Hello beautiful humans!!
I must apologize again for being so late in posting another article!
I could list excuses (‘Cause I have lots!) but honestly, between working 12-15 hour shifts at work and trying to survive the Christmas season without too many panic attacks or triggers is tough work for a mental health blogger.
Once again, I do say I am sorry!
First things first though,
Happy Holidays everyone, both near and far away! Regardless of where you are or what you celebrate, I hope everyone is enjoying the season and all the happiness and cheer that comes with it.
While I do admit living with a mental health issues can/and does affect the holiday cheer, I hope everyone is still keeping a brave face and trying their best. Sometimes all you can do is take it one day at a time, even during the Christmas madness.
Also, I like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!! (Because let’s be honest, it could be another month before I publish anything again. *SIGH*)
I hope everyone has a happy and bright 2017! While 2016 seems to have been a hard year in the news and losing some of the most beloved faces of Hollywood and the music industry, (RIP Carrier Fisher – the greatest mental health advocate and my favourite princess! <3), we must all keep a brave face and smile as the new year draws closer.
Hey, we can’t help Trump got elected (It’s ok USA. We forgive you), but the best we can do is smile and take it one day at a time.
And since 2016 is coming to a close, I’d thought I take this moment and do a review of all the amazing and crazy things I have accomplished throughout 2016 both with Fighting the Good Fight and personally; the good, the bad, and the ugly!
So lets raise a glass and some cheer to a successful and awesome year!
(Que “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk!)
A Year In Review
- I spent a week in the hospital because I had a gallbladder full of stones. Seven days of being doped up on morphine and too many mini procedures to count, I was due for surgery in February. Commence my three month sick leave and vegan diet. (Spoiler: I’m really not good at being a vegan).
- Miesha, our English Mastiff, joined our family! She is currently 135 lbs and still growing!
- I filmed my first-ever, poor-quality video for Bell Let’s Talk Day. I shared my experiences about living with PTSD and spoke publicly and personally about living with my illness. You can relive the magical (and super embarrassing) moment here! Just click here!!
- A drank more smoothies than you could shake a stick at! The vegan diet was not going well. (I was craving french fries sooooo bad!)
- February 15th: GALLBLADDER REMOVED! HALLELUJAH!
- Raising a puppy while recovering from surgery was extremely difficult. I cried more times than I like to admit. And my furniture took a huge beating! #RIPCouch
- #SickNotWeak Launched!!! One of the happiest moments ever as a mental health advocate! They have been doing brilliant and amazing work since! If you wanna learn what they’re all about (incase you haven’t been reading all my tweets and posts), just click here!
- I also published my FIRST-EVER mental health article on SickNotWeak! One of my biggest writing accomplishments so far and a moment I am very proud of! You can find the article on the homepage of my blog! 🙂
- I wrote one of my deepest, most-personal blog posts to date. “An Open Letter to the Girl I Was Before My PTSD” has been my most successful and viewed post. It was also one of the hardest to write, but thank you everyone who showed your support!
- I have dubbed April “The Month I Struggled the Most” because I went into a very bad depressive, PTSD episode for the month of April. I spent most of my time in bed, unable to eat, sleep, or shower. It was one of the worst episodes I had ever survived. Honestly, I did contemplate suicide again. But I reached out and went back to counselling to get help. I knew I couldn’t keep living like this. It was one of the hardest battles I went through in the last five years. Dark was the night, but I finally broke through.
- I wrote no articles during this month. It was just too hard.
- The light in the darkness!! I started to bounce back and started writing again.
- I played “This Song Saved my Life” by Simple Plan and “Patience” by Take That on repeat for weeks! Music really does help you heal! ❤
- I shared my personal story with Team #imnotashamed on their Instagram!
- May 2-4 weekend! Lots of BBQ and beer!
- I started doing the P90X program again! Three months of hell but it was worth it!
- I chopped off all my hair (and donated it to cancer) and dyed it purple! 18 inches of hair later and I felt fabulous!
- I wrote no blog posts this month! (SORRY!) But I made a lot of headway with my novel! So I still give myself brownie points.
- I published “Coming Back From the Dark Place.” I received a lot of awesome emails and support from you guys! This really ignited my fire to keep the writing going! So thank you all!
- I took a quick vacation home to see my friends and family. I also went on an impromptu hike and got lost in the woods. Most terrifying twenty minutes of my life. woods + getting lost + anxiety disorder = PURE TERROR!
- Second major medical crisis of the year – cut my finger in two with a ceramic knife. Had my finger and nail glued back together. I really have the worst luck! #accidentprone
- A lot of fun and random summer adventures! Too many to name but I spent a lot of time at the beach!
- Happy Birthday Zack Thomas! Shoutout to my boyfriend and biggest supporter through all of my struggles and writing! He turned the big 2-8! Love you handsome! ❤
- I reignited my love for anime again. I binged watch Sailor Moon, Black Butler, Attack on Titan, and wayyyyy too many others to name. I am a huge geek and Zack thinks I’m weird. Oh well! I’ll never grow up. 😉
- I published “An Open Letter to the Girl I See in the Mirror.” I struggled a lot to write this post because I was struggling to face some personal demons I had, especially with regards to my self-esteem.
- I was nominated for a blogger’s recognition award for writing about my experiences about living with PTSD. This was another big writing accomplishment for me and I can only thank you, my friends and supporters, who continue to motivate me and encourage me to keep writing! So this one goes out to all you! ❤
- I failed to reach my goal of getting my manuscript for my novel finished! I was 330 pages in and still not finished! I was super bummed about this, but I kept trucking ahead anyway in hopes to have it finished by October 1st!
- I chopped off even more of my hair and started doing shave designs underneath. My family totally flipped out but I love my new look! Now I get to experiment and be a little more expressive with myself.
- I published “A Word of Advice on the Good Days.” Moral of the post? Just take it one day at a time and know this…the bad days don’t last! ❤
- September 28th: I FINISHED MY NOVEL!!!
- Happy 1st Birthday “Fighting the Good Fight”!!! My blog officially turned one on October 14th. I had a blog post prepared to celebrate all that I have accomplished in my year of writing and I completely forgot to post it. Opps! *sheepish grin*. I’ll have to wait a whole year to write one for next year!
- Happy 25th Birthday to me! Officially a quarter of a century old. Not too shabby.
- I wrote no blog posts this month because I was focussing on editing “We Were Fighters” and getting my manuscript submitted to literary agents. It’s been a rough process.
- Got my first rejection letter for my manuscript. I was super bummed but I remained hopefully! I guess writing a novel about two characters living with mental illness is still too new of an idea for agents.
- As the rejection letters continue to come in, I remained hopefully and kept at editing my manuscript. It’s been hard and discouraging but I keep trying my best to remain positive. My biggest dream is to become a published author so I haven’t quit yet (not that I plan on quitting anytime soon!)
- Happy 1st Birthday Miesha! My youngest but biggest fur baby turned One!!
- Happy Anniversary to my soulmate! Six years with this guy already! It’s hard to believe how fast time goes, and he has seen me struggle so many times with my mental illness that I sometimes feel guilty about it, but I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. Love you handsome!
- With Christmas creeping upon us, work became super busy and I started doing 12-15 hour days, five to six days a week. Crawling home at one am left me with no motivation to write or do anything. So, no blog posts this month! Again, sorry guys! 😦
- Third medical crisis of 2016: Severe second degree burns from a fight with a coffee pot! I honestly am a lightening rod for medical emergencies. #cursed
- Work continued to take up all my time up until Tibb’s Eve!!
- Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy Holidays to all my blog followers/supporters!!! Many blessings from my crazy family to yours! ❤
- Three days off! Whooooooo! Let’s be honest, all I did was eat and sleep.
- “To the Cashier Who Realized I Was Having a Panic Attack.” A letter format blog post I wrote based on true events that happened earlier in December when I was out shopping for errands during the mad Christmas rush. What I thought was going to be a bad episode turned into a very enlightening experience.
And with that, another year has come and gone.
I have had some blogging highs and some pretty empty months with no writing. I spent lots of time working on my manuscript and facing rejection from publishers. I had a few medical emergencies and had a lot of personal lows. It was a trying year, both mentally and personally, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world because from those lows came great things.
It’s not easy to commit to being a blogger or a writer, it’s even harder trying to blog about living with a mental illness. Add in all of life’s little wonders and sometimes things are quick to get out of hand but honestly, I am glad I have started this journey for myself. Finally opening myself up and sharing my story has shaped my life in so many ways.
Five years ago I would never have imaged that my mental illness would bring positives into my life. Five years ago I didn’t even think I would still be here, alive and breathing. It’s hard to picture the future or focus on the positives when your clouded by depression and haunted by PTSD triggers. Unless you’ve been through it yourself, you’ll never truly understand it, but all I can do is remain hopeful for the future, regardless of the good or bad days ahead.
Because sometimes all we can do is take it day by day.
And the next thing you know, a year has come and gone.
So, Happy New Year to all my family, friends, followers, and supporters. May 2017 bring things that make you smile and your year filled with lots of happy memories. I hope your bad days remain limited and your good days eclipse all the negative. Whether you’re surviving a mental illness or supporting a loved one, know that you are not alone. We’re all in this together, and know that I’ll support you 100%.
So Happy New Year!
Cheers to you from me!
And always remember,
Fight the good fight.
Amanda’s New Years Resolution
- Publish more blog posts! 😉