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2018, the year of the mullet.

or as some may say, Erika you are fucking bummer.

I was unemployed all year, with the exception of volunteering and overall being there for small low energy gigs. I barely wrote, other than poems I kept to myself, and unfinished short stories that I told all my friends about. I took this year as the second step to truly taking care of myself. I did a pretty good job, but it's impossible to be a pro at being sick. It's not easy and it's not linear.

I started the year newly diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and ended it 10 pounds lighter and with a still erratic but more even thyroid. I also got diagnosed with fibromyalgia this year, which led to me taking more time to heal and my doctors finally taking my pain seriously. With doctors taking me a lil more seriously comes new ways to manage pain.

2019 will be the year I spend two days a week at Aquatic Therapy building strength to not feel like I'm falling apart every time I go for a 10 minute walk. 2019 will be the year I spend a day a week at the chronic pain clinic, which is something I am not completely sure of. I spent a lot of time at physical therapy this year, and I will spend more next year because it works.

After only a couple months of aquatic therapy, I don't feel as brittle. There are days I don't regret forgetting my cane. There are still days where I do regret forgetting my cane, days where I still fall over on myself. But those are not bad days, those are days that make my will stronger for later, because I end up needing to rest.

In 2018, I have gotten good at knowing my limits, at understanding that they fluctuate. I have gotten good at saying I can't. At turning down opportunities. As a nonbinary POC who is ID'd as female I've been trained to think that opportunities are rare. That if I turn this down, I'll never get another chance. WELL THAT'S INCORRECT. Opportunities are not rare. Turning them down usually makes people respect you more. If you save your energy, another opportunity will come, and you'll be better at taking it on.

2018 has been the year that I realized that the best way to exist is being an open, positive person, who shows up for others.

2018 was the year I stopped being so scared of asking for help. We need to ask for help sometimes, it's not shameful, it's human.

2018 was the year I made a gofundme that helped me better my health, without that gofundme I wouldn't have the energy to write this, or the energy to have a new job. The energy to get out of bed. I can leave the house again.

2018 I started the monthly BFF.FM Besties Bash. 5 done, 5 more planned.

2018 was the year I saw one of my favorite bands from the UK, The Spook School.

The year I was supposed to review the Belle and Sebastian and Japanese Breakfast show, but my body didn't allow it, and I respected that.

2018 was the year I learned that I need to truly stop pushing myself so much. I still sneak gluten into my diet even though it makes me suffer.

I still eat way too much cheese.

I've learned to keep my digestion support pills always on me, because IBS is fickle bitch.

Depression is even more fickle. It's never going to be gone. Even though in 2018 a mexican holistic doctor promised he'd cure me.

I ain't cured yet.

But I also ain't dead yet, and that's a lot to celebrate.

I did a lot in 2018, watched a lot of tv. Quiz me.

I experienced Dia de Los Muertos for real in person. IRL.

I am not dead yet.

I did a lot in 2018, took a lot of chances, and truly found security in doing nothing.

2018 was the year i tabled at my first zine fest.

I cried a lot over pain and a body that seems to forget it's attached to a person. I re-found my goals. Watered my passions. I kept positive even when I wanted to die.

2019 will be the year my passions, my goals, my friendships, myself truly blossom.

2019 will be the year my mullet grows out. 2019 will be a year full of more comics. more zines. more jewelry and pins. more poems and finished short stories. more days where i bail and stay home and don't feel guilty.

2019 will be the year of fresh spongebob tattoos and new clown looks.

2019 will be a year that leads to be a better me, because every year I only get better at being me.

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