I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2016 has been a pretty crappy year for me. 6+ months of perpetual illness, lots of painful family struggles and the necessity to put big dreams on hold does not a good year make.
The thing is, I know I’m not the only one.
2016 has been a stinker for lots of people I know and I’m not too sure why. Maybe that kooky Mercury Retrograde* I keep hearing about has something to do with it…if I subscribed to that sort of woo-woo 😉
However, I refuse to let the Year of the Monkey get the better of me. 2016 has still delivered lots of fun, small wins and happy memories, albeit the majority of them happening from September onwards. I’m smart enough to recognise the valuable lessons the tough times can impart.
I wanted to capture my major learning of 2016 and I hope that putting it out there to the universe will prevent me falling into the same trap again in 2017:
Don’t accept poor health as the ‘new normal’
It’s not an exaggeration when I say that in 2016, I was sick for 6 months straight. It’s still unclear why my body decided to pack up this year. I’m usually one of those smug healthy people who gets one cold per winter.
Not in 2016.
I had: colds, flu, gastro, a debilitating cough, excessively dry hands (to the point of bleeding), muscle pain, a bad back, insomnia and that’s just what I can recall. It wasn’t until I started to feel better that I realised how close I came to hitting rock bottom.
I’m just like you – I have a crazy busy life and I don’t have the luxury of climbing into bed and staying there for a week when I’m feeling under the weather.
I soldiered on and juggled work, kids/family/friends all while feeling like death; and I’m one of the lucky ones. I have an amazing family who were very supportive and helped me out at every opportunity.
So why did everything get so bad??
Because I was stubborn.
People would tell me daily to go to the doctor, have a blood test, go home and go to bed etc. But did I listen…..no. I used every excuse under the sun:
- It’s just a summer cold everyone’s sick
- It’s just a winter cold, everyone’s sick
- There’s nothing a doctor can do, it’s just a cold
Eventually, I did go to the doctor. In fact, I went several times. I tried antibiotics (and then even stronger antibiotics) but it wasn’t the silver bullet I was hoping for. In the end, I think my body was simply screaming out for a break and I kept denying it over and over again. It’s only when the weather started to turn that I started to improve.
In hindsight, not only was I stubborn, but I was also stupid. I was so afraid of letting someone down, that I put my health last and I paid the price with a soul crushing 6 months. No doubt I was an average wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, colleague etc and no one in my life deserved to be adjacent to my black cloud.
So, my advice if the same thing happens to you!
- Don’t be like me and try and rationalise away the bleeding obvious that something is out of whack. Accept it and form a plan
- If any health ailment lasts more than a week (even if it’s just a suspected cold), get to the doctor for an assessment and blood test
- Find a way to get some rest – ask friends and family for help, cut back on work if possible, don’t over commit the family on the social calendar etc
- Investigate whether alternative therapies might be worthwhile. I did several sessions of Bioresonance Therapy with Jo from Insync at Parkside and I’m sure this was a contributing factor in my overall recovery
I have big plans for fun, happiness and success in 2017 and they will only be possible with a foundation of good health. Wishing you and your family all the best for a cracking 2017!
Ps. Incidentally, next year is the Year of the Rooster which happens to be my animal on the Chinese Zodiac. Surely that has to be a good sign that next year is going to be my year 🙂
2016: Goodbye, farewell & amen (I couldn’t help but use another M*A*S*H reference here). It’s still probably one of the best series finales of all time……just sayin’ 🙂
*I did a quick Google search after writing the above to learn more about Mercury Retrograde….and I’m more confused now than before I started. If you’re a follower of this kind of phenomenon, then I would be very grateful if you could share the CliffsNotes with me in the comments below xx