By Megan Wirts
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'”—Alfred Lord Tennyson
New Year’s Resolutions. Who really sticks to them? I know I never have. I will say things like, “I resolve to not drink pop anymore” and then the next time someone offers me a Diet Coke, I will happily accept it and guzzle it down. I will say, “I resolve not to let people hurt me like they have in the past. I’m going to let things go!”. Then I will see my cousins post about a party they had, a concert they went to or some other thing on Facebook that I wasn’t invited to and I will be sad…again. It’s not that they don’t want me there, they just don’t think of me as often as I think of them and that hurts. Then my older brother will say horrible things about me at our family Christmas party and it will make me feel awkward, uncomfortable and will cement the fact that he’s not ever going to be nice to me, no matter how old we get. The thing is, just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean people are going to change overnight. It takes time. Lots of time, and sometimes a little talk therapy to get through it all. No shame.
The past few years I haven’t made new year’s resolutions simply because I know I won’t stick to them. What I really want is to just live my life and be happy in it every year. I have had big changes in my life the past few years. I was diagnosed with debilitating neurological disorder called Dystonia in 2015, had to stop working a job that I loved dearly, and I have had to learn how to live with a disability. I had to grieve the life I had and grieve the hopes and dreams that I saw for my future. I had to form a new vision for my life and reinvent myself over and over. I dabbled in stand-up comedy, I write, I make amazing cheesecakes and I am a present wife, mother and friend.
I have had to navigate the medical world and become an advocate for myself in order to receive proper care. I have had to fight with doctor’s offices and insurances companies. Which, by the way will never change unless something happens to the American healthcare system and insurance companies stop denying people the treatments and therapies that we deserve and need.
Meh. I’ll stop there. I could go on, but this isn’t supposed to be about our flawed healthcare system, this is supposed to be about the hope that a new year can bring. Which it does.
I am an eternal optimist and even though I know my brother will probably never be nice to me and my cousins will most likely forget to invite me again and the chances of me being cured of my dystonia are pretty slim, I still have hope. Hope is what gets me up in the morning and out of bed, that and coffee. Hope is what keeps me from curling up in the fetal position and crying day after day. Hope is what fuels my heart, and coffee.
I also know that just hoping for things to change isn’t going to change them. People must do the work. So, I am realistic, and I can’t just live my life hoping all the time. Sometimes, I do have to let the negative things go and accept things for how they are. I also know that I am the one that must make the changes in my life, I can’t wait for others to do it for me. I am responsible for my own happiness. I need to recognize the good and positive things that I do have in my life, and if you have been following along with me the past couple of years, you know I have loads of good in my life.
I have an incredible husband that loves me unconditionally. No matter how sick I get, how whiney I am or how ridiculous my requests are, he loves me. Recently, I started having laryngeal spasms (those are muscle spasms in your throat) and I thought I was dying. It felt like I was drowning on dry land, and I couldn’t breath for a good 60 seconds or more. Everything started to go black and I went to the floor, while my son was next to me crying and my dear husband was calling 911. I knelt on the floor and many thoughts flooded my mind. The first was “THIS IS NOT HOW I AM F’ING DYING!” and because I am a former Respiratory Therapist I knew I needed to breath slowly (ha!), not panic (Bigger HA!), and I needed a smooth muscle relaxer. The only thing I had in my house was Albuterol (To all my medical friends, you know how Albuterol is the cure for everything.), so I crawled to my medicine cabinet and saved my own life.
Anyway, after that happened, I began having panic attacks because I am terrified of it happening again and in order to calm myself I have asked my husband to do some ridiculous things for me. Like lay on top of me for 4 hours or more when all he really wants is to get a good night’s sleep because he is the one with the job and provides for our family. No hanky panky folks, I just made him lay there to hold me down, so I didn’t feel like I was going to fly out of my own anxiety riddled skin. I have asked him to go to the store in the early morning hours or late at night to get me anything that will make my anxiety go away and he happily complies. This man loves me. After 15 years of marriage, two kids, a house fire, and illness, he still loves me. That’s good stuff right there.
I have the best friends a girl could ever need, a warm and comfortable home, food in my pantry and so much love in my heart that sometimes I feel like it might explode.
My life isn’t perfect, but it is happy and full of hope. I am sentimental and nostalgic, and the holidays always bring those things out. A new year is like a bright shining beacon of hope. Hope that things will change for the better and hope for more kindness. Hope for more love, light, happiness, peace and cures for disease. Hope for more people to step up and do the right thing and hope for a better world than we had yesterday.
Happy New Year Friends! May it be filled with more happiness than you know what to do with and keep the hope alive in your heart.
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