Today I was thinking back over the last twelve months of my life.
Where was I a year ago today? What was my life like? I'll fill you in.......
About a year ago today I was still with my ex boyfriend. I was living in a sharehouse with him, his younger brother and his friend (all males).
A year ago today I was getting towards the end of my first semester of my first year of Uni.
A year ago I had been off my RA meds for 6 months.
A year ago today my RA had taken over my every thought. Daily I battled with excruciating pain. Not one second of my day was not free from pain.
A year ago today I was barely able to walk or move or function as a normal human being.
A year ago from today I was struggling with my Uni work on top of my RA but I was still managing to get to some classes and write essays and prepare for exams (and pass).
A year ago from today I had recently gotten a perm. I had done something for myself, something I wanted to do because I felt so miserable all the time. I could barely lift my arms to brush my own hair.
A year ago today I was in denial that my relationship was okay. I wanted so much for it to be okay that I remained stubborn that it would work even though I could see my ex and I drifting apart, see how we weren't really a team any more. I knew that something wasn't right but I was struggling so much with my RA that I was pushing that to the side, hoping that it would just work out. I did not have the strength to deal with it.
A year ago today I bought a dress for my cousins wedding that was to be a month later. I loved the dress. It had ruffles and I would just sway slightly in it and it would all move. I was excited that I fitted into a size six. I was so excited to go to Brisbane. I love weddings.
A year ago today I was almost 10kg lighter than I am today.
A year ago today my muscles were wasting away due to my RA being so severe that in a few weeks I would have the most excruciating cramps that would leave my unable to move, screaming and crying with any tiny movement of my body. I can VIVIDLY remember that exact day.
A year ago today I was completely lost as to what to do with my RA. I had come too far to go back, I didn't know what to do. I was getting conflicting opinions from everyone around me. I had stopped meds to try alternative treatments. Changes in diet and exercise. I tried these things but my RA became so bad so quick that they didn't really have time to work. They probably were never going to work.
A year ago today my nephew was almost one year old. I couldn't pick him up or hold him or bend down to him. I was always on the verge of tears around him as he couldn't understand why Aunty Candi couldn't do what everyone else could and just pick him up.
A year ago today I had recently had my 22nd birthday.
A year ago today I had my 10 year RA anniversary.
A year ago today I was sleeping for around 18 hours a day.
A year ago today I was an absolute mess.
So where am I today you ask?
In December I began a new medication for my RA (i had been on some others for a few months but they were not working). I began injecting myself with this medication weekly.
In December I woke up one day and just cried. I had woken up without pain. I felt no pain at that one moment. I could walk without massive amounts of pain. I could get dressed in 5 minutes not 40 and put my own socks on.
In December I slept about 12 hours per night.
In January I waterskiied.
In January I got a tattoo to symbolise the fact that I am not invincible and that life is short and not worth wasting. It took three hours. It hurt. It was worth it.
In Feburary I wore high heels to my friends wedding. (okay they were small and I took the off for most of the night but I still wore them)
In March I started my second year of University.
In April I had my 23rd birthday and celebrated by going go karting with friends. In April I could drive a go kart.
Last night I had 7 hours of sleep and was up before 10am.
Today I picked up my 22 month old nephew, ran around with him.
Today I cuddled my 5 month old niece with barely a thought of RA pain.
Today I walked up and down the stairs that lead to my bedroom without holding onto a rail or turning sideways. I did this multiple times.
Today I put on my size 8-10 jeans.
Today I drove myself to and from my sisters house. I could turn my head and do head checks without turning my whole body due to stiffness.
I would have to say that the last twelve months of my life have been the toughest, the slowest, the fastest, the worst and the best twelve months of my life.
I have gone through so much in finding out who I am, what I can do, what I can't and where I want to be. If I would do it over again I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't take away the pain, I wouldn't take away the heartache, I wouldn't take away one single part of that twelve months.
These last twelve months showed me the real me.
They showed me that if I want something, I can get it. They showed me that if I need help, all I need to do is ask. It showed me that I need to become independant, strong and that I can take on anything.
They showed me what I am capable of.
Anytime I am feeling miserable, or something is sore and stiff I think back to how I was twelve months ago and I snap out of it. I find something I enjoy doing, I have a nap, I have a cup of tea, I tell my friends I can't go out instead of struggling through it in pain, I write this blog.
Today I am happy. Today I enjoy life. Today is a good day. I hope your today is good too.....