Amanda Moments
December 31, 2015

I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve, from home, since I took the day off work to recoup as I head into the New Year. I really want 2016 to be amazing, and to ring it in right, it was important to make a little bit of time to get caught up and relax, even if for just one day. I need this short break.

2015 was kind of tough for me. I mean, I still have a home, a husband, my fur babies, enough food on the table and love from family and friends. For those things, I am grateful. But emotionally, I feel drained. There were a lot of little things that took a toll on me this past year.

A lot of bloggers and Facebook friends are doing recaps of their year, filled with photos of smiling faces and lists of amazing accomplishments. I would love to do a similar post, but my heart just can’t. Reflecting on 2015 right now, nothing major is jumping out at me as great moments that I want to share or remember. Well, my 30th birthday was pretty bomb, and I enjoyed Thanksgiving Day with my husband, mom and father-in-law, and I did start a fulfilling new job, but after thinking for a few moments, those are the only big, happy moments coming to mind. Which makes me feel guilty that I can’t recall more. I’m sure there were tons of small joys in my year. But as a whole, I just don’t feel great about 2015.

I’m not writing this for any sympathy. It’s just that this has been on my heart for the past several weeks, if not months, that I’ve been in a bit of a rut. I took some time off from posting regularly on the blog as I just didn’t have the emotional energy to share much of anything. I sat down to write several posts, and I did draft several, but most were sad and rambly, or clearly contrived, and I just couldn’t hit publish on them. At the same time, I felt bad that I just left this space. This blog used to be therapeutic for me. I just lost some of my spark. Finally, today seemed like the day to open up and share what’s been on my mind as we wrap up the year, as I catch up on life, as I am doing my best to pull myself out of my rut and find some joy again.

When I think about why 2015 was so … not amazing… for me, there’s not one thing I can point to. There are many things, all piling on top of each other.

My dog got sick. Brick has been having some issues with allergies since earlier this year, and we’ve been having a helluva time getting it figured out. As time went on, things only got worse, and then he developed an entirely new issue: pitting edema caused by low albumin and protein levels that are seeping out of his body, somewhere. At one point, the words “kidney failure” and “cancer” were uttered from my vet’s mouth, which made me panic. It’s neither of those things so far, but my poor puppy is having a rough time. We had to make a decision between an expensive and risky biopsy to find out the problem, or just put him on medication and pray that solves it. After lots of tears and prayer, we decided on medication. Two weeks into his treatment, things are going well, but he’s not out of the woods yet, and I’m terrified that he’s going to die. I’ve been mentally prepared for my oldest cat Captain to go first, but I was totally caught off guard that my dog could be first because of unexpected medical issues. We’ve been to the vet more times in the past six months than in all his years put together, and have dropped more money than I had expected to on this dog. He’s worth it and I want him to be OK, but it’s only more stress on me emotionally and on my checkbook as well.

My uncle died. Just after Halloween, I found out that one of my only two uncles, had passed. My mom took it hard, and some family issues arose out of it. As I was in the weeds at work and making Thanksgiving arrangements, I suddenly had to fit in an unexpected trip back home for his service, which for several other reasons, turned into a big ordeal and lots more travel.

My old boss died and it brought up a rollercoaster of emotions about that job.

My sister-in-law had brain cancer. It was tough to see how much pain it caused my husband. She’s doing much better now, but we’re still healing from the scare and praying it doesn’t come back.

My mother-in-law is also having health issues, and it’s more stress and worry that I see on my husband.

My new job is stressful. I really do love my new job and my co-workers, but I’ve been putting in much more time at the office and at home working, than is probably healthy. I’m struggling learning to say no, set boundaries, manage my time and stay on top of everything.

Therapy is bringing back up old wounds and new feelings. Holy cow, is therapy a rollercoaster. I’m doing some really in-depth work learning more about myself than I ever knew there was to me, and it is trying. It’s all worth it to be a better me, but it sure is tough when I’m in the thick of it.

My health is worrisome. I’m starting to feel like a medical mystery, and I’m frustrated that doctors can’t fix me. My jaw has been clicking, tight and locking up. I black out sometimes. My period is still irregular, and I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. After countless trips to various doctors and numerous blood tests, scans and ultrasounds, everything comes back 100% normal and no one has any idea why I’m so broken. I’ve been off the pill a full year and half now, and everyone thought that for sure, by now I would be normal again, but I’m not. I feel helpless and confused and pissed off about it all.

My hair keeps falling out, and my self-esteem is at an all-time low. And those extensions I loved at first? Hate them now. Nothing seems to work.

I am frustrated at all of the hate in this world and saddened by humankind. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I swear that this year brought out some of the worst in people, and the actions and words spoken by supposed “friends” on Facebook and members of my own community made me pissed off at the world.

I’m questioning my religion. Because of all the aforementioned issues that made me frustrated, I started researching the Christian take on various social issues, and I then found some really compelling arguments that are making me second-guess the Bible and the institution of church. It’s even harder to remain strong in my faith when the most hateful actions and words are coming from people who call themselves Christians. It makes me not want to associate myself with any of it.

I’m sick of my apartment. Two years ago, we thought for sure we’d be in a house by now, but various setbacks delayed said home purchase. I know that things happen and plans change, but it is still frustrating that I feel so far off where I wanted to be by now.

I failed at staying financially on track. Meal planning stopped halfway through the year, and I started relying on delivery, takeout, fast food, and unhealthy dinners more than I should have. I spent more than I should have on things that I didn’t need. I used my overall sadness as an excuse to indulge in shopping and food, hoping it would make me feel better. I hate myself for that.

Again, I’m not writing all this for anyone to feel sorry for me. I just want to be real. I want to heal, and the only way I can do that is by being honest and admitting that not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Life is hard, and there are ups and downs. I’m struggling being in a down longer than an up. I’ll pull out of it in time, I’m sure. Closing the chapter on 2015 feels like a great start. Writing this post helped sort out some feelings too. I do have hope that things will get better soon.

Here’s to you, 2016.

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26 responses to “A Tough Year”

  1. Meredith Williams says:

    None of this is new to me, but it helped to read it all in one spot. You know I’m always here for you no matter what. Don’t hesitate to take advantage!

  2. Katie says:

    2015 really was the year of not awesome. I’m sorry to hear that it was particularly not awesome to you. You seem to be surrounded by death and illness this year and that can bring even the most positive person to a really bad funk.

    You don’t have to kick start this year off with new intentions. If you want to take another few weeks to wallow, then do it. You can “start anew” whenever you damn well please!

    As for the religion thing: I understand. I’ve always been on the incredibly liberal Lutheran side of things and generally never agree with what Christians say in the media. If you do decide to keep your faith, know that whatever you believe, it’s between you and The Big Guy. No one else has to know because its yours.

    Hold your fur babies tight this New Years! And chug that champagne! Xxoox

    • Amanda says:

      Right?! I’m so glad to see 2015 go away. The new year feels better already. You are so right on your points too. You’re awesome. And yes, so much champagne. And wine. And margaritas. Haha. It helps.

  3. Farrah says:

    I’m really sorry for your loss and for all the things that are making your life tough right now. <3 I can definitely relate to being frustrated with the hate in the world. I'm also with you on religion–I'm appalled by the things that people who call themselves Christian do/say about social issues in the media, and flatly refuse to associate myself with them either. I refuse to as
    Sending you lots of hugs and warm thoughts and I really hope that next year will be better! <3

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, just like, what are some of those people thinking?! Ugh. I just do not get it. But I guess those are their problems and not my cross to bear. I’ll get through the funk in time. Thank you so much!

  4. Shelly says:

    Amanda, thank you for bringing honesty to this post. I think it’s important to share these truths as to help others who are feeling the same things feel less alone.

    It sounds as though you have every reason to feel like you’ve had a tough year. You have! Don’t let this popular “happiness is a choice” saying (or any variation of that saying) make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. Sometimes life bites, and it’s okay to mull over it.

    I am barely coming out of a three year funk (just one out of my many life funks), and sometimes it takes mammoth effort not to slip back into the pit.

    The sun shines again, friend. Promise! (((hugs)))

    And here’s to 2016 being a better year for you. ::cheers!::

    • Amanda says:

      Such great points. Thanks so much, Shelly. Indeed, happiness is a choice…sometimes. But yes, sometimes life also just blows. It’s a season and it will pass, I’m sure.
      I’m so glad we were able to connect. You are such a wise voice. Your words and support mean a lot. Thank you heaps.

  5. Amanda,
    I am so sorry you’ve had such a hard year. It seems like everyone had a bad year. Try to start a gratitude list. It’s really helped me this year when I was diagnosed officially with PPD and anxiety stress disorder. Also, with the whole Christian thing, I think everyone goes through a trial of faith. I did earlier this year, and it really was hard (if you want to talk about it, just email me). But, just remember this scripture: Matthew 15:8—-> This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh, I would be very interested to hear more about your story and trial of faith. My faith in God himself and all the “big picture” stuff is unchanged, but I’m getting hung up on some of the small things. Maybe that’s the problem! Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot.

  6. Oh sweet girl 🙁 I know your intent was not to get sympathy but I am so sorry. Just reading all of that made my heart heavy. It’s not surprising at all that you’re in a rut. I don’t really have anything to say because there’s nothing anyone can say to pull you out of it. It’s something you’ll do on your own. But what I can tell you is that I’m thinking of you, praying for you, and sending you some big cyber hugs. If I lived closer, I’d always come over so we could have some whiny wine. Venting and letting it all out just makes you feel better!

    • Amanda says:

      Aw thank you, you are just such a strong friend. I so appreciate your kind words and it does provide me some comfort knowing that 1) life just sucks sometimes, and that’s OK, and 2) you’re there thinking such good things on my behalf. Thank you. So much.
      And yes, so much yes to to all the wine. Haha.

  7. I’m so sorry your 2015 year wasn’t the best one – that definitely can be exhausting and trying! Praying for your heart, sweet girl, and hoping that 2016 starts off and ends much better for you 🙂

  8. katie says:

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a rough year. It all sounds so heavy and tiring….I hope things turn around for you soon. Try to stay strong and lean on your husband. Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way.

  9. Charlene says:

    Oh Amanda, I am so sorry 2015 has been such a bad year for you. I can’t say I know everything you’ve been going through but I do know some. I’m praying for you and hoping 2016 will bring some much needed relief and a chance to start over. I’m here if you ever want to talk about anything!

  10. Jackie says:

    I’ve enjoyed following along your blog and I’m glad you’re sharing what you’re going through. I’m so sorry to hear all of this, it really sounds like a rough year. I’m praying for you, that you work through all of these struggles and I’m especially praying for your puppy and health! It sounds like 2015 was truly emotionally and physically exhausting for you and I’ve been there. I hope that it all turns around in 2016!

  11. so sorry to hear that 2015 wasn’t all you wanted it to be. i’ve definitely had years like that and i think therapy can play a lot into it as you said with bringing up old wounds and new ways to process them. hang in there with it all. while i can’t understand all that you are going through, i can empathize with the want/need to have a better year and to feel better all around. thinking of you amanda! xo

  12. Kari says:

    Hey blogging friend! I know I’ve been on hiatus for awhile, but I’ve definitely kept up with your Facebook posts! Good news is, I’m back to blogging…and back to commenting! 🙂 I’m sorry 2015 didn’t really go all that well. However, I’m confident that 2016 will be better. While I know there have been things that caused you to question your faith, I hope and pray you start to see evidence of God’s grace at work in your life very soon! Looking forward to catching up!

    • Amanda says:

      OMG I’m so glad you’re back! I was actually just thinking about you a little bit before I saw that you were back. I’m excited to catch up on your life with your new blog. I’ve slowed down a little bit, but am definitely still here. 🙂

  13. Very late comment – just read this – but hope your first two weeks of 2016 have been great! We all have good years, and not so good years. One of the downfalls of social media and blogging is that oftentimes everything seems like it’s totally rainbows and butterflies while really it isn’t. Props to you for showing the not-so-wonderful things. I hope you have the best 2016 yet!!! Keep your head up, things will start going your way soon!!

    • Amanda says:

      You know, they have been! I think a new year was the reset that I needed. Thanks so much for the kind words:) I hope you year is amazing as well!!!

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