Erika’s New Years Reflections

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As I sit here clacking away at my keyboard, trying to find something meaningful to say in regards to the New Year or reflecting on this past year I can’t help but wonder. Why is it, New Year’s Eve is such a massive global celebration?

When the ball drops at midnight around the world it seems there are two kinds of people… Group A, they throw their hands up in the air ecstatic for the new beginning spouting off all sorts of clichés and resolutions. Then you have people in Group B… They are seemingly content and all around pleased with the year they’ve had so they are enjoying and genuinely looking forward to what is next in their lives.  So is it people generally assume they’ve had a shit year? Is this based in complete overall fact or are there statistics we aren’t seeing and taking into account?

I’m more logic based in my thinking, I can’t help it, I think it would be interesting if I could get all wildly emotional about things, or even a little bit emotional for that matter, but those instances hardly occur unless I find the subject fascinating. I sound rude and pompous but never mean to be. I’m an odd duck.

Anywho (yes anywho, say it out loud, it’s an enjoyable one)  is it these overall statistics, what those of us in Group A are missing? Is it really that simple and yet complex? I found this interesting and so I (with the help of some of my parts & friends) went back and analyzed our year a bit…

  • Last New Year’s Eve I can honestly tell you I don’t remember much of, this was not due to over indulgence, but more so because I find social interaction difficult in many instances. It becomes exhausting and so dissociation occurs. That being said it was a standard NYE in most respects. We went over to friends who were hosting a New Year’s Eve party with foods, card games and in our jammie jams. Comfy clothes and food? I’m always down. All in all, a decent and standard evening.
  • As some of you know, I was again without health insurance this year. (Yay Obamacare) This has posed many challenges throughout my adult life. I’ve had it off and on but since I’ve been restricted from working and told I need to try and get on disability it has again been proven beyond unaffordable.
    • Type 1 Diabetic, considered Brittle. Meaning my body doesn’t produce the hormone insulin & it doesn’t properly break it down consistently when I inject said insulin. Test strips, meters, lancets, syringes, both my short and long acting insulins; forget about the pump and CGM’s those are for other people. Visiting Endocrinologists, a specialist mind you (ha, nope) the list goes on and on here… Fighting all through the early portions of the year in order to get the medications I very much need to survive.
    • Inhailers…Due to complications of the years with Diabetes I need specialty inhalers from time to time. During a bout of DKA (Diabetic Keto-Acidosis, really, really bad) I unfortunately and stupidly attempted to breathe while puking the acidic materials after my insulin had ‘stacked’. It didn’t break down in my body so my BGL’s (Blood Glucose Levels) continued rising until near death and or coma. I digress; I inhaled said grossness and burned my lungs, apparently. I’m also prone to lasting infections, this is especially true of my lungs since I was a small child.
    • I also have fibromyalgia, in addition to a few other fun physical things going on. Which then brings me to the Autumn of 2015, when we found out I needed additional immediate testing of abnormal cancer cell growth. Fast-forward to end of Summer-ish 2016 and that surgery finally did take place; they removed all the cells as well as the developed portions of cancer while the surgeon was in there. (Woot silver lining)
    • As for my mental health, well there is plenty to list here. What would be beneficial is anxiety, anti-depressant and sleeping medications, or some variation of the three, but yep no health insurance. (Thank you for your suggestions, I’ve tried them, promise)
  • My birthday is in the spring, we celebrated my 29th in 2016 and I’m sure it was lovely.
  • There were moments when we worked towards ending the stigma, those of you who follow us on Twitter have likely seen us use three symbols signifying “Stronger Together” we do genuinely mean that.
  • We have been writing more, several guest blogs posts as well as a couple interviews, our feeble attempts at spreading awareness for those living with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) We’re working on more, stay tuned…
  • Seriously, we write a lot. Paint and crochet as well as care for our fuzzy weasel children.
  • 2016 was a year of massive loss for us; several of our fur kids crossed the rainbow bridge and an Uncle who was very important to us at a time years ago in my life also succumbed to cancer this past year. Simply put, Fuck Cancer.
  • My husband and I have had our major ups and epic downs this last year, but ya know what we (collectively) did not expect, from anyone ever…He’s still here. By my side, by our side, supporting us through our therapy sessions and continuing to try and understand more and more each week.

Now, I’m going to stop right there…Sure we can add in more based on the day to day of life things come up, stress occurs; relationships, money, family, housing and what not, but Statistically speaking if I look at my year it really wasn’t that bad was it? There are 365 days in a year, look at that. Three Hundred and Sixty-five! That’s a massive amount of days to categorize as awful. Sure, awful shit happens. Bad comes and goes, but my point here is that statistically speaking it was a good year.

Finally, New Year’s Eve 2016, Today is January 5th, 2017 and I can tell you two things about New Year’s. Two exceptionally significant and important things:

  1. I remember it. I know we went to a friend’s home. I know my husband –who is sober over 6 months, we are beyond proud of him– didn’t have one drink, I know I had a couple glasses of wine, but I also know we did not get drunk. I know I didn’t wake up the next morning with a massive hang over and no memory. I also am fully well aware of all the friends I was able to see last night, including the new people whom I was able to meet. I have been around for 29 new beginnings and I haven’t remembered a single one, until last night. I can actually partake in conversations about how fun New Year’s Eve 2016 was. My parts were there, they were around of course when I needed them, but to me this means therapy over the last several years has been profoundly helpful to them and in turn me.
  2. Seemingly unimportant to you, but for me it was something of a surprise. I woke up January 1st, 2017. Upon entering or counting down the weeks or days to every New Year previous I wondered if I’d wake up. I was never certain what happened when I would “black out” what was happening, why and insert additional crazy mind racing thoughts here. I didn’t wonder that. Over the last several weeks I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind, but I did not once do what I typically do. My mind becomes a massive word puzzle, leaping and clinging from word to word that all connect in some way shape and or form. Not this year though, this year I knew I would wake up and I went to sleep knowing that I would actually be the one waking up in 2017.

In this year, 2017, I (we) want only a couple things. I want my husband and I to continue growing together and bettering ourselves. I want to continue healing and I want “The We in Me” to continue working together along with me, through therapy. We want to continue writing and speaking about Dissociative disorders, especially DID. With new movies coming out this year we find that work will be important to keep going. We’ve finally started our blog The We in Me something we’re looking forward to growing and working on as it focuses on our life as well as, Dissociative disorders and Mental Health in general. We are at a place in life where we are hoping and looking forward to the future and all the possibilities our life now holds; something we never imagined.

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Erika is a freelance photographer from Chicago, IL. She has worked as an entertainment & nightlife writer, as well as a model. Her & her husband now live in Indiana with their ferrets. They are very passionate about animal rescue & rehabilitation. She lives with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) PTSD, Depression & Anxiety. Some of her parts struggle with their own individual mental health problems; an ED & OCD to name two. It took many years but she found her voice and now is actively speaking out against the stigma surrounding mental illness and the lack of assistance for those struggling to reach out. In addition, she also lives with some limiting physical health conditions which unfortunately have made working impossible. For now, she is focused on her writing, speaking engagements, painting and her small family.

You can follow Erika on Twitter.

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