2019 was a challenging and trying year. I felt immense stress the entire year because of my health issues. I did not go longer than a month without a hospital admission, including the hospital admission I am currently having. In total, I was hospitalized for over 70 days this calendar year, meaning I missed over two months of my daily life. This put a strain on my marriage and our finances since it resulted in me no longer working. The financial struggle that came with that decision has not been easy. Neither has the emotional toll it’s taken; I loved working and always found my sense of self through my job title. The transition to not working has made me have to reevaluate my self worth and work on my self esteem.
There were definitely difficult moments in my relationship with Will this year, but we are now stronger than ever before! We decided our communication was the greatest of importance. We strived to speak honestly and openly with each other, knowing that each of us was coming from a place of love and utmost commitment to our marriage. We had our fights, but we never let them overshadow the growth we were making. We learned from them and let them make us better individuals and a better couple.
While it was the most taxing year we’ve had since being married, there have been some truly beautiful moments in between the pain. For example, we began the year by taking our honeymoon vacation to Florida. We also had the opportunity to travel to California to visit with my family. We experienced Diane getting married to an incredible man. And we found new friends and a new hobby through Wolfpack Game Night.
As I reflect on the past year, I cannot help but be saddened by the state of my health. I have dealt with depression and anxiety throughout my entire life, but it was especially challenging to overcome my demons in 2019. However, I am very proud of myself because I did not revert to negative coping mechanisms like I have in the past, such as purging or self harm. Instead I chose positive stress relieving activities, like drawing, meditation, and exercise. This made the bad times manageable and the good times even more enjoyable!
I have set some goals for 2020 that I intend to stick to, like regaining my independence and maintaining 30 minutes of both creative and active activities a day. I have also pledged to eat healthier and make self care a priority.
I hope 2020 brings less chaos and more love for all of us. I hope you set goals for yourself and work on improving yourself. Even if you do not meet your intended goal, or have to adjust it after four months, just deciding that you want to better yourself is powerful and can result in change.
Here are a selection of memories from 2019 for you to peruse and enjoy. I know these photos bring me joy and return me to times filled with laughter and love. I hope they do the same for you.
Happy new year. – Jules