It has been one year and fifteen days since I began taking an additional pill each day. That one pill gave me my life back; in fact, this year has been one of the best I can remember in a long time. It was also one of the first years that I have felt good for the holiday season. In prior years, the one thing I wanted for Christmas was something that nobody could buy me — the feeling of peace and happiness. However, this year I went into the holidays feeling content, happy and excited; feelings that I haven’t truly felt during the holidays in years.
Saying this brings about a sense of guilt; like I wasn’t grateful or happy to be with my family before. That is not the case at all. It’s just no matter how hard I tried to feel, there was always a part of me that was numb. I felt bursts of happy feelings, but they faded fast. As I think back on the years, it happened slowly over time. I remember at some point during my teen years, Christmas just started feeling weird. I lost that magical feeling, but it wasn’t due to the fact I was growing up; it was the numbness of depression creeping in. I thought I got over this once I began treatment for bipolar disorder, but after feeling the way I did this year, I can see that I was still struggling the whole time. I was never as well as I thought I was.
Since I felt well this year, I have had a good attitude about things and I have been able to remind myself to find the good in all situations. I carried this into the holiday season. It was the first year that we had no family with us at Christmas. While I was sad about that, I decided that I wasn't going to let it ruin our holiday. Instead, I found the good. I was going to be spending it with the two people who mean the world to me, my husband and son, as well as good friends. Our son is three, so it's the perfect year to begin our own family traditions. We built gingerbread houses, did Christmas crafts, baked tons of cookies, had chocolate fondue on Christmas Eve, picked out cookies for Santa and made homemade cinnamon rolls to enjoy on Christmas morning. All of these things brought smiles to our faces and reminded me that you always need to be grateful for what you have instead of yearning for what you don't. At the end of the day, we had a wonderful holiday season and Christmas day and I hope it continues into next year.
As 2017 is coming to a close, I look back and realize that I have made a lot of progress. I dedicated the year to my journey to internal peace/happiness and health. While this journey is lifelong, it feels good to know that I am heading in the right direction. As for that one pill, it aggravates me that I have to rely on it because it gets in the way of some other things I want, but I remind myself once again to be grateful for the present moment and see where life takes me.