I did without thinking before take a lot more energy and focus. Every time I step out into the world, it is as if I am a turtle sticking his head out into the sunshine. I just have to make sure that I keep sticking my head out and not hide in the dark, no matter how safe it feels. Life is meant to be lived, pure and simple.
2013 has been a year of ups and downs. In March, I had to put my beautiful cat Mave down. She was with me for seventeen years and in cat years, that’s darn old. I still miss her every day. Tula, the kitten I got in April of this year, helps though. Even if she does drive me crazy.
My apartment was broken into, my writing stolen and my laptop gone. In the end, I had to let it go and start again. That seems to be the theme for this year, starting over. Much as I learned to do everything all over again, I would beat this, too.
It’s also been the year that my writing has changed. I had twenty-three books come out in 2012. I had three come out this year and they were already in the pipeline. That’s mostly because from January to April, I really couldn’t write. Eventually I went back to the keyboard though. I wrote The Other Side of Oz and then moved on to 69B. Now I’m working on Boyfriends. I stopped writing romance novels. It hurt to let the genre go and I may go back to it eventually, but the truth is that I haven’t felt very romantic this year. However, the words still keep coming and that’s a gift in itself.
I entered 2013 as one person and an leaving it behind as a different me. I think it’s a better me. I take more joy in the simple things, the little things. I am not who I was, taking everything for granted. Now I celebrate everything I can do because it’s a small victory; and the small victories make one huge one right?
So while 2013 hasn’t been the best year (in fact most of it has been trial and tribulation), it’s been the year that I’ve learned the most about myself. I learned what I was capable of, that I will never give in, never surrender. That life is meant to be lived, regardless of the constraints and limits that my body puts upon it.
I won the battle and am on my way to winning the war. I am thankful for every day, for everything that happens, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. There is so much life left to live and in 2014, I am making the choice and the promise to myself to embrace life and to live as much as I can.
So bring it on 2014. I’m ready.
Hugs and cheer to you and yours,