This is a strange year to reflect upon. When talking to Dr. Mind I said something about it being a bad year. He pointed out something very true: it was a very good year in some ways. The problem is that at this point the last 5 months are so overly real and I'm working so hard to cope with all that they've involved that the good stuff is harder to remember. So, in no specific order, here's 2009 (and you can remind me of other stuff if you want):
1) It was the year I really learned to supervise.
2) It was the year I put ethics above all else, even though I lost my job.
3) It was the year I swallowed my pride and used unemployment.
4) It was the year that I was able to verbally talk about many of the bad things that happened to me as a child.
5) It was the year I started to face my fears, something I'm looking forward to returning to in the next few weeks.
6) It was the year I lost 55 lbs.
7) It was the year I got off Depakote and actually had a few months I was on minimal medication.
8) It was the year Dr. Brain told me I am the highest functioning patient with the severity of illness that she's ever treated.
9) It was the year I came to terms all by myself with the idea that a major med change was necessary.
10) It was the year I managed a whole month of weaning off antidepressants.
11) It was the year I recognized that I had no choice but to be admitted to a psychiatric floor and then that it had to be done well before the planned moment.
12) It was the year I learned to speak up about my care in ways I've never had to do before because I've had doctors who have listened and I got stuck with ones who didn't.
13) It was the year I learned trust. Not trust like I should have, but trust at a new level.
14) It was the year that I learned how much the internet can help. So much caring from you all. The emails in the hospital mattered so incredibly much.
15) It was the year I learned to ask for help.
16) It was the year I learned how suicidal I can be, the year I spent much of a day crying hysterically because there was no way to kill myself in the psych unit.
17) It was the year I was assessed for suicide risk at least twice per week for 3 months.
18) It was the year my GAF (global assessment of functioning; google if interested) score hit 30.
19) It was the year I learned how severely anxiety affects my moods.
20) It was the year I flushed a whole bottle of pills I was still taking because they weren't safe to be in my home.
21) It was the year I learned about betrayal through what happened at my job.
22) It was the year I learned a whole plethora of relaxation techniques.
23) It was the year I really trusted Dr. Mind, more than I have probably ever trusted another person. In fact, I know it was; I trusted him to keep me alive during the worst of it.
24) It was the year I learned to complain and fight loud and long when medical practices make things difficult.
25) It was the year I got a reminder of what my patients are enduring as I recover from my own serious injury.
26) It was when I got my first taste of what it feels like to be older and actually have to think about things like not moving when you first stand up.
27) It was the year I started fixing my finances.
28) It was the year I fell in love with Phoenix and cacti and the desert.
29) It was the year I found bras I love, bras that fit right, for the first time ever.
30) It was the year I complied with my bite guard and haven't broken a tooth or needed a root canal or crown.
31) It was the year I realized I was so sick I need emergent care. Twice. In one night.
32) It was the year that I was so sick I was willing to poop in a cup, bag it, and drive it to the hospital at 10 pm.
33) It was the year I paid of my car, the first major thing I've ever owned outright.
34) It was the year I was smart enough to upgrade to an effecient furnace, which is looking like it will cut my bill by nearly 75%.
35) It was the year I proved you can be a therapist without putting weight on one leg.
36) It was the year I learned I can cope with becoming an aunt, despite my sadness, and that people understand more than I think they do.
37) It was the year I was well enough to sit through a 15 hour, 2 day intensive course on some pretty dry material, and loved it.
38) It was the year I was finally able to save money.
39) It was the year I could work full-time again and even handle overtime.
40) It was the year I learned about grace.
41) It was the year I was able to become goal-oriented instead of just trying to function.
42)It was the year I went 4 months without eating much besides African peanut soup, chicken/vegetable/biscuit casserole, yogurt, pudding, cereal bars, oatmeal, chocolate, milk, apple cider, and toast.
43) It was the year I was so sick that Dr. Mind came in deathly ill to be sure I was ok.
44) It was the year of 2 serious falls in 3 weeks.
45) It was the year I locked myself out of my house and the policeman broke in for me.
46) It was a year of ankle braces, cast boots, and crutches.
47) It was the year I got sick. A lot. Strept, bronchitis, sinus infections, UTIs, and the stomach virus from hell. Oh, and rule out appendicitis week.
48) It was the year I found out I'd be an aunt soon.
49) It was the year a psychiatric tech offered to tell me a joke because I was freaking out because I was so suicidal.
50) It was the year my company accidentally sent me an email about my resignation while I was hospitalized and hadn't resigned, causing a massive panic attack.
51) It was the first year in my life I didn't eat (or taste from when I was 11 months or a few year old) sauerkraut on New Year's day, as is the tradition in my family (it's against the MAOI diet).
52) It was the year I cancelled cable, got DSL, and finally got a laptop and wireless.
53) It was the year writing this got boring. Which is too bad since I'd really hoped doing this would help me remember more of January through July besides bad things from work.