Saturday brings us into Libra season. Birthday season. I’ll soon be celebrating my 33rd trip around the sun.

But that is me getting ahead of myself.

We’re still deep in Virgo territory here. And Virgo is in my fifth house of children and creativity. Somehow every September I find myself immersed in a creative activity. Usually writing of some sort is involved.

This September I wrote a book. I know, no big deal, right? I didn’t actually write anything for it. I just spent a few days mining old writings and crafting a few storylines and copying and pasting the whole thing back together. Then I formatted and edited and…I have a real book. And a date with the courage to do something about that.

It feels so purposeful, engaging one’s creative energy. I’m not good with a regular practice of it and need to be reminded of this from time to time. If only I was so diligent about my writing as I was my yoga practice. What could I have accomplished if that were the truth?

The invigorating thing about coming up on a birthday is that it’s like coming up on a new year. A chance to do things differently. So maybe 34-year-old me writes more regularly. That would be a rad thing for her to do.

Thirty-three year old me was practically dormant on the writing front. I got the quietest I’ve been in years. I may have suffered some because of that. I know I lost parts of myself, moments I can never get back. Because I failed to capture them. I can’t fully embody sometimes without the words that go alongside.

Some years I leave snippets for myself here and there, but this year I didn’t.

What was I so busy doing?

Supporting a family, first and foremost.

Propping myself up (and all that that entails), secondarily.

And beyond that? I’m not sure I have room for much more. Sporadic friendships. Fleeting hobbies. Waning interest. Brief acknowledgement of voids to be filled. HGTV.

At thirty-three I sought stability. And I worked toward that, tirelessly. It meant a lot of staying home. A lot of time spent cleaning my own side of the street. It meant connecting with the people who truly mattered and letting the rest fall where they would. It wasn’t boring or risk-free, but it was slow and steady, thoughtful and deliberate, careful even.

Careful. Quiet.

Two words I would never pick to describe me. And yet they aren’t inaccurate. Especially this last year.

Maybe going so far underground/within is a result of a particularly tumultuous previous year (one word: rehab; two words: talking publicly). If that is so, if change can be so sudden and yet somehow temperamental, then I do wonder what the next year might hold for me. Perhaps a whole new demeanor?

Thirty-three was work. I worked to secure funding so I could keep my job. I worked in couples counseling to save my marriage. I worked in my personalized, pulled-together, treatment program to keep saving my life. I celebrated six months without drinking…twice.

This year I so happily deepened relationships at work, achieved a sense of stability at home, and willed myself into a sense of hope for myself and the future. In fact, my 2018 Word of the Year was HOPE. Because there was a point in this year when I needed it. I was low and things were dark and instability seemed to be winning. I couldn’t change much, so I focused on my attitude. And so very much followed.

In some ways I haven’t been in a better place in years. I’m mostly sober and generally stable. My family is not in immediate crisis. We can pay most of our bills.

And yet I continue to struggle, to butt up against potential crisis, with one issue: eating. I haven’t eaten much of substance during the day since May. That’s almost five months of one hell of a fight with disordered eating. I know why this is happening to me. I started a stimulant medication for my ADHD in April. And I’ve been begging my prescriber to raise the dose ever since, despite the fact that I’m not adequately eating. My bad.

If it helps, I’ve recently begun trying awful hard to overcome my lack of appetite and force food down my throat at various intervals throughout the day. As you people do.

This comes only after significant threat from my doctor regarding a higher level of care (i.e. an outpatient-type eating disorder setting) which I’m not in the least open to. I will enter this next year kicking and fighting for my freedom (also: wealth). So I’m #trying.

I’m relieved for this year to come to a close and eager to start a new, astrologically-christened, chapter. Maybe I will write more. Maybe I will send out my query letter. Maybe I will get a new job. Maybe many things will turn out to be okay and the ones that don’t I will eventually learn to live with. And may that word there “eventually” hold a process on holding on and letting go and mindful and fulfilling as it could be long, drawn-out and downright painful.

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