An Open Letter to the Last 365 Days of My Life

5:05:00 PM


A few months ago I wanted to write a letter to 2017. I hoped that I could say goodbye to the pain that I felt within that year, as if it would end when the last day of the calendar was crossed off. But I was naive and it didn't stop there.

In the last year, I've dealt with battles I'd never thought I'd experience. I struggled more than I have in a very long time and even writing this letter has tears welling up in my eyes. For those of you that know me, you know that I don't often show my emotions.

So here I am, writing a letter to the last year of my life; in hopes that I can recover, grow, and move forward in my journey.

To my new readers you're going to get to know me very quickly. And to those of you that have been by my side from the beginning, I'm sorry that I abandoned you. It hurt me just as much as you, knowing that I haven't been there for you guys as you struggled equally.

An Open Letter to the Last 365 Days of My Life

Dear Universe,

This last year has royally sucked. I was not physically or emotionally prepared for what you had in store for me and I can only imagine you've got more to throw my way.

First and foremost, I know that leaving my husband was the right decision and I know that it was what was best for me. But that did NOT make following through with that decision any easier. The months that I toyed with the thoughts of leaving were brutal, probably the deepest spout of depression that I've ever experienced and I'm glad that I'm out of it. I have to be honest though, I almost didn't make it.

I knew that it would be rough. It was pretty clear when I started seeing a therapist behind my husband's back. But I also thought I would have a little bit of help on my side. Instead, I was denied disability, I was denied SSI, and I was denied every other government assistance available. Something I didn't expect, being that I was bedridden, medicated, and chronically ill.

In August of last year, I made the decision to physically leave. I moved back to Florida and started my new (slightly old) life. I packed up my car with everything it could hold and made the drive back, leaving my husband, my belongings, and most importantly, my cats.

The next few months were difficult. I readjusted to working again, while simultaniously trying to push through the pain and going through medication withdrawals. Only to make things worse by taking on two more jobs, increasing my pain levels and limiting the time for my body to recover.

A shimmer of hope shined through after finding my first apartment. Only to learn that it came with fleas. After trying all of the natural solutions, it was time for chemicals. For others, I'm sure it wouldn't have been an issue, but unfortunately for me, I'm not like others. When I re-entered my apartment, I had an allergic reaction and went to the hospital for chemical inhalation burns. It took weeks to recover and it ended up reversing a few of the surgeries that I had earlier that year.

In December, I struggled with death. My great-grandmother, Grandmary, passed away. This was really hard for me, not just because I had to cope with her passing, but because it made me think of my own. Besides my mother, my brother, and myself, she was the last person left in our direct bloodline. Everyone else has passed and that's something that's always been in the back of my mind as someone struggling with 22 chronic illnesses.

The months after Grandmary's death, I struggled to feel better while continuing to deal with the final stages of my divorce. I fought over paperwork and belongings with my ex-husband. We constantly fought over bills and the house. Ultimately, my credit went to shit and it only made matters worse.

At the same time, a handful of family members were in and out of the hospital. My grandmother's aunt being the worst. She's the one that we refer to as great-grandma and I couldn't imagine my life without her. She alway's been there for us and this time she needed us to be there for her. After a myriad of tests, we learned that she had scoliosis, a double kidney infection, and multiple spinal fractures. It was rough and we were constantly worried the worst was to come.

In April, I got a call that I was not prepared for. My mom was crying and I could tell she was trying to stay strong for me. She told me that I needed to get to the hospital right away. I didn't want to hear what she had to say next. Even though I had an inkling of an idea, it wasn't what I thought it was. She told me great-grandpa had fallen and he was on life support. I made the drive from West Palm to Fort Pierce in record time. We stood by him as he passed and stayed until great-grandma gave him his last kiss.

About a week or two after my great-grandpa's passing, the universe decided to hit me with a truck. Literally. As I was driving back to work from an errand, I was in a hit and run. The driver drove his truck into the driver's side door of my sedan and fled the scene. Luckily, I wasn't hurt, but I was in shock and my car was damaged.

Honestly, I thought things couldn't get worse. As I mentioned earlier, I have over 20 chronic illnesses and I've been through withdrawals for all of the medications I was originally prescribed. It shouldn't be a surprise to say that I haven't been seeing my doctors regularly either; or at all, since I left my husband. 

Technically, I still haven't seen any but it had been a year since I'd gotten new glasses and with my prescription changing every 3-6 months, I knew I couldn't wait any longer. Unfortunately, it was during that appointment that I got more bad news. Instead of just having possible cancer in my lungs, there's a chance I have it in my eye too.

With one thing after another, it wasn't a surprise when I started having car trouble. In addition to the cosmetic damage, I started noticing other issues as well. On multiple occasions I was having issues with the pieces connected to my battery as well as corrosion. We got that fixed, or at least thought we did, before it happened again a few months later. 

A few weeks after that, I had to replace a few minor things which I could handle. That was, until the other shoe dropped. Last week my compressor stopped working, which meant I no longer had A/C. Now for someone that has chronic illnesses with severe heat related symptoms, that was a MAJOR issue. So, $1700 dollars later, the mechanical issues have been resolved, cosmetic not so much.

At this point, I don't know what's in store for me anymore. I've lost more than I thought was possible and I have to try really hard not to be angry at the world. But it's important that you know this; Universe, I will do my very best to stand up and fight against what you have to throw my way. No matter how long it takes me, I will find my way through the darkness.

Sincerely,
Ivy

P.S. A Quick Note to You
To those of you reading this, I'm not looking for pity, just a little bit of understanding. It's been a rough year for me and I know I haven't been on top of my game lately. With that being said, I'll be making a lot of changes moving forward. Not only will I be rebranding myself, but my business ventures as well. I promise I'll be jumping back into writing and I can't wait to bring each of you along on my next adventure, for as long as you'll have me!

Lastly, I want all of you to know that I'm trying and I'm here for you. My absence was necessary and I hope that each of you have the strength to actively partake in self-care; better than myself I hope. So, if you're ever struggling with something, I want you to reach out to me or the community of Perfectly Ambitious women standing my your side!


For those of you that are going through something, I highly encourage you to write a letter about it. I'd love to know how it helped you process your feelings and continue on in your life journey. And if you feel comfortable sharing your writing I'd love to take a peek, just drop a link in the comments below!


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