Hey y’all, Happy New Year!
I’ve always enjoyed new beginnings, the mental exercise of setting goals and plans to make this year better than the last. I used to be devoted to a daily planner, writing out todo lists and marking off weekends for celebrations. I never went as far as stickers or special markers but the joy of a fresh planner ready for me to fill was intoxicating.
When we started SunnyStrong it was in the spirit of sharing this journey with each of you, the ins and outs of a terminal diagnosis, our wins and losses, my hopes and dreams. Somewhere along the way I stopped doing this as often, as easily. Maybe it was the loss of identity when I quit working. Maybe it was the devastation surrounding my divorce. At some point I was more consumed with my feelings, reactions, and situation than I was committed to sharing the process.
I’ve been consistently in therapy since March ‘21 so I’m officially a “my therapist says…” person. We talked last week about goals for the new year, known triggers to troubleshoot, and realistic steps towards a healthy mindset. Hear me when I say 2021 was rough. Not to minimize anyone else’s trauma, because we all know misery loves company, just know that if you struggled last year that you are heard, you are seen, and that I’m cheering for your success. I had not one but two antidepressant dosage increases – I’ve only ever increased once before and it was after my Grandma Houston died. I was lower emotionally than I have ever been in my life, suicidal ideation became part of my every day, it was heavy and exhausting. I learned that talking about these feelings, asking for help, and finding community in the midst of debilitating depression can literally save your life.
My therapist asked what is a theme or word that correlates to my goals for the new year, and my answer was: transparency. Defined as the condition of being transparent, this is my inspiration for 2022.
“When you’re transparent, you invite trust by revealing that you have nothing to hide. You establish yourself as an honest, credible person in the eyes of others.”John Hall
My amazing friend Allie is leading “31-Days to Transformation Challenge” and our first assignment discusses post-traumatic growth. I love this part from Allie’s email, “The often-reported outcomes after a traumatic event are a desire to help others and give back, appreciation for life, more self-awareness, and more compassion for others.” So here I am committing to you and myself to maintain transparency throughout all 2022 has to offer.
Spoiler Alert: get ready for a whole lotta Sunny in the coming year. Fair warning. There has been great clarity surrounding the realization that by not sharing, or being transparent, in the past has left me with heavy and exhausting emotions that control the rest of my life, my happiness, and my purpose. My planner is ready, my heart open. Cheers to 2022!