The  thought of a new year is exciting, promising and full of hope.

Although I’m very excited to kiss away 2017, overall it was a good year.  This last few years of my life haven’t always been easy & I am fully grateful that nothing tragic has happened this year.  Tragic meaning the death of a loved one or diagnosis of a fatal illness.

The year 2014 has opened my eyes to what constitutes true hardships in life.  Prior to that year I didn’t know real suffering.  The only family member I had lost was my grandpa, who lived a great life well into his 80’s.

2014 in a nutshell:

In the springtime I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  This made my future incredibly unsure and I was afraid that I would end up disabled at a young age.  Right before the 4th of July my mom suddenly passed away.  In the fall my ailing grandma passed away.  Around this time, we had moved and our cat who is an indoor/outdoor cat disappeared.  In early December, my husband’s 22 year old cousin committed suicide.  And finally, on December 31st, on the final day of 2014, my grandfather, who had been fighting cancer for three years, passed peacefully.

Since that awfully horrible year, I am far more grateful for life and my family’s health.   I no longer worry how my RA will affect my future, and am thankful that my body can fully function today.

DefeatingDespair

In many ways 2017 has been a great year.  While my desire to stop drinking began in 2016, it wasn’t until 2017 that I learned how to stay sober.  I proudly went to my first AA meeting, while the thought of even going to a meeting in 2016 brought me to tears.  I also had my first sober vacation, birthday and many other sober firsts.

I wasn’t perfect and am still learning, but I have a lot of hope that 2018 will be even better.

Hope and gratitude— without them we are in despair and with them we can conquer even the most challenging obstacles.

(Read about 2014’s happy ending below)

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