Happy New Year, y’all.
Do you remember the old saying, “As we get older, the years fly by”? For some reason, 2019 did exactly that.
A new year creates the opportunity to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. As I ponder, I think about the positives and negatives throughout the year. This kind of reflection is meaningful because both the positives and negatives have formed me into who I am today.
I certainly endured a large number of events in 2019. My opinion is that tough times help me to build character, and good times help me to overcome the tough times.
I never make New Year’s resolutions. But I do like to think back and reflect on the year. I think about things I can improve on and things I can look forward to in the coming year. I strive every day to be a better version of myself than the previous day. Maybe that’s why I have this outlook about New Year’s resolutions.
January 2019 started on a somber note with the funerals of both my father-in-law and my mother-in-law. It has been mentally and emotionally tough for us. We also had several health scares in the family. Most recently, my husband had emergency stents put in, which took us all by surprise and continues to be difficult to process. Losing several PHriends also has taken a toll on my psyche.
The positives were bountiful last year. Our daughter’s wedding was in late January, and we stayed busy preparing and planning for that. Her wedding was one of the most beautiful days of my life. I once set some money aside, in case I left this world too soon, to celebrate the milestone of our daughter and “son-in-love’s” special day. My daughter knew the money was for her wedding dress.
Fortunately, the money I set aside was unnecessary. I was able to help plan and attend the wedding, as well as walk down the aisle, which was huge for me. My emotions overtake me even as I write this. I treasure that opportunity more than anyone will ever realize.
Thanks to a few of my friends who spoke openly about the benefit of therapists, I started seeing one. Brittany Foster, a PH News Forums moderator and author of the “Recharged and Rewired” column, is a huge inspiration. Her voice helps me and others who deal with PH and other chronic illnesses. I never thought that talk therapy would be beneficial for me, but it is. I thank Brittany for steering me in that direction.
I first spoke to my therapist over the phone and told her about PH and my life. My therapist said to me, “You have dealt with this for almost 15 years. Even the strongest bridges collapse after so long.” I told myself that I would go for one appointment. If I felt it wasn’t something I could benefit from, I would not go back.
Well, I continue to go, usually every few weeks. I have worked on some things and continue to work on others. We are all a work in progress, and I am trying to embrace that fact as I grow and learn. The elements I’m learning about myself and my life are quite interesting. Certain topics can be difficult to talk about, but need to be brought to the forefront so that I can deal with them. Growing can hurt, but it also can be rewarding.
I had only two hospitalizations in 2019, which is another positive, and a big deal when living with PH and other illnesses. For me, the number of hospitalizations per year can vary. For example, one year I had eight hospitalizations. So, yes, two hospitalizations is a positive.
Writing this column is also new, which I count as a tremendous positive. Some may not know that I was a nerd and enjoyed writing as a kid. I have always dreamed about writing something, such as a cookbook or a novel. Now I enjoy writing this column. Not only is it beneficial to those who read it, but also it is therapeutic for me.
Overall, as I glance over 2019, I think it has been a rather positive year. I am fortunate and blessed as I look to 2020. Let’s tackle this new year together.
How was your 2019? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.