Last year, I found it impossible to write a year-in-review type post. 2016 was such a dumpster fire that the only way to express how I felt was through a series of GIFs. 2017 wasn’t much better. In some ways, I would counter it was worse.

The difference between the two years was 2016 left me feeling hopeless and depressed. It was a dark year and there was no glittering trail to follow into the new one with hopes, dreams, and sparkling eyes.

2017 however, despite its darkness, has left me with an entirely different feeling.

Rather than a general sense of hopelessness, it’s left me with motivation to make what I can out of 2018. To pursue, invest, and find purpose, passion, and life again–even if life itself decides to throw another burning dumpster my way.

I entered the new year lost in a swirl of darkness after the deaths of two friendships–one literal, the other figurative. Both hitting me in ways that left me numb and unsure of how to process.

2017 was also the year where many of us held onto the sides of the political rollercoaster white-knuckled and terrified of things that were coming our way. And though many of us hoped the worst parts had all been for show, many of our fears were confirmed.

It was the year that I hit my deepest and darkest depression since before I began treatment for my BiPolar.

It crept up on me slowly; so slowly I didn’t know it was there until it was too late.

I found myself drowning and I didn’t know how to get back out. Thankfully, it seemed the biggest thing I needed was a change in medication, and within a few weeks, I was returning to my usual self.

Although we only told a few people, this year was also the year we started trying to get pregnant. I found myself frustrated and depressed; 6 months of trying and there still had been nothing. I had already been off birth control for more than a year, so there was no need for my body to re-adjust itself.

A few days before Thanksgiving, we finally received a positive test. I remember standing in the bathroom, holding the test out to Scott, tears of joy streaming down my face. Before that positive, we didn’t even know if I could get pregnant.

But here, in two pink little strips was our miracle.

We were so excited, we began making plans and figuring out the changes that would need to be made. I jumped online and booked an appointment with the local midwives. We started talking names and baby rooms, and like every other millennial mother-to-be, I made a Pinterest board. Without knowing the gender yet, we started calling our baby by the middle name we knew it would have.

We met with the midwife on Monday, Oct. 16th and were given the paperwork to book our first ultrasound for the following week. Our baby’s heart was beating and in just a week we’d get to see our first glimpse of this precious, tiny thing growing inside of me.

That night I started spotting. I went for a blood test Wednesday morning and by early afternoon I had the results. I was having a miscarriage. My HCG levels had plummeted drastically and the bleeding was getting heavier. I lost the baby overnight. I can’t begin to explain the pain I felt–the pain I still feel. It’s like I’m constantly screaming in agony from the depths of my soul.

From every fibre of my being, I just want to stand in the middle of an open field and scream.

Even two months later, I just want to scream.

Exactly two weeks to that day, my father-in-law passed suddenly. Just like that, he was gone. We dropped everything when we heard the news and left at 10 pm for the two-hour drive to the hospital.

The rest of 2017 has been a blur. Travel, dealing, keeping ourselves busy. Non-stop everything. Trying to process through all of the pain and the torment and the frustrations. It’s felt like I haven’t had time to breathe, and now that I do, the weight of all the deaths I’ve faced over the past year and a half crush me.

But out of all this loss, out of all this darkness, came something positive too. As I mentioned in a previous post, it forced me to reassess a lot of things. I realized that I haven’t put myself first, in regards to my passions and dreams, in a long time. I set a lot of what I wanted to do on the sidelines, putting my passions and aspirations behind other people’s dreams and projects.

More than that, in the midst of all the pain and all the darkness, I lost myself again.

I lost purpose and drive. I’ve let the difficulty of the last several years eat away at me until one day my life was no longer about anything I wanted it to be.

2018 will be the year of purpose for me. Purpose in my work, in my hobbies, in my passions, in my family–purpose in the entirety of my life.

Life’s not going to stop throwing shit my way; I’ve come to accept that. I won’t let that shit stop me from living my life to the fullest anymore.

2018 is probably not going to rock. It’s not going to be amazing or glittery or filled with rainbows and unicorns. However, it will be filled with purpose and intent. It will be filled with accomplishments that are mine, whether or not they push me further in life or just give me the satisfaction of a completed project.

2017 sucked the life out of me, but I’m going to make sure 2018 renews it.

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