These retrospective posts are hard, you guys, because they make me go back and relive so much of what has happened in the last year. Some good, some awful. I cried and laughed while writing them, I'll do it again re-reading them.
The things I do for you people.
2013 will go down, for me, as a year I'm glad to see go. It wasn't the worst, but it was far from the best. I could use a little boring around here.
I started the year by diving into fiction, and began a story about a woman battling alcoholism that will hopefully be finished this year. I hope to publish it by the summer. If you haven't read it yet, here is the chapter that opens the story. It is pretty dark....I have to warn you. My head is a messed up place.
I revealed a lot about myself. Some stories I had shared in pieces before, some were things I never disclosed...sometimes to anyone.
I wrote about losing my first child, about struggling with anorexia, about the day that a close friend tried to rape me and how I didn't tell anyone. I opened up a vein and wrote about my battle with post partum depression. I confessed that I struggle with PTSD and anxiety attacks.
The post about losing my baby was a jumping off point for other women to share their stories of loss. It is what brought me closer to other women who understood. It is why I was asked to contribute to a book for grieving mothers, Sunshine After The Storm.
The post about anorexia pushed me to start a support group for parents dealing with children in the same place I was in. The rape post opened a can of worms and helped other women tell their stories, like Slice of Humble and My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream.
The PPD posts helped me to reach out to women who struggled with it as well. The PTSD posts and the response from them told me that I needed to start another online support group for those who need to know that someone out there understands. I spent an entire month hosting guest posts from people about mental illness in their lives and in the lives of those they love.
A friend asked for help in the wake of escaping from an abusive husband. You responded. You responded big and overwhelming and beautiful and words will never be enough to thank you all.
I spent a month on diabetes awareness after my mother died from complications of the disease. Others shared their stories as well.
After I lost my mother, I started to tell that story.
I still miss my father. I nearly lost my brother.
I hosted a photography challenge and started a group on Facebook to share pictures.
I did an A to Z Music Challenge and revisited the 30 Days of Truth. I hosted many amazing guest posts.
I fully embraced my inner nerd and became Princess Leia.
I'm still Wonder Woman.
I went to my first Con and decided the geeks should inherit the earth. I started a Thursday Nerdsday series where I reveal all kinds of ridiculous things about myself. I started a real-life Wonder(ful) Women series too, honoring the kickass gals I know (and the ones I haven't met yet).
I wrote legal analysis on the DOMA vote, the VRA, the Duck Dynasty debacle, gun rights, abortion, the death penalty, child rape, the rights of the accused, vaccine injuries, child support and the Boston bombing. I took on the drone policy, the Catholic church, Lance Armstrong and many more.
I wrote about the pollution from wells in the wake of the flood before it was sexy. I wrote about what it was like to help a family salvage what was left.
I wrote about Paul Walker's death and the post went viral. I learned a lot about myself and the internet in a few short days. I cringed that this was the post that went, given how rarely I write about celebrities.
I still get pissed off almost every Tuesday.
I learned that to some degree, happiness is a choice. Choosing to try and be happy again was terrifying. I know how crazy that sounds, but trust me when I say that PTSD will mess you up big time.
I learned that trust won't come back until and unless you let it.
I learned that some wounds never heal, you just learn how to live with the scars.
I learned that I have to use the hell I've been through to help other people. There has to be some good that comes out of it.
I learned that there is strength in being real, in being vulnerable, in opening up the ugly things and exposing them for the world to see.
I've lost fans over what I write, I've lost friends over it too. I've picked up more than I scared off, so I'll declare victory. I've learned a lot about myself this year, most of it the hard way, but I'm better for it.
I'm a hot damn mess at times.
I'm funnier on Facebook than I am on the blog.
I'm totally inappropriate in person.
I'm glad you're all here.
I hope you'll stick around...just in case I do something awesome next year.
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