The few days between Christmas and New Year are always strange. If you aren’t back to work yet and are anything like me, you usually spend the time eating left-overs, watching old films you’ve seen a million and one times and generally trying to maintain some festive spirit; all the while secretly wishing it was all over with. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas and everything it entails (except the credit card bill that arrives in January of course..), I just feel it can be a massive over-indulgence-fest that often leaves you feeling a little hollow at the end of it.Perhaps this is why so many people make resolutions and promises to themselves as we approach the start of a new year. A fresh start, the first page of a new diary, something to look forward to. After all that’s what we are all striving towards isn’t it? Something to look forward to.
Very few of us relish what we are already so lucky to have. I’d have included myself in that sweeping generalisation in the past. In fact I still do. I don’t make resolutions when a New Year begins, but this year I have a few things I want to change and maintain in the months to come. I don’t want to mentally bully myself into accomplishing them because all that will truly achieve is me kicking myself and feeling miserable if the worst happens.
2013 for me hasn’t been great. I’ve experienced incredible pressures in my personal life, financial strife, sickness and family worries. My job has left me feeling unfulfilled and I’ve found myself in a battle of wills with my own lack of motivation to make any of those things better. This is the first issue I need to address – I need to find a balance between finding my motivation and maintaining it and beating myself senseless when I fall off the hypothetical wagon. It’s easy to know what you want out of life but harder to put those wants into solid plans of action. It’s also too easy to blame any of your apparent failings on your illness. Something I have professed again and again that I have never done, although when alone and in my quiet moments, can I really say that’s the truth? I’ve never decided not to go for something I’ve wanted because I know it will exacerbate my Crohn’s? I’ve never allowed myself to be held back from things I want because I’ve assumed it will make me ill? I’ve never decided not to go ahead with something because in the end my illness will always get in the way? I’ve done all of those things. And I hate myself a wee bit for it.That’s what I need to work on in the coming year and for all my years to come; not letting my own fears get in the way of living my life to its fullest. My disease is a part of me; literally; and always will be. I’m always professing to everyone else how massively important it is not to let illness stop you from achieving whatever you want but when I really think about it, I’m just as guilty. I KNOW logically Crohn’s is making my life more difficult, it will make things harder and it will tire me out. It will mentally shatter me if I let it. It’s a battle of wills that I am more determined than ever to win. What would I have to show for my life in 30/40 years’ time when I’m still silently blaming my condition for my way of life? Nothing but bitterness and disappointment. That’s not who I am and certainly not who I want to be.
I have no one to answer to but myself. And as a new year begins I hope to remember that.
Happy New Year x x x