Recently I’ve been reflecting on the past year. It’s been a really hard one, maybe one of my hardest. I’m not sorry to see 2015 go. But I have accomplished a lot, and I have some goals for going forward.

I have spent the whole year trying to manage chronic pain. I left a job that I wasn’t physically able to do any more. I got and have kept a part-time job that I can maintain. It is an ongoing challenge, but I’ve made lots of progress. I can sit, walk, and get to work and appointments. I couldn’t do those things a few months ago. I have bad days and good days, but overall it’s getting better. I can be thankful for that, and still accept that it has been a really hard experience, too.

I’ve developed a better relationship with my body, even through chronic pain and the accompanying discouragement, anger, and limitations. I’ve learned to work with my body, listen to pain, and educate myself about care. I’ve also been able to maintain a body-positive perspective throughout weight changes that would have really challenged me before. I’ve developed an interest in meditation and its emotional and physical benefits. I’ve started using meditation to manage sleep, as well as stress headaches and other bodily pain.

I moved out of a toxic living situation where there was no possibility of health and recovery for me. I’m not totally self-sufficient, but I am safe and supported, and I can pay for necessities.

I started going to a therapist. It has helped me, dramatically, not just to cope with difficult mental health, but to understand why I’ve become who I am, and to see what changes I am capable of.

And of course, I started a blog, which I’ve really enjoyed. 🙂

 

My aim going forward is to challenge voices that say, “You should be doing _______,” and re-evaluate what would really be in my best interest.

For example, I plan to:

Put my health first. I’m not physically up for another job right now, so I’m not going to beat myself up about all the other things I ‘should’ be doing in my mid-twenties.

Begin to reconsider career paths based not just on what I’ve done before and what I thought I ‘should’ do, but by reevaluating what I really enjoy and my individual strengths. I have a lot to learn about myself.

I also had this idea that I would try to read some poetry every day. Normally I don’t like to set unrealistic goals to radically change daily routines because that is usually just setting yourself up for failure. I find that the best way to make changes in routine is to take baby steps. But I do spend time reading every day, so I think it shouldn’t be too hard to divert some of that time to focusing on poetry.

What awareness are you bringing with you into the new year?

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