Hello Again (reflections on my 2018 and where I’ve been)

Hello again, it’s been awhile. It’s been a few months since I’ve posted on here (since October 3rd to be exact!), and 2018 on the whole was not a creatively inspired year. I’ve wanted to get back into blogging so badly, but each time I would sit down to write a post it was almost as if I was trying to climb out of the hole that had become the root of my creative block. Each blog post idea seemed too futile of an attempt for the enormity of the cause, and above all it felt like I wasn’t being true to myself or my life experience. Each post idea about topics that were very relevant to me awhile ago seemed to be so low on the list of my daily priorities that it didn’t reflect where I really was.

I wrote a post back in July that touched on some of the challenges that I had been experiencing, and at the time I thought that my creative inspiration would return with a new semester and the journey of my senior year. The creative energy didn’t return, and I felt even more drained with the workload leading up to graduation. My blog used to be the creative outlet that kept me in a space of motivation and inspiration amidst a challenging workload and other life aspects. However, one of the variables that has been consistent in my life (but that increased in severity) has been my health.

My Health Journey

I have struggled with a number of health issues for quite a few years now, but for the longest time they seemed disconnected and would ebb and flow sporadically. I’ve had migraine headaches since the age of 14, and they have both worsened and improved over the course of the past eight years. Migraines were the most impactful health problem I dealt with during my first and second year of college, and I spent months sorting out my migraine triggers via process of elimination. This was one of the many factors that led me to my vegan diet, as dairy was one of my main triggers (meat was as well, and I never liked it so it was easier to remove). I still get migraine headaches but the triggers now are lack of sleep (definitely can’t pull all nighters like I used to!), dehydration, stress, inconsistent routine, and travel.

For the past two years or so I’ve been dealing with worsening chronic pain issues, which slowly became more noticeable in my daily life until they became much of what my daily life was centered around. Each day the pain would be different, sometimes just slightly, but generally always there. This year it started to make things that used to be easy or that I used to do without a lot of thought much more difficult. It has also made things I used to enjoy (fitness especially, and cooking at times) almost impossible.

In 2018 I decided I wanted to take more of an active approach and start exploring potential causes medically. I had a scan/test/exploratory surgery procedure done in May with many follow-up appointments with a variety of different doctors for the entire summer. No definitive answers were found but I did make a few positive strides, mostly through physical therapy.

The pain persisted through the semester, and with the added stress I was having to use pain relieving remedies much more often. This includes peppermint oil for muscle tension and pain, and if you have been around me this year you know that pretty much all of my stuff smells like peppermint most of the time (it’s practically a part of who I am at this point haha). I’ve also gained a new best friend in the form of my heating pad, which is a life changer for the abdominal, back, and leg pain that comes in sporadic pain “waves” or “flares”.

The constant state of pain made it a lot more difficult to balance everything that I was once able to take on with relative ease, and led to a lack of creative energy and a lack of work efficiency. I also got sick more than I ever have in a semester, with one of the illnesses (right before my birthday) being the worst cold I’ve had in years.

During the last week of the semester I got a particularly bad pain wave that also came with a migraine. The migraine lasted for about three days with off and on pain, until it rapidly worsened one night. I ended up in the emergency room for monitoring and pain relief, and as a result had to get a paper extension and an incomplete in one of my classes. This is something I’ve never had to do before (my pain has never limited my success as much as it is now), and it has caused additional stress–which isn’t the most helpful thing haha.

Where I’m at Now

2019 has already been a year of change. We had to say goodbye to one of our precious dogs Beau ๐Ÿ’”, who gave us nine years of love, companionship, laughter, and memories.

I’ve also gone for more medical tests than I can count in a process of elimination, which has been very insightful but has left little room for creativity/balancing my new year.

This weekend I return to college for my final semester (which I can hardly believe!), and I’ve made progress but still have a journey ahead of me with my health. I’ve made a few goals for the new year and my final semester as I move through this time of change, and one of those goals is to get back into blogging and the creativity that has sparked joy for so many years. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Words can’t describe how grateful I am for this online community that has supported me over the yearsย โค๏ธ, and I’ve been wanting to authentically share how the past few months have been as I start blogging again. I’m starting to feel inspired again, and felt as though I couldn’t start with more posts before letting you know about why blogging became so difficult in 2018.ย 

Even as I type these words I’m smiling with how much joy writing brings me, and I feel ready to restart my creativity in 2019. I do have a project currently underway that I hope to launch within the next few months, relating to new ideas and what I’ve learned over the past year. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I’m so excited to reconnect with you this year, and I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the new year!ย 

 

 



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