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New Year, Same Me (With Fibromyalgia)

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Slow down. Listen. Wonder. Wander. See the beauty and the magic. Embrace the divine wilderness of your heart and soul. You are no less than the stars and moon.

2016. I hope there are far better things ahead than we will be leaving behind. Often we spend so much time focusing on unrealistic New Year’s resolutions and are left disheartened when unable to comply to them. Beginning a new year is not about changing yourself; it is about focusing on what makes you happy and discarding the things that don`t. Be authentic. Let go of who you think you are supposed to be, and embrace who you are. 2016 has been a shit year for a lot of us, me very much included. However, I don’t plan on making any dramatic changes as we all drunkenly stumble into 2017. I intend on staying the same awkward, sarcastic, foul-mouthed delight you’ve all come to know and love.

Nevertheless, I do plan to look after myself a bit better next year. The last month has left me weak, tired and in pain which proves to me that I need to slow down even more than I thought I did. There is no point of me hoping the new year will bring a fitter and healthier me because I will only achieve that by running myself into the ground. Losing a few pounds will not make me happier if I can’t get out of bed. I need to slowly but surely build up my strength and find out what my body is capable of without pushing it too far.

This year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and as much as it has caused me a lot of grief, I have learned a lot about myself and others. I have learned I am stronger mentally than I ever thought I was. I have met some wonderful, supportive people along the way, and I can’t thank them enough for helping me discover who I am despite the pain. I have embraced using a walking stick, I started a blog, I have become friends with like-minded people at my fibromyalgia support group, I enjoyed a holiday with my family and managed to celebrate my brother’s 18th birthday. These are all things I didn’t think I would be able to achieve at the beginning of this year. My blog has allowed me to reach out to people all over the world who are on similar journeys. They have made the hours of writing and researching worthwhile, and I hope to continue inspiring people next year.

I wouldn’t be the person I am now without all the love and support from my family and friends this year. They have enabled me to have the strength to push myself way beyond what my illness truly should allow me to. I have never just wanted to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, compassion and humor and their helping hands have allowed me to do so. Hard times can change people and make them realize what is important to them, and that is what has happened to me. I have learned to appreciate the small successes rather than obsess over the bigger things that are much harder for me to achieve right now. I have learned people will come and go especially when they do not understand your situation, but there is no point in letting this dampen your spirits. Your energy is better spent elsewhere on something that will benefit you.

I know 2017 will bring its own challenges; however, that is what make life interesting, and overcoming them are what makes life meaningful. I don’t have to take each day all at once but instead one step, one breath and one moment at a time. I am only one person. Things will get done when they get done, and that is something I must remember when my motivation and energy dwindles. I want the new year to be full of new adventures, happy memories, plenty of laughter and last not but least an opportunity to grow into the person I know that I can be.

I hope 2017 brings you all love and happiness. Grasp the new year with both hands and embrace it. Thank you for your support this year. I look forward to discovering what the new year has in store.

Follow this journey on Fibro Love Affair.

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Thinkstock photo by Thomas Northcut

Originally published: January 11, 2017
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