2016: The Year that Defined All Shitty Years
I am 43. I have had some epic shitty-stuff happen in my life and yet nothing has come close to what 2016 did to me. I feel like everything else that has been shitty in my life was just a little warm-up for 2016.
And I’m going to be honest: battling mental illness as I have for so long is not particularly conducive to living with the grief I’ve been in since my brother died. My manic depression has been back on a level I’ve never experienced before; my PTSD rages and good ole’ regular depression is a constant.
If it weren’t for a few things, I would have already thrown my towel in already.
Here they are:
My mother lost both of her parents and her only son this year. Unspeakable loss.
It’s humbling and awe-inspiring that she has also helped me get through this year to the degree that she has. The Esther Hicks videos that she finds on YouTube and sends me, all of the product pieces that help me heal.
Sometimes I feel like she and I are wayfarers that are struggling to figure out where and how to go, all the while holding on to one another. Gratitude for having her by my side, loving me as she holds my hand, fills my heart.
My man, Mikey. He makes me coffee in the morning and stays with me when I’m an asshole. He laughs at most of my jokes and seems to have a built-in ability to never get annoyed by my not hearing anything, and a pretty huge resilience to the complexities of life lived with a person like me.
He holds me when I can’t stop crying over Dana.
And he makes dinner when I’m kind of paralyzed with depression. He also takes Moxie to the outhouse in the dark, which is like, a billion marital points.
His love for me has carried me through some of the hardest parts of 2016.
My children, who are watching me so closely, who need me, ensure that I stay tethered.
They also put the “fun” in “functional mom” and lively up my life. through letting me be a part of theirs.
Any of the books from the Abraham-Hicks publications float my boat and help me ride big waves.
Oh, I know it sounds kooky when you first get into it – all of this “rampage of appreciation”, “non physical” and “physical”, the “vortex” and so forth – not to mention that Esther Hicks is apparently channeling a collective consciousness named Abraham!
But damn. When you really get into it, it resonates with me in a way that nothing ever has and helps me choose the trajectories I want to follow in my life, and understand my pain a little better.
Music that we played at my brother was released from this life.
Music that we played as we lay his body to rest in the earth, next to my grandparents, who also died this year.
Music to calm, music to soothe, music to transform.
My Fur Babies
My dogs are happy and give me this crazy, over-the-top love that I don’t deserve (and sometimes find annoying). But I am grateful for them.
My cats calm my manic-depression and PTSD in the best way, ever. When I wake up and can’t sleep because of my thoughts or anxiety, I pet my cats and they calm me down enough so that I can get rest.
I have one can lying on my neck right now as I type (her name is Voltaire) and another at my side, Aviva. My hearing dog Kianna is at my feet.
My fur family is pretty much constantly with me, helping through this.
My community: all of you reading. My friends, long-time, far-away and close-by, new.
All of you have given me love and energy – chi – to keep going.
My physical community here on the Lost Coast has been a God-send. People give me space but leave their doors open for me. It’s exactly what I need.
We’re in an unbelievably beautiful part of the world, simply drenched in full-on natural magic. Night skies that begin and end at our feet, trees that you can run around naked by if you wanted (which I actually don’t), mists that blanket the land like a living, breathing Chinese painting.
Drinking in and living with this loveliness has given me the energy and mojo to keep going, one foot in front of the other.
2016: the year of death and heartbreak.
My Grandpa Jack died in January, and I wrote this post, Thank You, Grandpa. There are some photos of my brother Dana in it – playing with my son Mack, and standing next to my mother at my Grandpa’s funeral. In only 9 months, my brother would be laid to rest forever only a few feet from where he was standing to honor his beloved Grandfather.
What can you say with that?
Nothing. You just can’t say anything. Just like you can’t say anything with all of the deaths of artists and other loved ones that has happened this year, because it ends up feeling like it’s just too much.
So, we just have to reach for the things that help us get through it.
2017: I am so ready for you!