I'm linking last year's blog here. When I wrote that I was miserable. And I was so tired of being miserable. Just bone tired. And here we are a year later, so has it changed?
I woke up today on the last day of my 48th year knowing that my country is being led by a crazy man. And that there is a portion of my country that will defend him until he leaves. I spent the last week reading about and listening to people defending racists as peaceful protesters who were sweetly minding their own Blood and Soil business when those mean old anti-racism people somehow made one of them ram a car in to a crowd of people and kill someone. I've spent a week reading about and listening to (AGAIN) people talk about how having Confederate statues around isn't a big deal because how are we supposed to know anything about history if we don't have statues up honoring and revering the CONFEDERATES, who LOST, who were WRONG.
And, listen, I don't care about your arguments that it was a different time; we don't live in that time so we don't have to honor them. I don't want you to try and explain to me how it wasn't about slavery when I can just link you to the articles of secession from the states that started it and you will see in the first or second paragraph of each that it was about slavery. Or you can read the Cornerstone Speech. Or you can just accept that the Confederates lost and we agree that you don't get participation trophies right?
So anyway...the week (the past year for fuck's sake) leading up to birthday weekend has not been great politically or morally. I have to shake my head at people who want me to be nice to the crazy man in the White House just because he is in the White House. Mind you these same people were horrific to the last resident of the White House but that was....ummm...different? I have to shake my head and clench my jaw at the number of people who believe that there is any other response to a Nazi than hell no. I have to shake my head and roll my eyes at people who freak out about a woman wearing a hijab because it's so oppressive but are totally cool with an African American family having to walk past a statue of Robert E. Lee every day.
The nagging injury I wrote about last year ended up being a gap in the labrum, not sure if it's a genetic issue that it never fused or a tear but I have a gap where the labrum does not attach to the bone to form the full ball and socket joint of the shoulder. The labrum itself had folded over and pinched in to the joint, making it unstable and causing the pain. Possibly able to be fixed by surgery, possibly made worse by surgery. But not going to go away on it's own.
So 48 wasn't any better than 47 right?
Well...no. It was a lot better. It just took some time.
I made a decision as I was writing last year's blog that things were going to change. I was going to fake it until I made it if I had to but things were going to change.
I started the next day with Selfie Saturday. Odd thing right? But I wanted to take time each and every week to mark the time. To smile for a camera and show it was going to be a good year dammit. Today will be the last Selfie Saturday picture and I have to say looking through them yesterday that for the most part I was successful. A few cranky shots, but they were about specific things happening right then. But great adventures and fun days and hockey games and just life going by. Selfie Saturday captured them all.
My shoulder? When I went in for the appointment before the last MRI the doctor was checking range of motion and POP the labrum unfolded from the joint and the pain went away. Oh my goodness...it was a medical miracle! Seriously, he wasn't trying to do that. It just happened. He was like, "I would like to take credit for that and say it was my plan all along but it wasn't. It was a happy accident." Happy indeed! I still can't work out the way I was, but with some modifications my strength has returned and I have VBL again. (visible biceps line)
I put us on a lower sugar diet at the beginning of the year and my steadily climbing weight from last year finally started a slow decent again. I'm still that perpetual 10 pounds away from where I'd like to be but at least it's not still going up. The healthier diet is supposed to help in a number of ways but the only outward sign I've got is the scale so I will take it.
The creative wasteland? Well that stuck around for a few more months. I force choked out a few stories and then at the beginning of the year started an exchange with Dana (god bless Dana) that pulled me the rest of the way out. Writing keeps me sane. I really believe that. When the world around you sucks it's nice to be able to make up a new one to step in to for awhile.
And the month of gratitude that I normally do in November I stretched this year to every day in 2017. When the world is going crazy it's good to remind yourself of all of the really great things there are. To put your head right instead of focusing on the wrongs.
People who needed to go? Well some of them are still around and still taking potshots here and there and I still wonder why they keep me around when they clearly don't like me much. But I've chosen to be philosophical about it. As long as it isn't changing my opinion of myself (and it's not) they obviously need someone to look down on. And if it's me instead of someone who can't shoulder that burden then this is better.
Because that brings us to the end of this blog and the message. I was miserable last year on my birthday. I lined out all of the reasons I shouldn't be. All of the things that were good in my life. But it didn't matter. My depressive side was slowly but surely overtaking my manic side and I was having a bitch of a time stopping it. I've been lucky enough in my life that I've not needed medication to regulate, but I was at the point last year where that was my next step. And there is no shame in that. If you need help get it. If you can regulate your brain chemistry through diet and exercise that's fine, but if you need more that's fine too.
A friend of mine's husband who coincidentally enough shares my birthday lost his battle to depression last year. He had a lot of good things to live for as well. He just couldn't see them anymore. And he couldn't force himself past it one more time. He was also bone tired.
So this year as I reflect on the past year, past two years, I know how lucky I am to have been able to swing my pendulum back. And I ask you all to pay attention to where you are in life. How are you feeling? Is it darker than it should be? What can you do to fix that? Diet, exercise, active gratitude, force perspective change, medication, therapy? What ever it takes please do it. Be here next year to read my navel gazing essay. The world needs you.
Because you are incredible.
Now have a piece of cake and raise your fork in my direction and send me a wish for a good year as you do.
Happy Birthday Weekend to us all!