Monday, December 14, 2009

What I've Learned in 2009

Dear Friends,
I'm having a lovely holiday season. In fact, I feel the best I have in years. It's undoubtedly due to changing patterns that didn't produce happiness or joy, and developing new traditions that do (clearly an ongoing process).

Also, it's also due to all the months this year I spent in therapy in order to resolve old issues and move on. What I learned about myself (in a nutshell) is that I march to the beat of a different drummer. Whether it's due to bipolarity (my therapist didn't think it is) or not, I embrace life fully and completely. In putting myself out there...often times, I meet people who can't or won't meet me halfway. While that used to disappoint me, it doesn't any longer. I see it as their problem--not mine.

With the death of my mother, I now feel my own mortality, and that truly puts things in perspective. I realize that I'm just not interested in spending time with people who cannot honestly express their emotions or feel threatened that I can. I don't want to waste time on people who bemoan their situation, but do nothing to change things. I want to be with people who are enthusiastic, passionate, and uplifting.

When things don't work out, I no longer feel bad about it. I recognize that I have a God-given ability to problem solve (which is a wonderful gift although I truly didn't understand that) and find alternatives that work.

What I've also confirmed this year is that my orientation to life is different than many other people. Actually, it's always been that way, and it's a good thing. My values are different. What I want is different. And what makes me happy is different.

While it's not always easy to feel that way--and this surely was one of the causal factors of my depressive episodes--I know I can remain well if I follow my heart. So far, it's worked really well during the holidays, and I believe things will continue getting better and better.

I believe my happiness and joy have returned because I was able to release a lot of anger inside. I spent a long time in therapy discussing my mother's illness and death, and sharing my outrage over the behavior of my siblings, my mother's friends, and her doctors whose behavior was truly devastating. This was compounded because I had spent a decade--in which my doctors had prescribed medication that almost killed me--experiencing exactly the same kind of treatment from friends and relatives.

For a long time I felt that many of the people I had cared most about had destroyed my ability to trust, and my optimistic core, which has always been my trademark. What I learned is that talking things through...with someone who listens and has insight is a truly healing experience.

While there's a whole lot more I now understand, I have also learned there are things I'm not interested in sharing in a public forum. So, this is the end of my journey for now. Health and happiness to all!

Love,
Susan

32 comments:

Tamara (TC) Staples said...

Susan,

Beautifully said! I am glad that you are finding more peace and joy in your life. It is nice when we get to know ourselves to the point you have. I am so sorry that you were hurt and your trust destroyed when your mother was ill. I know a little bit about destroyed trust from a close family member. It can be devastating. It sounds like you used it as a tool to understand yourself better and to heal. Good for you.

I hope you have a blessed holiday season. I am sure you will be out gardening and taking photos and doing the things you love. I look forward to your return in January.

Hugs,
Tamara

Wendy Love said...

Susan,
What a good report. It is so encouraging to all of us to listen to your progress and achievements. You have demonstrated perseverence on this journey and have clearly reaped some rewards. May you continue to experience the fullness of life and the peace of mind that you are enjoying right now!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Tamara,
What a dear friend you are! Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it!

Love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendy,
I so appreciate your positive response to my posts, and your continuing support. I know you work very hard on wellness, and I'm hoping all your efforts are paying off as well!

Susan

marja said...

Dear Susan,
Isn't it neat how, even at our age, we can develop and grow, as you have this year.
Happy Hanukkah to you and I look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Take care...and enjoy life.

Love,
marja

sallyo said...

I'm so glad you are enjoying a happy holiday season, and have let go of your pain! What a great gift the 2009 has been for you.

Happy Hanukkah to you and your family! Looking forward to your posts in the new year.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
Yes, it is wonderful that "at our age," we can learn, grow, and develop, isn't it? As always, thanks so much for you comment and your continued support and friendship!

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Sallyo,
Yes, it has been a truly wonderful year in so many ways. Thanks for you comment, and your support!

Susan

Emma said...

Dear Susan,
It was so heartwarming and encouraging to read your reflections of the past year. It is wonderful to know that you feeling well, especially at a time of the year which has proven to be difficult in the past. 'Feeling the best in years', sounds pretty fabulous to me, and the most marvellous achievement!!

You have worked so hard this year, challenging yourself, changing patterns, embracing what works for you, and letting go with courage and honesty what does not support or enrich your life. Thank you so much for sharing this journey, and allowing a glimpse of the thoughts, feelings and discoveries which have unfolded over the past months. Your observations, and also the comments from this warm and very caring community of readers have been a source of inspiration.

Enjoy the remaining weeks of the year. May it be a time of happiness and peace, shared with loving family and friends.
Every good wish for the New Year. Much love Emma

More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Susan,

It is encouraging to read of the many precious lessons you have learned in 2009. May 2010 be a very wonderful year for you too!

Hope you have a very enjoyable and restful break. Take care!

With warm regards and prayers,
Nancie

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Emma,
I'm always so glad to hear from you. And, as always, I'm delighted if my journey is encouraging for others.

During the worst phases of depression I always tried to find "success stories" to try and raise my spirits. Unfortunately, I never could.

Each day I pray (in my own way) that what I've done and am doing will continue to "work." But, whether it does or doesn't, what's important for me to understand is that things have significantly improved.

What that means to me is that wellness is possible.

I just wish I could bottle what I've learned, and send it to my friends in need!

Love,
Susan
P.S. Yes, I agree that our little community is very caring and supportive.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nancie,
Yes, it's proven to be a very good year indeed. And thank you for all your support and your kind words. I hope next year will be a happy and healthy one for you!

Love,
Susan

Writing Works said...

A very Merry Christmas to you! I am encouraged to see how you are doing and that you decided to share those things with us.

Even though I am not around much, I do think of you often.

With Love,

PJ

Wellness Writer said...

Dear PJ,
Thanks so much and the same to you. I think of you often as well, and hope you and family have a wonderful holiday!

With love,
Susan

Blessed said...

What an incredible path of learning. Many blessings, many hugs, and much love and light your way.

duanesherry1 said...

Susan,

I hope you and your family had a restful Hanukkah.

Blessings for a wonderful 2010!

Duane

Danielle said...

What a wonderfully stated post!!! I can so relate to much of what you said. Thank you for your holiday wishes email!!! I am glad you are enjoying your holidays and I look forward to "talking" with you in 2010.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Blessed,
Thanks so much. I appreciate your warm wishes!

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Duane,
Glad to hear from you. And I hope you and your family had a lovely holiday as well!

Love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Danielle,
So glad to hear from you. And thanks so much. I'm glad this post resonated with you.

Love,
Susan

Mariposa said...

Susan, happy new year to you and to yours! I have not frequented your site but please know that you're always in my thoughts. I have learned so much from you. You are one of my 2009 best! (((HUGS)))

Hope 2010 will bring you more success, peace, love, joy and good health.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
So nice to hear from you! And thanks so much for your lovely comment. I hope you have a wonderful year as well!

Hugs back at you,
Susan

Howard said...

Susan:

I hope this finds you all well in sunny CA. Apparently, you guys are the only ones in the Western Hemisphere NOT experiencing arctic temperatures and, according to the latest news reports, I might be drinking California-avocado juice at breakfast for years to come instead of Florida orange juice. ;)

Susan, I count you among my friends who understand well what our path looks like in life--this is a rare perspective and one not without its own set of gifts in appreciating what opportunities for creativity this life affords us. I hope we can connect when I am in SoCal this year. Until then, be well, and may God bless you and your family richly, dear sister.

-Howard

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Howard,
So sorry I have been offline and didn't see your email until today. It would have lifted my spirits.

There are months when I see things so clearly, and others in which the bleakness robs me of everything I hold dear.

But, it's so comforting to have friends who understand, and care for me despite my failings.

God bless you and yours!

Susan

linea said...

Good for you to realize all these wonderful things about yourself and your needs. It is so often hard to realize what we need, (and once we realize it, so hard to follow our own advice and needs). I hope you begin the year to a good start and follow your needs and new discoveries!

Carla said...

Hi Susan~ It's a pleasure to have found your blog. Reading through your post uplifted me today- an encouragement to not define/confine myself by the majority or the status quo. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say in the coming months.

Thanks Susan,
Carla

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Linea,
Thanks so much for writing. Your comment lifts my spirits!

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Carla,
Thanks so much for letting me know that what I've written is helpful to you! I appreciate it!

Susan

KJ said...

My computer has been in the shop and I am just now catching up on the blogging world. I hope you are doing well and are happy. I look forward to you posting again soon.

Paula Joy said...

Umm, hey. I miss you.

Hope you are well and that you come back soon.

Love,

Paula

Wellness Writer said...

Dear KJ,
Thanks for your comment. This is a difficult time of year for me, but I appreciate hearing from you.

Love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paula Joy,
So glad to hear from you. I've been depressed, but will try and keep in touch. Hope you and your family are well.

Love,
Susan