I am truly happy to close the door on 2008 and welcome in the new year of 2009. What does a new year bring? I look at it as a fresh start or a new door opening. Another chapter of our lives to begin. Reflecting back on 2008 it immediately started off in January 12 days into the new year with one of the scariest experiences of my life when I had a seizure at the wheel while driving. Waking up in the back of an ambulance not even knowing what day it was telling paramedics it was Wednesday when it was really Saturday. It was such a confusing and scary experience which only got worse. Suddenly my very independent life was flipped upside down. I could no longer drive having to rely on family to get me anywhere.
A cat scan in the emergency room showed a problem in my brain and I was sent to see a neurologist. Only for more tests to be run from EEGs, MRIs, and heart doctors running a bunch of tests. My heart came back completely normal and I knew it would, I was confident all the other tests would too. I was not really worried I figured it was just stress that caused the seizure. Suddenly that look when I went to see the neurologist who gave you that look you never want to see on a doctors face when you ask how the EEG turned out and they get up and close the door. I was struck with fear being told I had temporal lobe Epilepsy. wait what????? Suddenly this doctor is telling me I will need to be medicated the rest of my life, I will have more seizures, he is putting me on medication that has high risk of birth defects in babies and wanted to know if I was starting a family….it was all too overwhelming and I just cried. I cried on and off for two months January 12th to March 12th when I was hospitalized at Rush hospital on the epilepsy, neurology floor to undergo more tests, another much longer EEG, and enclosed MRI. A second opinion came with a different diagnosis this time not epilepsy but a birth defect which is a cluster of cells that is causing spiking/firing activity in my brain which is also blocking the area of my brain that allows me to smell explaining why I could never smell in my life. I was given better news I needed to be medicated for two years and then undergo tests again to see if I am still showing spiking/firing activity. There is a risk I could have another seizure off the medication that is why they wait two years. From January to the end of April my license was taken away by the state of Illinois. Getting it back was a nightmare. A huge headache to say the least numerous phone calls, doctor notes, and waiting to see if the Illinois medical board with approve me to drive again.
January was also a month I was trying to overcome a 3 year battle with anorexia. For me anorexia was a way of finding control in my life. Control I lost not once but twice as a child by men I trusted. I have this way of believing the seizure was God’s way of getting my attention by taking away my control and independence and opening my eyes to what I was doing to myself. I learned a lesson through a very difficult start to 2008 “I do not need to be in control of my life, God already is.” I stopped weighing myself, I stopped counting calories, I stopped taking in only 300 calories a day and realized if I continued this way I would kill myself. It took me getting down to 92lbs and a new medical condition to wake me up. I am happy to say I have been free from an eating disorder for a year and it feels amazing to not having such negative body image thoughts constantly. It consumed my life and was hard to hide.
I started driving again at the end of April and on May 9th I graduated with my BSW from Western Illinois University with honors. I spent a summer working full-time and a full-time grad student taking classes from 1-10pm Tues-Thurs. It was long days but I kept reminding myself I am an advance standing student and will have my masters degree in a year.
In August I began my internship at a high school three days a week as a social work intern. At the same time a full-time student taking classes all on Thursdays from 8am-7pm. With an hour drive there and back. It was the toughest semester of my college career all because of one professor who was extremely difficult. I never put so much effort into one class. In the end however I shocked myself with 3 A’s and 1 B. I was thrilled!
Another huge event took place in my life in 2008 but I will leave that for you to read about in my upcoming book. So as I close this chapter of my life in the year 2008 I am just glad to see and end to it and a start to a new year. It has been by far the most difficult year since 1998.
2009 will bring me an end to my education when I graduate with my MSW the first weekend in May. I will end my internship in June at the high school. Then the real job hunting will begin in. I am going into the work field during a time in our economy is scary and they are predicting 2009 to be even worse then 2008. I am not holding my breath I know I will find success and God will lead me in the direction he wants to lead me. What I am looking forward to most in 2009 in the release of my second book in the Fall. A title will be determined in January. This book by far has taken me on a greater journey then my first book. It took a lot of soul searching to put into words what I believe will be a huge accomplishment and I envision incredible things to come with the release of my next book because if you know me I go after what I believe in and will give up at nothing to make it happen. 2009 will be a chapter of my life that I feel will take off…I have no doubt!
I look forward to what my post will be a year from today as I get ready to welcome in 2010. Where will I be in life? What will become of my 2nd book?
Will I still be happily single or be dating someone?
My biggest hope for 2009 is that I can overcome my fear of trusting men and let my guard down. For those walls are still up I have stayed away from being in a relationship for nearly a year after breaking up in February with my boyfriend and finding out another man before him that I had dated was married the entire time during our relationship. It has really made me question my trust more then ever.
The journey to forgiveness was believe or not easier then the journey to trusting others. Soon I will get there I have faith. Only time will tell.
I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and successful year.