The Year of The Diagnoses
It's amazing how many surprises can fit into one little year...
I’ve just spent the last hour looking through the photos on my phone to select a few for this post. Of the thousands I shot in 2022, 75% featured my cat, 15% featured my doll collection and the rest featured friends and family (most of whom were posing with my cat), journal pages and sundry shots around my neighbourhood (and that singular trip we took to the sea. Oh and The Stranger Things Experience! Loved it!)
This about sums up my year. It’s not unusual to have my camera roll filled with Miss Baba, but what makes this year more poignant is that in May we discovered she had cancer and needed big surgery. Her recovery was rough — she wouldn’t keep a body suit on and needed to be watched 24/7. The rest of the year has been a bittersweet whirl of cuddles, anxiety and trips to the vet. As the cancer had already spread to her lymphs nodes I made the decision to not put her through chemo — rather than put her through more torture post-surgery, I wanted the rest of her life to be as normal as possible. And she has truly lived her very best life this year. She’s played, cuddled, soaked in the 40 degrees of the July heatwave, eaten all her favourite foods and spent most afternoons snuggled up with me. Amazingly she is still here, and while I’m at peace knowing she is truly the most cherished cat there ever was, I dread the loss of her. I don’t think you can ever be ready.
2022 has been The Year of The Diagnoses. Baba was diagnosed with cancer, my mum got fitted with a pacemaker, I got diagnosed with ADHD and while pursuing medication for that I had an ECG that got me sent straight to A&E and now I’m waiting on a referral to a cardiologist. I’m not tooooo worried about that (!) but it does mean no ADHD meds for me for now. Having already lived with ADHD for 49 years nothing’s really changed, and yet honestly, everything feels different. I have been given a new pair of glasses and NOW I SEE IT ALL! I wrote about it over here.
In other news, I said farewell to the dating world at the end of 2019, so I continue to do life solo here in London. It’s the greatest gift I have ever given myself, frankly. Independence suits me and the deeper I sink into walking my own path, the more I love it. Obviously I have no idea what the future holds, but this luscious solo life makes me so happy. As does the new tattoo I got this year: wisteria falling down my right forearm 😍
Thankfully, my perimenopause journey may be coming to a close. In 2022 I only had two bleeds, and after feeling such a loss when all this started a few years ago, I’m beginning to appreciate this new phase of my life. Starting HRT was the key piece for me — it gave me my life back and meant I’ve been able to roll with the changes and adapt. No longer being at the mercy of the monthly emotional/hormonal rollercoaster has been absolute BLISS. I always had the worst PMS, so this continuous state of relative calm is … simply ... amazing. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting better. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
So it’s been a year filled with a lot of anxiety and I’ve relied heavily on the parts of my life that supported me through it. I’ve journaled my heart out this year and am so fricken grateful to my 11-year-self for starting a “diary” in 1984. My journal is my sanity-protecter, keeper and soother. It’s the cornerstone of… everything, actually. I especially loved making made a Baba Journal this year, something I’ll treasure forever.
Most importantly, my sister and closest friends have held my hand through 2022 and I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for them. You know who you are! Add in some fun trips to see my family and a whole week in London for my big nephew — it was the best! — and you have an avalanche of sweetness taking the sting out of the sorrow.
Thank you also to you, my community! I’m feeling so ready to create lots of new things for you guys in 2023! After the shock of Baba’s diagnosis I found it so hard to create anything this year. I’d started 2022 working on a revamp of my tarot course, 78 Mirrors, but all plans I’d had for other new things had to go on the back burner. But something’s shifted. I need to create. I need to hold on to that thread that will carry me into my future life where she is not with me.
One of the most creative periods of my life was in the first year after my partner died in 2005 — I wrote thousands of words that year. Rediscovered photography. Started a blog! I had to rebuild my life, and that original urge, that familiar spark of multicoloured creativity, pieced me back together. I know it will do so again.
So expect to see lots of inspiring and affordable workshops from me in the new year, plus a brand new course I can’t wait to get my teeth into. ❤️
Okay, 2022, over and out. Let’s see what 2023 brings with it…
If you’re feeling the need for something to look forward to (I understand this feeling well!) my 4-week journaling course, Journal Your Life, is currently enrolling and starts on Monday January 9th
And don’t forget you can download the Unravel Your Year and Find Your Word workbooks for free over here xo