Either way, I did something fun this last year that I wanted to share. I did the photo a day challenge. Essentially I took a photo to represent what happened that day, and repeated this for all 356 days since January 1st. What might you ask could i have taken photos of? Well, I took pictures that basically chronicles my last year and included captions for each of them. For example if I started a new medication, got an IV, celebrated a birthday, had a friend visit, bought something new, made a new craft, saw a beautiful sunset, etc. The list could go on and on. I then sat down on December 29th and took the next 3 days to put each photo into a photo book from Shutterfly, in order, with dates & captions. Tedious is an understatement. But as I did that all my emotions came rushing in. "Remember the time this happened..." or "Wow I can't believe I got through this." It was a mix of great happiness & sadness. I re-lived a funny moment & it brought me joy, but I also remembered tough times I went through that only a picture could really take me back to. When I first moved home in January those first 3 months were hands down the most challenging & dark months of my life. I can't even put into words the hell that I lived physically & emotionally. So many experiences I never thought I would have. But at the end of those bad memories are quick reminders of where I am today... Such an unbelievably happier place.
My photo collection brought great realization to me. For starters I realized how my health has improved. Honestly & truly in February I hit a low point where I didnt know if I would make it. I weighed 86 pounds, I was unbelievably sick, my organs were all in immense pain, & I wasn't sure every day if I would even have a next. And now here I am by the grace of God feeling stronger then I thought I ever could. I'm no where near healthy, but I can say I feel substantially better. It almost brings me to tears when I truly reflect on how far I have come. It amazes me that when I wanted to give up on myself I had people who loved me who just wouldn't let that happen.
Things aren't perfect yet obviously, this is a slow but steady work in progress. As time goes on I discover more long term problems that Lyme has left me with. I learned that besides the Lyme I have residual damage done to my body that will need to be repaired. I stand here today fully aware that I may have years of work to 'fix' myself so to speak...to get me back to who I was before this disease swooped in & took my well being. Its daunting, but I don't feel defeated. If I could get through what I have so far I know I can get through anything.
Lastly, this year has shown me who I am deep down inside. I used to be very lost in many ways, and I mean that in a broad term. It's easy to get upset over petty things, get pulled into hasty drama & put stock into materialistic things only. Vanity is something we all have, but only once you lose your health do you realize how little all that matters. I got much closer to God & much stronger in my faith. I love deeper, I value the little things so much more, and I appreciate life in a way I can't put into words. When you're so close to giving up a losing battle, and you can pull yourself out of that to find life again, it's a hell of a feeling. A feeling you might not know until you live it yourself.
This photo book will forever serve as my humbling reminder of what happened in 2012. I recommend this project to anyone for the coming year, it's a great reminder of the ups & downs of life. It will keep you grounded & it will also keep you feeling enormously blessed. When I look at the good times & good pictures I am instantly reminded how lucky I am. It's easy to forget that sometimes, but I find this was a great way to take me back in time. I plan to keep this up throughout 2013 & see what this year has to bring!
I hope everyone has a HEALTHY and blessed 2013. Here's to one step closer to a new life.