My 2019 Year in Review

My 2019 Year in Review

2019-12-30 23:36:45

It’s December 30 and frankly, I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed by all I’ve been through this year. My energy is low and I’m in the midst of a grief spell. Is that a thing? Well, it is for me. Every year I say the same thing: I don’t want the bad things that happened this year to overshadow the good. And I find that every time I’m feeling it – sad, angry, upset, frustrated, grief, stuck – so many people in my life say, “but think about all the good things! Just look around you! You’re lucky!” To be honest that generally makes me feel worse. I already don’t feel entitled to my feelings most of the time. I’ve labeled myself as a highly sensitive person. I have a hard time choking back tears when they demand to come out. To me, it just feels like I should suck it up, or worse that I’m weird because I feel so much.

Despite all of this, 2019 had a lot of highs and some lows. I’ll start out by saying that I only achieved 2 out of the 5 goals I set for myself on January 1, 2019. But those goals don’t really reflect the changes my life has been through this year and that’s ok. I guess that’s what upsets me about goals sometimes. They don’t account for the universe having other plans. They don’t account for accidents and mishaps and hardships and all the healing that comes with those things.

Let me first get the things out of the way that I feel disappointed about. First, I haven’t finished my book yet, which was my main goal for 2019. After losing my book deal last year, I was pretty crushed for a long time. Even this year, it’s been difficult seeing several of my friends write and publish their books, when I feel like mine should be out in the world already too. I barely worked on finishing it this year, and when finding a stable job took priority, looking for a literary agent also took a backseat. In 2020 I will finish my book

CrossFit was still important to me this year, but I don’t feel that I grew in the sport as much as I did last year. I had a lot of big number PRs on my lifts last year, learned how to handstand walk, and this year my goals were to get a bar muscle-up and I didn’t do that, even after taking a muscle-up class. I also had two CrossFit opens to suffer through, and get frustrated about how fast new people progress past me. So that was fun. One thing I will give myself credit for is finally figuring out double unders! Yes it took me two years of consistent practice and frustration, but this year I can honestly say I can get them consistently in a workout and my PR is 53.

My miscarriage was the gut punch of 2019. Like I said in my post about miscarriage grief, I know that logically the pregnany was non-viable for a reason. My body was doing what it’s supposed to do when that is true. Emotionally I was caught off guard by feeling the way I did (and do). I wasn’t expecting to feel derailed by the grief. I wasn’t expecting to feel sad, angry, and jealous on Christmas when I saw 25 pregnancy announcement posts. And like I told Fer this morning, I am angry that I have to grieve.

Now that I’ve spent half of this review talking about some bad stuff, let’s talk about the good stuff (with only a little bad mixed in).

I got a new car – This was on my goal list for this year because I’ve had the same car since the age of 18 and it was time. My silver Jetta was with me through it all. I’ve drank and used drugs in that car, it took me all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Then after I came back from Mexico it came with me to Florida. It kept me safe when I was being reckless and I cried when I had to part with it. I also can’t really take credit for getting the new car. My amazing husband basically forced me to pick cars I liked by showing them to me first one the internet and then taking me to test drive the ones I liked, even though I kept saying I wasn’t ready. For my birthday I came home to my new VW Tiguan in the driveway. Since then, during the first week of December I endured not 1, but 2, minor car accidents and my new baby is currently in the shop getting fixed. This I told Fer, is exactly why I didn’t want a new car.

I went on a recovery retreat – This was also on my goal list for 2019! I’ve been dying to go on a She Recovers Retreat since I got sober and this was finally the year I was able to make it happen. I traveled all the way (many hours and several flights and a ferry!) to Salt Spring Island, Canada. It was glorious, painful and beautiful. That retreat cracked me open and changed me from the inside out. I already signed up for next year. I recommend anyone on a healing journey from addiction, trauma, or anything else do this at least once in your life. I also highly recommend She Recovers Yoga – which I’ve incorporated into my recovery.

-I got my highest-paying and highest-level job – This is my greatest achievement of 2019. Early this year I embarked on my recovery coaching journey. I helped several clients reach breakthroughs with their drinking and their healing and it was very rewarding. I was also still working part time at my gym. However, it wasn’t profitable enough for me, and I worried about being able to pay my bills and help support my family. On my 6-year soberversary, on a whim, I applied to be a Marketing Manager for This Naked Mind and Annie Grace, who I knew from the online recovery space. I agonized about applying beforehand, not knowing if it would be a good fit for me or them, or if I was really going to give up coaching. I figured I’d just go for it and let the chips fall where they may. I ended up getting the job and my life has been transformed since then. The “marketing manager,” job was actually “Head of Marketing,” and I now manage a team of 5 people and I am on the leadership team with some pretty amazing humans. My knowledge and opinions are actually valued. I get to help people change their relationships to alcohol through our awesome products and programs. I even travel for work! I feel like a real adult and the fact that I can pay my bills on time has been such as weight lifted for me. The job itself has pushed me to learn and do more than I ever have in my career and I am loving it. I’m excited to be part of such an amazing organization that has world-changing ideas. 

I spoke in front of 250+ people at This Naked Mind Live in Denver – This is one of the many amazing opportunities my new job has provided me. I got out of my comfort zone and got on stage with Annie to help her talk about one of her new concepts. It was terrifying and exhilarating. 

-I created my own She Recovers Sharing Circle – I’m really proud of this one! I’ve wanted in-person connection with other women in recovery since I’ve left AA and I’ve created a group that meets monthly here in my town. We talk, cry, love and support one another and I’m looking forward to more of this in 2020.

I went into a local school to talk about sobriety and writing – I was one of several women invited into the PACE Center for Girls in Immokalee to talk about drug and alcohol use by MADD SWFL. I was able to tell the girls my story, talk about sobriety and writing, and lead them in a writing exercise. I loved being able to help local youth in this way. 

I attended Mobilize Recovery and am now a board member on a local RCO – This year was a year of navigating my contribution to the recovery advocacy movement. Attending Mobilize in Las Vegas in July was a good start, but it left me with a lot of questions. A lot of the people I knew from the advocacy movement are all doing different things and not aligning as much with national orgs. I believe them when they say making a difference locally is where your energy is best spent. I recently accepted a board member position for the Lee County Recovery Collective and I’m excited to do more here in my county.

Besides these things, I did a ton of CrossFit competitions, I played soccer, I watched my newest nephew being born (Devin Patrick! my buddha baby), I cared for my husband after a dog bit his face and mouth and left him with 30+ stitches, I took 13 trips and visited 4 different countries. Fer and I worked on making our house more of a home, our home.

No wonder I am tired! I did a lot. 2019 thank you – I am grateful and I have learned so much.

2020 I’m ready.

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