How ironic that Mercury has gone direct (as of this morning, thank god(dess)) and yet I’ve waited until now to take a look back on the utter whirlwind that was 2018, eh?
It seems I’m embarrassingly late again (and it’s not the first time, either) (lol), but like I said last time, “better late than never” and all that. 😉
And this time I’m going to write with a cat on my chest, my arms snaking over her back as she roars in my ear and tries to snuggle her cold wet nose on mine.
Last year I swore to make 2018 different from 2017 in any and every way possible. And in a way, I accomplished exactly that. Most of the differences were intended; a few were not.
One of the stark differences between 2017 and 2018 is that I didn’t blog nearly as much. It’s not you; it’s me. I had my reasons; some were wonderful, and some…not so much.
One happy reason I didn’t blog as much is that I used to do a lot of my blogging during Insomniac Attacks, which have since become much more the exception than the norm. This was made possible largely by reading out loud to my partner 1) as a way for him to become familiar with and enjoy books that may enrich his life in whatever way books can and 2) to put me to sleep, as reading aloud can mysteriously have that effect.
The first book (series) we tackled was the entire Harry Potter series. I had not read the books–nor had I seen the movies–before, but within the first 5-10 pages, I was hooked. We read all 7 books in a 3-month binge-a-thon and by the end we were wishing J.K. Rowling had written even more. 🙂
February and March have the tendency suck for whatever reason, especially if I don’t have some kind of diversion to look forward to. This year, other than the binge-reading, there really wasn’t much. I immersed myself in some cathartic projects that include archiving old journals and as I looked back on my adolescent–and even earlier–years, I came to realize that I’d been psychologically/emotionally abused.
That hit me like a hurricane. I hadn’t realized that before. Sure, what people in my life had said had certainly hurt at the time, but I had also been told throughout the years in certain situations that I was “overreacting” or “being too sensitive”, so I learned to downplay and write off my feelings.
Bad move. Not my fault, but bad move.
So, I spent some time processing this, because it’s only when you process that you can begin to heal. To me, it’s a transcendence, the ability to look something unpleasant straight in the eye and simultaneously give it the epic finger while also finding a way toward acceptance that it happened, and eventually leapfrog “so over it”. 😉
To help with that, I started–and then soon after, stopped–another round of counseling. The only reason I stopped is that that particular counselor, although a very nice man, didn’t provide me with any additional insight nor advice nor strategies. I was basically paying 90 bucks an hour to shoot the shit and although that was fun, I can shoot the shit with plenty of others for free.
Just like I handled Murphy’s passing. Oh, I’d been dreading that one for a while, but I could also see it coming several miles away and at no time did I fool myself into thinking it wasn’t in the process of happening. His decline was slow but he held on, even purring and happy, until he couldn’t anymore. One afternoon, a year and 2 days ago, I found him and knew that his veil was thin, and within an hour after that, he was gone.
Several wonderful people consoled me through that one; Lynn Blair, my lovely over at Inked Autist for whom I’m forever grateful, was especially empathetic and kind, and offered up his female kitty’s new kittens for adoption. By the end of the week, the deal was done; as soon as they were properly weaned from their mother, they could come home with us. He saved my heart that week, as he has done several times. ❤
So we headed up to northern West Texas and got to meet Lynn in person (!), and had a truly awesome time together before we started for home. And now we had these 2 little kittens romping around, exploring the place and bonding with us and our other kitty Vanessa, then 5 years old. Three weeks (to the day) in, all the kitties were not only getting along, but treating each other like close family members. All year, I watched them grow and develop into amazing kitties, both physically and mentally/emotionally.
Hermione Rhiannon and William Arthur (“Liam”) also made for adorable distractions from my school work. Yes, school (lol). I began a Masters program (MS) in nutrition and Functional Medicine, to which I’d found out that I’d been accepted the day after Murphy passed away (talk about a rollercoaster week!). There’s a lot of reading and writing, a lot of mental processing, and a lot of mental energy required, so that pretty much stole much of my brain and writing ability this last year, and I’m not sure 2019 will be much different in that arena.
I did indeed continue with Operation Queen Piss, lovely Flojo’s and my code-name for my personal health restoration project (yes, that’s still going on lol). I had some dental work done in the beginning of the year, joined a gym in April and actually worked out a few times (an activity that I will eventually restart and continue with), started actually drinking water in August (no, I had not drunk much water in about 4 years), continued with spinal decompression all year, abandoned Paleo and started eating more fiber (good ol’ beans and rice about twice a week), and started taking a few well-chosen supplements.
I got myself in trouble taking a couple of specific supplements in too large a dose too soon (before my body was ready for it), though. I won’t go into too many specifics other than that I felt absolutely awful, had fever and chills and content coming out of both ends. And my brain has been even worse since, which only adds to my project. That’s not to say that they’re dangerous, but timing and preparation are everything.
Life was hard this year. Other than Murphy passing, I can’t really figure out why, without bringing astrology into it. When another good friend (Visual Vox) (whom I also got to see this summer!!) We had a blast, too) introduced me to True Sidereal Astrology (which I promise is a shizz-ton more accurate than the conventional tropical system used by practically every astrologer out there), I soaked it up and readjusted my perspective to accommodate the differences, because they really did make more sense. Everything about conventional/tropical astrology that I’d questioned or not quite felt resonant with changed when I converted to the True Sidereal system and everything seemed to solidify.
I went through a Process of Processing, where a recalculation of my “real” (Sidereal) chart revealed to me planetary placements that I had previously been grateful for having dodged. Nope, no such luck. Some revelations are not pleasant. Some of these planetary placements held more darkness than others, and no, it’s not always as simple as Thinking Positive. It is–and is not–all in how you deal with it. You’re given what you’re given and you can’t change that and sometimes it sucks. You can decide how you want to handle it and what you want to do with it, but let’s face it: some placements are tougher than others, and I ended up with the short end of a couple sticks I hadn’t even realized I’d been holding. So, a major theme this year was finding comfort and peace in darkness, in the yin. I’ll probably write a separate piece about this in the future.
I traveled a few times this year, too! One was a flight to Florida in June for a fantastic conference that I thoroughly enjoyed, during which my dad broke his hip when a cow stepped on his foot, and there was a scare in through there when he didn’t wake up and start breathing after the hip replacement surgery. But thankfully, all turned out well.
Another trip was a simple road trip west during my birthday, when we went as far as we could in one day on I-10, just to escape the rat race and the relentless beatings (financial, emotional, summer heat, etc) of what had been my inescapable, punishing everyday life.
So anyway, the final journey of this past year involved going up to the Great White North (although it was fall, so not so white just yet) to help my best friend from childhood move…to my town!! I’d flown up, made the rounds among a few extended family members and friends, and then we drove down in a 3-day convoy, which was a total blast. Her coming here was literally an 18-year dream come true. Finally together again! We’ve been as inseparable now as we were in high school, whenever I’m not knocking out school assignments and crunching deadlines.
My partner went through a sort of metamorphosis of his own, only his wasn’t veiled in confusion or darkness. He began to study Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) in the spring (which took him halfway across the country, leaving me alone while the 2 kittens were still in home “quarantine”, no less lol) and finished up his basic training in September. He practiced on me, and it turns out he has a natural knack for this stuff. NET essentially disconnects past stressors or painful events from your body’s physical function, separating a painful event or life phase or emotion from your physiology and thus removing its effect on your health. It’s pretty cool shizz and yes, it’s been studied. 🙂
In all, this year has been one of shadows and darkness, light, factual/un-creative writing, cognitive fatigue (my brain gives out at unpredictable times), withdrawal (I’m not on social media much at all anymore) and introspection (I’m still figuring things out about myself), and indeed change. It has also been one of rediscovery; I inserted myself back into both astrology and Ayurveda, adopting more of an Ayurvedic consciousness when it came to eating and daily routines, which is exactly the structure and gentle guidance I’ve needed, given what’s been going on with me otherwise.
Once I started on the Ayurvedic-related eating, I ended up shedding a total of 15 pounds so far! And so far, I’ve kept it off. This is the first time I’ve lost any weight since hitting my all-time high in 2017 (which remained until late summer 2018), so I’m jazzed! The reason I’m jazzed is that I’m doing this the slow, gradual, healthy, sustainable way and the weight is coming off as a by-product of better health, not because I’m counting calories or skipping meals or living and dying by what a scale says.
Another happy accident is that I’ve conquered most of my histamine issue (!!). I have the least amount of histamine problems I’ve had (without kreteks) in 9 years. My formula so far is: higher dietary fiber + Vitamin D + Vitamin A. I may need to add to that should a “steamroller histamine attack” break through, but so far, that formula is largely doing the trick!
I managed to find my joy in other ways, too; having cut the cable cord and replaced it with Netflix, I binge-watched “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead”, both of which rocked the free world. Also watched “Sense8”, “Heavy Rescue on the 401”, and “Atypical”, all Netflix Originals, all of which were surprisingly well-done. I hear Netflix has committed to a third season of “Atypical”, and I’m really looking forward to it.
When I look back on last year’s list of goals and what I realistically saw ahead for 2018, it’s pretty plain to see that most of it has come to fruition. I did indeed experience most of the bulleted list items, with the exception of the cool opportunity (damn. Lol). I did focus on my health. I did remain more stationary. I did not, however, continue with working out like I’d planned, and I’m not sure about my mental health, as my mood varies like the weather in spring/fall and I experience alexithymia on top of that.
So, enough looking back. The year 2018 is in the books, and the year 2019 is now well underway (sorry about that). 😉
What do I hope to accomplish and/or realistically see ahead for (the rest of) this year?
- Continuation of my Masters program (realistically I probably won’t complete it by the end of the year, but I’m perfectly OK with that).
- Hardly any travel at all (the summer conference I have to attend is actually in my town this year!) except for a probable road trip on my birthday again, and maybe a couple other little road trips around Hill Country in June. If any more travel than that ends up happening, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.
- More of a social life in 2019 in general than in the past couple years. I’m coming out of my 2017-2018 cocoon, even if I feel a little awkward and shaky on my legs.
- Continued health restoration; I’m realizing just how serious my status has gotten and how long and difficult a road it’ll likely be in order to get it back. This restoration project also includes sweating as a detox therapy during the summer (there’ll be puh-lenty of opportunity there!) and starting to work out more in the fall (hopefully).
- I would like to get my astrology practice off the ground; with school as intense as it is, I’m not sure it’s realistic, but why not put it on the list anyway?
- Run some labs; I’m in need of an updated autoimmune screening and a couple other panels.
- Try to get my brain back – that’s really the biggest issue now, and it’s also had the greatest impact on my life thus far, yet what’s going on is one of the toughest health issues to deal with and correct, so I can only pray that it’s salvageable. ❤
And as always, My Personal 2018 Soundtrack: (all link to YouTube videos; I run a pretty powerful ad-blocker, so I’m not sure if there are ads on any of these?)
- “A Stranger and His Wife” ~ Alison Smith and Jim Henson
- “In the Shadows” ~ Amy Stroup
- “Feel the Sunshine” ~ Sarah Wassall
- “Over Everything” ~ Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
- “The Devil In Miss Jones” ~ Mike Ness
- “Day Is Gone” ~ Noah Gundersen & the Forest Rangers
- “Peepin’ Tom” ~ Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile (no video available)
- “I Still Feel” ~ Martina Topley-Bird
- “Oh Darlin’ What Have I Done?” ~ White Buffalo
- “Let It Go” ~ Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile (live, but without any crowd noise at all)
- “I See Through You (Free Your Mind)” ~ Battleme & the Forest Rangers
- “Radiant Boy” ~ See Through Dresses
- “Out of the Woodwork” ~ Courtney Barnett