Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Year in Review - 2012

A long time ago some one told me not to look for changes in life on a day-day basis but instead on a longer time frame like a month or a year.  And so it is with my life.  As the final hours of 2012 slowly fade away I am stepping back from today and looking at where I was a year ago.  The changes that have occurred since December 31, 2011 are drastic and amazing.  For the first time since the late summer of 2005 I feel as though I have attained a calm, serene and content life.  There are no drastic pressures pushing me in one way or another.  My personal life is calm and drama free.  I am physically, mentally and emotionally stronger than at any other time since before Patty's illness and death.  In general I feel happy, content, secure, strong and looking forward to the future and new meaningful experiences.

So how was my life a year ago?  Let's look at what was happening to Zack and me.  First off, I could hardly move.  My back was a mess and the pain levels I experienced every day were out of this world.  On top of all that I was mentally and emotionally a wreck.  My life for the previous two years had been horrendous but I was too stupid to see it.  I had started a relationship with a person who was more interested in the trappings of a relationship as opposed to being a partner.  It was a mess and it had only end about 2 months before and I hadn't yet gotten my emotional and mental state righted.

Lastly Zack was suffering greatly from his episodes with anxiety and OCD.  As 2011 came to an end he was beginning a downward spiral into what I call the "black hole" of anxiety. 

We were struggling to make it through the everyday things we needed to do.  It was rough and I felt like I was at a breaking point.

The situation is so much different at the end of 2012.  Most important of all, Zack has been anxiety and OCD free for almost an entire year!  As the anxiety started to take a hold of him in early January, I sought out any kind of ideas from his psychologists and his psychiatrist.  This time as opposed to the many times in the past, a new medication was suggested and put in place.  Within a week of the introduction of the new medication, Zack had climbed out of the "anxiety black hole" and was back to his normal self.  And what was even more tremendous, was that his normal self was without any anxiety.  This time there were no small lingering effects of the anxiety - he was finally free of all that had plagued him since Patty's death.  By the end of January of 2012 my son finally had his life back after suffering for years from traumatic levels of anxiety and OCD.

On top of that tremendously positive change, I am now mostly free of the pain that wracked my back for so long.  It took 3 surgeries and countless (still ongoing) hours of physical therapy, but I live without pain medications and with only minor episodes of pain.  Coupled with the decreased pain, I have gained back 1/2 inch in height that I lost because of my herniated discs and as my activity levels have increased I have reduced my weight to a level I had not seen in 5 years.  Physically I am looking forward to the new year for lots of hiking, biking, snow shoeing and even running.  Once again tales of many hikes and bike rides taken will fill the pages of this blog!

My personal life is also much calmer and full of peace.  In late April I met Lisa and we have hung out since then.  Everything between us has been exceedingly low-key, serene and laid-back.  We have a good time being together but we can also do our own things - so it is all good.

There are too many other things that happened this year than I can even mention.  Some of the more notable ones for us have been trips to Costa Rica and Iceland.  A new kitchen and a family room really changed our home in a positive way.  Zack and I also worked hard at putting a new set of order in place in our home.  Now instead of it being a disorganized mess the clutter is mostly gone and everything is in it's place.  Well - I still have several major projects to complete before I can totally declare victory in my quest to organize the house.   But so much work has already been done it seem like a new home.

Attached are a few of the pictures that high-light the activities of our year.

(In Puerto Limon during March trip to Costa Rica)

 (Zack on the beach in Costa Rica)

(Beautiful seascape on the Eastern Coast of Costa Rica)

 (Zack and Cole in Rocky Mountain National Park in April)

 (Long Peak in RMNP)

(Zack the King of the Garden Gnomes!)

(High up in the Eastern Fjords of Iceland in July)
(A beautiful waterfall not far from Iceland's Eastern Coast)

(On our way to Papey Island off Iceland's Eastern Atlantic Coast.)

(Mount Bierstadt and the Sawtooth in late August)

(Aspens on the slopes above Georgetown.)

 (On the Golden Gate Bridge in September)

 (Point Bonita in the Marin Headlands to the North of San Francisco)

(Hanging with Lisa in San Francisco.  Yes - that's me in the sparkly costume.... not!  Just a street performer.)

As this year comes to a close I really hope that for all of you the year has been good to you and that 2013 will bring you many good things!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

No comments: