The last month has been chock full of milestones: 13 years since my official diagnosis with Lupus, 5 years since my Lupus Cerebritis flare-up, and just last week, the 5th birthday of Face Forward’s strange and unexpected emergence into the blogosphere. To celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite posts from each of the last five years:
- 2009 – 2010: Where There is Tea, There is Hope and Goodbye Evil P – Yes, I’ve broken the rules already, but considering the first year of this blog has the most posts, I thought it merited two picks instead of one. My earliest posts are arguably the most intriguing in light of how my brain inflammation affected the content, but neither of my choices were written during the height of my manic episodes. “Where There is Tea…” is probably my favourite post of all-time. I fell in love with neuroscience in this post, a strong fascination that has stayed with me to this day. It is a reflection on tea, mindfulness, positive psychology, and brain power, but more importantly, it the first time I express a sense of hope and empowerment when it comes to my health. “Goodbye Evil P” marked the beginning of the end of taking Prednisone, something my long-time readers will know as a huge turning point in my physical and emotional recovery.
- 2010 – 2011: Face-Off: A New Name for a New Game – As my brain and body healed, the clarity of mind spurred a huge transition in the look and direction of the blog from an inward, hyper-personal focus, to one of reflection, but with more of an outward focus. I had finally escaped the confines of my mind and was determined to re-enter the world and my life. The dark and brooding theme of “Lupus Face: One in a Sea of a Thousand” was stripped away and the lighter, horizon-focused Face Forward was born.
- 2011 – 2012: E’s Wellness Emergency Kit – The third year, I was immersed in re-engaging with movement through running and my Dance Diaries: Awkward Adventures in an UnCooperative Body series, teaching myself to heal my body with food through my Cooking for the Wolf posts, and starting to share my “Lupus taming” tips and tricks. This post lists the small comforts that have helped me through the Lupie cycles of fatigue and pain.
- 2012 – 2013: The Chance Encounter – During the fourth year, I was focused on setting health goals and the role that stepping outside of your comfort zone and creating new experiences for yourself (ie. varying degrees of epic adventure) can have on overall wellness. In this post, a stranger in a hot spring teaches me lessons in resilience and reveals the surprising conclusions one can only discover when traveling alone.
- 2013 – 2014: Redefining the Mission to Remission – The fifth year, I was very reflective and conscious of how the last few years have changed the trajectory of my life and the way I perceive my disease and my future. This post examines the evolution of my “mission to remission” and the merits of quiet victory.
I hope you enjoy visiting my favourite ghosts of Face Forward past. Comment below to share your favourite post with me, as well as your suggestions on what you would like to see in Year 6. I have some big plans in the works, including an exciting monthly feature by a guest blogger who will provide the unique insights of a medical professional with a personal connection to Lupus. I plan on strengthening my commitment to providing relevant, useful info combined with descriptive storytelling, improve the ease of navigation on the site, and begin to bring in other perspectives and tips on wellness that may not be Lupus specific, but still apply to our goal of sustained health. I also want Year 6 to bring the caregiver’s voice to the forefront, because really, where would any of us be without them? And lastly, be sure to check out my new “Blog Philosophy” page on the top bar menu to read about what I hope to accomplish in the Face Forward future.
So, happy belated fifth birthday, dear blog! You’ve remained one of my only constants in a time of great change and uncertainty. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship, you and I, but I think we’re at a point where we can say that we’re in it for the long haul. Year 6, here we come!