At the end of each year, I like to reflect on what has happened, how I’ve grown, and what’s to come.

Without a year’s worth of Sunday News posts, I’m having a little bit of a hard time remembering what’s happened. … This year amounts to three main things: 1) playing the Switch, 2) helping a friend in need, and 3) reflecting on my mental health.

At the end of each year, Nintendo let’s players download their Switch stats which includes: total number of hours played, number of hours played each month, total number of games played, and games played the most during the year. Last year, I played for a little over 200 hours. (That may seem like a lot, but it’s really not.)

According to Nintendo, this year I played the Switch for 922 hours. I played 16 different games. (This stat isn’t completely accurate. Nintendo counts a game as played even if you accidentally open it and then close it right away.) The games I spent the most time playing are:

  • Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse (the greatest four-player game ever)
  • Pikmin 4
  • Mario Kart
  • Stardew Valley

One of my friends is going through a trying time. She was a stay-at-home-mom of three, ages 13 (f), 7 (f), and 3 (m). In June, however, it became necessary for her to get a part time job. Her 13 year old often babysits the younger two, but my friend didn’t want to rob the 13 year old of her childhood by putting too much responsibility on her all at once so I offered to watch her kids.

The summer was great. The 3 year old had his siblings to play with and keep him company. I mostly made sure they didn’t kill themselves or burn the house down. Once school started, I burned out quickly. I love my friend’s kids a lot and 3 year old’s are a handful when they have no one to play with or entertain them.

I still watch the 3 year old, but my friend has cut back her hours because she knows I’m burned out and her 3 year old misses having her at home.

My mental health has been pretty good this year. I’ve had ups and downs like everyone else. During the summer, I noticed no depression or suicidal ideation. That continued until November when SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) hit. My depression and suicidal ideation are manageable, especially when I use the skills I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Even though I’m dealing with SAD right now, I’m in a much better place emotionally than I have been in almost a decade.

I’m proud I’ve stuck with helping my friend even though I’ve wanted to tell her I can’t anymore. I’m proud I use the skills I learned in DBT when I need help regulating my emotions, tolerating distress, or making sure my needs are met. Even though I feel like I haven’t done much this year, I know that what I have done is huge. I feel hopeful, content, and I’m looking forward to the new year and its opportunities. I’m grateful for my support system and I’m looking forward to connecting more with this amazing online community.

Here’s to many wonderful possibilities! May your 2024 be merry and bright!

Are you looking forward to 2024? Do you have any resolutions?

Hi there! It’s been a while, a little over 8 months in fact. Let me catch you up on the goings on I’ve had.

First things first, I no longer have pain or tingling in my arm and my hives are completely gone. Hallelujah! We never figured out what caused the hives. My theory is that my body was just under too much stress with the arm pain and the very emotionally taxing therapy I was doing to work through my PTSD.

I haven’t been reading very much this year. I finished my 12th book on Tuesday. I’m hoping to get a couple more books read by the new year. I do plan to highlight the books I read while I’ve been gone in my 2023 Reflection post at the end of December.

Instead of reading, I’ve been helping a friend in need by babysitting. I watched her three kids over the summer and once school started, I’ve just been watching her youngest. I love her kids dearly so I’ve been happy to help. She doesn’t need me as much anymore which I’m grateful for as I’m a little burned out. Toddlers are rough!

When I was home, I mostly watched TV or played my Switch since neither requires a lot of energy to do. Corey introduced me to ARCHER and we’re currently bingeing GAME OF THRONES for the first time. As far as games, I played the new Zelda and Pikmin games. I also finally gave in and started playing Stardew Valley.

I’d like to start reading and blogging again. I’ve really missed both. Please bear with me as I try to get back into the swing of things, especially commenting and reading other blogs.

I hope everyone has had and continues to have a wonderful holiday season!

At the end of each year, I like to reflect on what has happened, how I’ve grown, and what’s to come.

I graduated from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in May. DBT changed my life. Because of the skills I learned, I can navigate my emotions rather than fall apart and shutdown. I can now cope instead of wanting to get out of hard situations and feelings.

I started Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) in August. PE focused on helping me heal from my past trauma and resultant PTSD. I graduated in November. It was the most difficult work I’ve ever had to do AND my trauma no longer controls me thanks to the time and effort I put in to heal.

I was interviewed by a Huffington Post writer about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and the stigma surrounding it in May. It was such a rewarding opportunity to talk about my experience with BPD and to help others learn that perpetuating myths are harmful to everyone.

In June, Corey and I sold our townhome of 13.5 years and moved in to a rental property. I really like our new digs despite it being a rental. The floor plan’s laid out logically with wide halls and stairs, 10-foot ceilings, big walk-in closets in each bedroom, and our first garage. We’re extremely blessed to live where we do.

Sadly, we said goodbye to our beautiful Dax in August. She was almost 19 years old and her kidneys decided they’d functioned long enough. Her passing was bittersweet as Izzy, Corey, and I miss her dearly and we’re happy she’s no longer suffering.

We adopted Luci, a four-month-old kitten, in November. She’s very energetic, friendly, and cuddly. Corey and I are smitten and Izzy’s still making up her mind.

My health took a ride on the proverbial roller coaster, having lots of ups and downs:

  • a bacterial infection in January;
  • suspected C. difficile in March which turned out to be a chronic case of acid reflux;
  • COVID in June;
  • injured shoulder, arm, and ankle from October until December;
  • and chronic hives that started in November.

I had LASIK done on both my eyes in August. Sometimes I have buyer’s remorse and wish I’d only had one eye done so I’d be able to see both near and far. Most of the time, however, I’m just glad I had LASIK because I only need glasses for reading when I’m extremely tired. I love being able to wear real sunglasses instead of my old transition lenses. I’m especially looking forward to being able to see when I go swimming in the summer.

I had a lot of great opportunities to make new friends and strengthen my relationship with old ones. I befriended so many wonderful bloggers who I always look forward to connecting with. I went outside of my usual group of friends to make new relationships with people I wouldn’t have in the past. I also learned to weather difficult situations and changes in some of my established friendships, helping strengthen them rather than dissolve them.

I learned to accept my family’s strengths and weaknesses, and create healthy boundaries. For the first time in more than a decade, I look forward to spending time with those who aren’t toxic.

School was hard due to my health and I nearly gave up, thinking I was going for the wrong reasons. I learned, however, that school helps me regulate my emotions more easily and boosts my self-efficacy. When I’m productive, learning, and not isolating, my depression and anhedonia are only memories.

I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in 2022 and how much I’ve grown. I’ve improved so much and I’m no longer the same person I was in March 2021. I feel hopeful, content, and I’m looking forward to the new year and its opportunities. I’m glad I’ve been able to weather life’s hardships and I know I can cope with whatever’s thrown at me. I’m grateful to everyone who helped me become a stronger person, and I’m looking forward to continuing to connect with this amazing online community and the people I love IRL.

Here’s to many wonderful possibilities! May your 2023 be merry and bright!

Are you looking forward to 2023? Do you have any resolutions?

Hi there! I thought I’d check in since I’ve been “gone” for a little over a month now.

My arm’s doing much better. My doctor gave me a cortisone shot a couple of days after I decided to take a blogging hiatus. It took a little over a week for it to really do anything. There’s still some pain and tingling below my elbow, but it’s much more manageable and it’s not affecting my sleep anymore. My doctor’s still concerned that all the pain and tingling aren’t gone. I may need surgery if my arm doesn’t completely heal on its own.

For now, we’re focusing on more pressing matters–my hives. We still don’t know what’s causing them. It’s not what I thought it was a month ago–turmeric, ibuprofen, Luci (new kitten). We’ve ruled out fleas, mites, and bed bugs as my doctor thought my hives looked like bites. I started a round of steroids in the beginning of December. My hives began to heal, but they came back immediately and almost worse than before once I was done with the steroids. I started another round a couple of days ago. This time they’re much stronger and I’ll take them for twice as long. We think it’ll help. I hope it’ll help. I don’t want to be on steroids forever.

I haven’t really been reading, although I did start IN A HOLIDAZE by Christina Lauren yesterday. I’ve mostly been watching a ton of TV and movies and playing my Switch. They keep my mind off the itching. I’ve also spent some time with friends when I’m feeling up to it. All these things have helped me keep my spirits up.

I hope I can get back into reading and blogging again soon as long as this round of steroids gets rid of my hives for good. Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

P.S. Sorry this is a duplicate post. My blog feed didn’t pick up my initial post and I tried to do some troubleshooting.

This past week has been difficult. Not only am I still dealing with the pain in my arm, I’m now also dealing with hives all over my body.

We’re not sure what’s causing the hives. It could be the turmeric I was taking to help the inflammation in my arm. It could be ibuprofen or the creams I’m using for pain relief. (I don’t think it’s the creams because the hives aren’t where I put the cream.) It could be Luci, even though I’ve never reacted to cats before. It could be something I’m eating. Or, it could be something else completely.

I can’t get into an immunologist until early December, which means I have to suffer through these hives until then or hope they go away by stopping the turmeric and ibuprofen, keeping Luci away from me for a few days, and / or changing my diet.

Right now, blogging, commenting, Instagramming, and even reading are the things I want to do the least. I really don’t feel like doing much more than vegging out in front of the TV. Consequently, I’m sad to tell you that I’m taking a hiatus from blogging and maybe social media in general until I’m in a better space. I’m not sure how long my hiatus will be. Hopefully, not too long because I love blogging and the blogging community too much! (If I do any reading, I’ll post to Goodreads if you want to be my friend there.)

Because I’ve already stopped taking turmeric, the inflammation in my arm’s back, which makes it much more difficult to stop the ibuprofen. I did get a cortisone shot yesterday. Hopefully, it will help with the pain. It may take up to two weeks for me to get the full benefits, however.

Thanks for understanding!