Well, that about does it for 2017. It’s been quite a year with a lot of ups and some downs. I was hospitalized three times earlier in the year (March, May, and June) but have since been doing better. I had some new medications added to my daily schedule but have been cutting back on others. I think Dr W and I are getting closer to finding a good balance.
I had my last appointment with Dr C back in August and switched over to Dr P; things have been going well. We’ve found some success with ACT in addition to the CBT I was already doing, and between what I’ve learned in therapy and while I was in the hospital, I’m getting pretty good at mindfulness exercises and being mindful throughout the day.
I can drive farther than I could at this point last year. It’s still not very far but it’s an improvement. I rode my motorcycle for the first time in two years, too, and ended up taking a trip around the city, which was about an hour of riding.
I’m having fewer panic attacks and nightmares than I used to. I used to average 6-8 really bad nightmares every night but I’m down to 0-2 on average, and they’re not as vivid as they used to be.
Some of my OCD symptoms have been creeping back. I’m having a lot of trouble with locks again – house, garage, and vehicle. J checks everything before we go to bed but I struggle to keep myself from going to the back window and staring at the garage door to make sure it’s closed.
One of my uncles found out he had cancer but had surgery and is now doing great. Another one of my uncles has what the doctors are pretty sure is ALS but he’s in really good spirits.
J got a promotion at work and is enjoying her new responsibilities. I’m very proud of her and amazed at the effort she puts into her work.
Family has made the trip out here quite a few times this year and it was great to see everyone and have them around. I was really happy to see my sister and her family for a short while this holiday season, too.
I’ve been getting out of the house a lot more this year than I did last year. I’ve had a good time getting together with DA, FA, and WG and am lucky to have friends like them.
I’m a little anxious about what 2018 has in store. I hope I continue to get better and don’t need another hospitalization. If it happens, it happens, but I hope that therapy and outpatient treatment will be enough from now on.
I’m also anxious about work. I have no idea when I’ll be ready to return, and no idea what work will be like when I do. In April it will be two years since I’ve been away, and in November it will be two years since I went on disability. I’m worried that I’ll be at work for a week and then end up back in the hospital again. I think about work a lot, and I probably shouldn’t.
I think I want to try volunteering somewhere or taking a course in something. Something different that will be a bit of a challenge but not something that takes all of my time or can’t tolerate me missing a couple of days here and there. It would be another way to stretch my boundaries a bit I think.
I’m already thinking about next Christmas. I would really like to be able to go to my parents’ place and stay there for the holidays like J and I used to do before I got sick. It would be wonderful if my sister and her family were there, too.
I’m also anxious about whether I’m being a good husband, son, uncle, nephew, friend… whether I’m being a good person. I am very grateful for my family and friends and everything they do and I hope that everyone knows that.
More than anything, I’m anxious about not knowing what may be on its way. I feel like I need to be prepared for every possibility but I know that’s an impossible task. I will try to be flexible and able to adjust to things as time goes on. I’m sure there will be things that I will find overwhelming but I will try to remember that everything can be done eventually if you break it down into small enough steps.
Happy New Year, everyone!