Did you enjoy it? Did you even notice it was going on? I paid it no heed and was much the happier for it. 2012 came like a tonne of bricks and shattered my life to pieces but thankfully it disappeared with a whimper. Fear not that there is a ’13’ in this year, it can’t be worse than 2012 so if I have anything to do with it, 2013 is going to be a blast!
I wished my family a Happy New Year very early on December 31st. It was going to be an early night for me and I didn’t want to be disturbed by too many messages come the midnight hour. As I lay in bed, and just before I slipped off to sleep, I performed a little state of the nation chat with myself. I was always told ‘that it’s no problem talking to yourself, it’s only when you are answering back that you should start to worry’. Well I’m definitely gone over to the dark side, because not only did I answer back but I was having this discussion with myself out loud.
The first fella was very loud and domineering. He shouted and roared a long list of everything that went wrong in 2012. Things he did, things he should have done, things he shouldn’t and people who had upset or offended him throughout the year.
The second fella was a lot more timid. He kept trying to answer but couldn’t find a gap in Himself’s stream of consciousness. Like the young lad in school who has to hold one arm in the air with his other hand because the teacher hasn’t got to him yet.
Item after item, awful moments of new diagnoses followed by horrible incidents, things that went wrong and not forgetting the four mornings in a row Himself walked into his kitchen wall. The wall never moved but unfortunately spatial awareness, concentration and alertness are never good first thing in the morning.
Eventually, Himself paused for breath and He had some time for rebuttal. He agreed that, yes 2012 was an Annus Horribilis but in amongst it there had been some small flickers of light and even a little happiness.
He has learned about fibromyalgia and how to manage some symptoms. He volunteers and meets people who not only understand what He is going through but also show how to live better with any illness or symptoms that raise their heads. His family feel even closer to him than before and He thinks fibro has helped. The emotional rollercoaster He is on, and the depression He is suffering from so badly now, means He talks about his emotions more with his loved ones. As a result the rest of the family do the same and the bonds are much tighter for it.
New Year is traditionally a time for resolutions but as 2012 drew to a close in bed at 10pm both He and Himself finally agreed on something. Since very few people actually stick to their resolutions, they’ve decided to go for an easy and achievable resolution. In fact they’ve already succeeded in achieving it and as a result it won’t be too hard to stick to it for the long haul.
Before I go to bed each night, I have a quick recap of my day. Both He and Himself get a chance to speak and say their piece. Himself still hollers and roars about all the bad bits of the day and all the things left undone but, once that’s done, He gets a chance to talk too. He lowers his tired arm as teacher finally gives the nod so He can begin.
He says slowly and quietly, ‘well done fella, you did some great stretching this morning before you had your breakfast. Now isn’t that one small success a much better thought to try to fall asleep on?’, and even Himself cannot argue with that.
New Year resolutions don’t have to be massive or difficult. Simple and achievable goals are much better and give just as big a sense of accomplishment. Good luck with whatever resolutions you decide upon, and from both He and Himself, may we wish you a Happy (and pain-free) 2013!
Peter Boyd is a helpline volunteer and self-management leader. Follow his blog, Fibrofella, to read more of his posts. If you would like to contribute to the Arthritis Ireland blog then please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your topic suggestions.