It was my birthday last Saturday. I’m another year older! (Yay?) Yes, I’ve acquired some additional signs of my impending old age over these past twelve months. I’ve also, however, gained some real wisdom. (Yay for real this time.)
It’s been quite the year. I won’t claim not to be the person I was in October 2018—I remain fundamentally me, for better or for worse, and I’m still struggling to figure out all the pieces of my health.
What’s true, though, is that aspects of my wellbeing that were definitively not in control twelve months ago are more contained now. (I’m not sure if “contained” is the right word, but “managed” doesn’t seem appropriate either, somehow. “Contained” it is.) I’ve recently seen both my epileptologist and my neuropsychiatrist and thus have epilepsy- and mental-health-related updates, which I’ll make in a separate post. For the time being, I’ll just say that I feel confident—well, mostly confident—about the path moving forward. Part of that is because since my last birthday, I’ve become better at functioning with what I have and as who I am, and the more I’ve learned to accept a different view of what “functioning” can/should look like for me, the more my health and general sense of fulfillment have improved. Part of it is because I have a great team of medical professionals, not to mention an incredible network of family and friends, on my side.
I procrastinated enough in writing this post that it’s now Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, which is, of course, perfect and exactly what I intended. I have, after all, much to be thankful for and was doing some heavy-duty reflecting on that fact a week ago, when I was overwhelmed by the many ways in which people reached out to me. But it isn’t just on my birthday that I’m grateful for these connections and this support. It’s when friends are willing to have a slumber party because my husband’s out of town and it isn’t safe for me to be alone overnight; it’s when a dear friend I haven’t seen in six years flies across the country so that we can spend a few days together; it’s when the magical LEGO Fairy visits; it’s when I receive mail from a loyal pen pal; it’s after conversations over messenger, text, or the phone (eek!); and I could go on, and on, and on.
Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, and thanks again, friends and loved ones, for making my birthday special even though I chose to spend it mostly hibernating. I’m thankful for you and for the role you play in making my life full.