It shouldn't come as news to anyone that 2012 was a year of very high highs, and very low lows. It is a year, that, for the most part, I want to put behind me as quickly as possible. I don't want to think about a lot of the things that happened this year, but a very big part of me feels like one last little look won't hurt me too much...and that I need to put it all into perspective in some way.
This post...as I begin writing, is one that I am nervous about. Part of that anxiety is due to the fact that I don't feel entirely comfortable writing here any longer. A lot of that has to do with my own absence. I'm going to explain that in a bit. However, another part is that my life already feels very exposed. I never thought I would have an audience...and I don't know if I like it. I understand that having an audience is the very nature of blogging, but I'm not sure if I'm entirely comfortable with being personal any more on the blog. My life has changed, and with that, my comfort level of putting it out there.
However, I have not said anything on here that I wouldn't say in person, so I am not embarrassed. Just wary of my online identity and who may be reading. In many ways, landing a full-time teaching job brought me happiness and freedom, but it has also made me unsure of myself outside the classroom. While I think I exude a kind of confidence when I am teaching, I am nervous outside my classroom doors. I am wary of those around me and their purpose. And their impressions of me as a very young, new teacher. I am definitely introverted in that environment, and that has started to influence the other aspects of my life.
In any case, not everything about my recent absence from the online world has to do with those feelings. A very large part of it has to do with my health and the indecision on whether it was wise to share what was going on in with a broader audience. However, in the last few weeks I have shared the news with people who should know it-my family, a couple close friends, my boss, and a few close teacher friends. I wasn't sure if I would ever share it here, mostly because it didn't feel right, but I feel like I need to-that I need to get it out and explain why I haven't been here. And I don't think I necessairily owe an explanation to you...but perhaps to myself.
When school began in August, I was not feeling good. I actually had to go home on the second day of school because I was so sick. This came on top of some weird things that were happening over the summer. I was getting weird body aches (more than I was used to with my arthritis), as well as sores in my throat and mouth. As school progressed, I struggled with breathing and had to rush to urgent care one evening since my oxygen levels were going low. I've been relying on an inhaler ever since to help me through trouble spots. My hair started falling out in clumps, my joints were seizing up-making writing and typing painful, bumps were forming in my eyelids, and I would break out in rashes at random times and in random moments. It was difficult. I figured a lot of it had to do with stress from a new job, but my doctor thought otherwise.
After some other crazy symptoms, my doctor began running tests. After bloodwork, visiting a specialist, and looking for answers, my doctors diagnosed me with Systemic Lupus. Now that I have an answer to all the weird health issues going on, I feel at peace. I can start getting my life under control once more and return to doing the things that once made me happy-like blogging.
I tell you all of this so you can know why I am happy to put 2012 behind me, and to give you a little insight into why I disappeared from the online world. I'm hoping, as the doctors and I begin trying new drugs to keep my symptoms under control, that I can return to blogging like I once did. I'm also hoping I can return to a semi-normal lifestyle-one without inhalers, weeknight trips to the ER for breathing treatments, and one with a good sense of hope and relief.
I have big dreams for 2013, and while many of them are focused on teaching, writing, and reading, my biggest goals are for my health. I want to feel good, and I am going to do whatever I need to so that I do.
I'm also hoping I can reconnect with many of you. My absence has left me with a big whole in my heart. I miss the relationships I have made through blogging, and without that almost daily communication with many of you...I feel lonely.
So, here's to hoping 2013 is much better than 2012, and that we all get what we wish for.
Allie, I'm very sorry to hear you've been going through such a rough spot. I am glad to know that you can lead a more normal life now that you know the cause behind all the symptoms. If you ever need to talk or rant, my inbox is always open.ReplyDelete
I wish you all the best with your all goals for 2013 (including those in the classroom. Being the youngest teacher in the school is indeed intimidating). Knowing, well, not you exactly, but the bits and pieces of your personality that I've gathered in the couple of years I've followed your blog, I have no doubts that you're capable of achieving anything you want.
"here's to hoping 2013 is much better than 2012, and that we all get what we wish for."ReplyDelete
You got it. I wish you better health, continued success teaching and with everything you love in life!
Thank you for opening up and sharing. It is a bit weird sometimes to share from our personal/private lives to a mostly faceless audience. But, in sharing, those of us who've had our own health issues can identify with you more easily, and hopefully bring you, and each other encouragement.ReplyDelete
Praying for you in 2013!
You are brave to share your personal life. I know what it means to have a name (diagnosis) put to what you are experiencing. Somehow just "knowing" eases the anxiety. Best wishes for a wonderful 2013 with good health and happiness.ReplyDelete
Lupus? Aw Allie that sounds like a rough thing to go through, thank goodness it's now got a name and you can focus on an approach to dealing with it. Here's to a 2013 with less unknowns and more good cheer.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you're starting to feel at peace with the diagnosis, and I really hope that they've been able to help you a little over the last bit since diagnosis, and definitely a lot more in 2013! :)ReplyDelete
Just wanted to stop lurking a bit to say I admire you and your strength, and to give you virtual hugs.ReplyDelete
I hope the New Year just runs smoothly for you (and all of us). :)ReplyDelete
I really am hoping that you find the right meds soon and that health becomes a back burner issue for you this year, Allie. This year HAS to be better than last year!ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear about your health issues, Allie, but it must be a relief to have a diagnosis. I hope things improve for you health-wise in 2013.ReplyDelete
I'm a teacher too and I'm very conscious of my online presence. I don't put anything on my blog/facebook etc that I wouldn't want a parent of a child I teach to see. I wish I could make my blog more personal but there are professional issues to consider too. Plus, our ICT agreement at work states that we aren't allowed to mention school or teaching anywhere, online.
Hi Allie, I wish you all the best in your teaching assignments, as well as courage and persistence in your health diagnosis.ReplyDelete
Happy new year, Allie. I'm glad you got things sorted out. I've missed you, too :)ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear you're not well. Thank goodness the problem has been diagnosed. I hope the doctors are able to create their magic for you and make you better. I just want you to know I'm out here in reader-land following along. You're on my favorite LitBlogger list on my website Artuccino and I subscribe to your blog via the rss feed. Stay strong!ReplyDelete
Sending all my love and a virtual pair of fuzzy slippers, Allie. You know if I was with you I'd give you a hug and say that you are strong, and kind, and generous and beautiful. I can't say that in person, but it's as true here as there. I wish I could make things better, but I know you're surrounded in love -- across the world, really. We are all here for you. xReplyDelete
Oh Allie, so sorry to hear about all that you've been going through :( Big hugs to you. I hope that with your doctor and treatment and life changes, things start looking better for you! I wish you the very best 2013!! In the short time I've gotten to know you I can tell you're an amazing person who certainly deserves an awesome year :)ReplyDelete
I kinda felt the same way this year. My dad was in a terrible motorcycle accident and there went my blogging. Certainly put my life and things into perspective.ReplyDelete
Hi Allie, You certainly have had a year and I'm so glad that you can move forward and put it behind you--as much as you can. If well wishes help, know that support flows to you. These things take time and you have to do whatever helps you.ReplyDelete
We all have to decide how much of ourselves we wish to share when it comes to blogging. Or maybe it's simply a question of which facet will shine forth. For me, I'm happy with whatever you wish to share--or not. I enjoy your writing and hope that it continues in fashion or another. Do take care of yourself and live life fully in 2013.
I'm sorry to hear about your health condition, Allie, but I'm proud of you at the same time for sharing it with us. Thank God it can be controlled by drugs, I'm hoping for the best for you.ReplyDelete
Last but not least, don't forget to keep reading, books are the best medicine to all illness! ;)
I'm so sorry to hear about the problems with your health. I know it's a relief to finally know what's wrong, but it's still hard to deal with an ongoing health condition. Sounds like you are determined to work toward getting healthy and that's a good thing.ReplyDelete
I too had a rough year. My marriage continued to deteriorate and my marriage of 19 years ended when my husband and I separated at the end of November. We probably will not reconcile which is good for me in a way (years of negativity taking its toll), but not a happy thing for our sons who are 10 and 11. Anyway, here's hoping that 2013 will be a new beginning for you and for me. I'll keep sending positive thoughts your way.
It has been a difficult year for you and I'm sorry to hear about your illness.ReplyDelete
I hope 2013 will be a happier and less stressful year.
I can't imagine starting a new job and dealing with the onset of lupus at the same time! You are certainly a strong woman! I have struggled with Crohn's Disease since 2006 and Fibromyalgia since 2010. In 2008, the Remicade infusions I was taking for Crohn's induced Lupus...luckily my drug induced form resolved when I discontinued the drug. I am also hypothyroid. I know no two person's experience with autoimmune diseases, etc are the same, but I am here if you need someone in a similar boat to talk to! Wishing you a healthier 2013!ReplyDelete
Allie, I'm so sorry to hear what a difficult time it's been for you lately. I hope that you and your doctors can get your health under control and that you can resume the activities that give you happiness. Here's to a better and healthier 2013!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you've shared this with us, Allie. I have been blessed to never have suffered from systemic lupus, but I have experienced my share of health difficulties. It's no joke! From persistent symptoms, to a lack of answers and feeling like you don't have control over your own life, it can be a true hardship. My heart goes out to you during this time, and I wish you the best of luck in getting the treatment you need.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year!
Allie, we all need to think about how much we share online and to find a way to be personal but not necessarily private. I think you walk that line perfectly and you don't write anything here to be ashamed of or that you should feel anxious about other reading. That said, I totally understand that you have to think even more about how much to share because of your teaching position. I really enjoy reading your blog, both the book parts but also the teaching parts because it really shines through how much you care about your students and how hard you work to get them to learn and to give them a love of reading. I too hope that your health will improve in 2013. Happy New Year.ReplyDelete
I feel like I sometimes over share out of a desire for understanding and helping others. Although nothing "bad" came out of it, I am still uncomfortable with sharing my mental health issues. I love your blog (bookish and non-bookish parts) and if it is any consolation, I feel that your blog is very well-balanced and wonderfully written. I hope 2013 is a year of peace and good health for you.ReplyDelete
I've had similar experiences negotiating the line between "public" and "private" on my blog, and I've also had to deal with readers who weren't reading because of any genuine interest, but for other reasons. (I'm a teacher as well.) But I decided that I enjoy my blog too much to let fear creep in (I decided this after it had already crept in, of course...). Right now, I simply read what I've written and think, "Am I comfortable with hearing this read aloud on the evening news? Seeing it on the front page of tomorrow's paper?" If not, it shouldn't be up on the web--anywhere. I'm glad you got answers to your health issues, and I hope 2013 brings you a better year and lots of happy blogging! --HarrietReplyDelete
I'm sorry that you haven't been feeling well, but now that you have a diagnosis it's a step in the right direction. :) I hope that you have a great doctor and get the treatment you need and start feeling better soon.ReplyDelete
Here's to 2013, Allie. May it be a far more happy and wonderful year for you. I think we all struggle with how personal to be on our blogs and how much to share with the world. It can be a daunting experience. I want to be myself on my blog, but there are a lot of things I don't want to share, you know? But this post is eloquent and true to you and that is what is most important. I think you are brave for sharing your story. Maybe some day it will help someone else who is going through something similar?ReplyDelete