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2016 Winter Solstice Sunset. Photography by Michelle and Ricky Schill

I cannot say that I remember 2015 all that much. I do know I worked a great deal on my Spiritual growth. I read and studied, watched videos, meditated, practiced yoga, practiced automatic writing, Spirit communication, Astral projection, etc.

In the fall my health began to worsen and I had to stop practicing yoga. This made it a bit more difficult to work my other Spiritual practices also, but I did the best I could. The pain and fatigue that comes with ME/CFS makes doing the simplest task almost impossible.

Another event which occurred in the fall, involved my youngest son, Christian, and the youth group he had been attending at his Bryce’s church. To make a long story short, the problem was that Christian would not cram himself into the very cramped box the youth group had designed for its young people. Both Bryce and I supported our son in this. I gave the youth pastor a piece of mind as any good Sicilian mother would do. This effected our family for several months because Bryce and Christian both grew up with most of the members of this congregation and they felt betrayed. For me, it was another betrayal by the church towards another one of my children. Along with my grief, this added another reason for me to not want to celebrate the holidays. Bryce also did not feel like celebrating. We both sat in our separate homes while Christian went to my sister’s house to celebrate with my family. The upside was that my brother came to my home for a visit on Christmas Day and we had lovely and quiet holiday together.

Around March of 2016 both Bryce and I began to feel more like ourselves. We resumed our “normal” relationship and began planning Christian’s tour with Up With People in the summer. I had fun planning my son’s surprise going away party which was scheduled for the middle of July. We then took him to the airport on July 21. He has been having the most wonderful time. He has been to different parts of the United States, Mexico, Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The tour ended December 5 and he and a friend are currently traveling Europe on their own. Christian is scheduled to return home within the first couple days of the New Year and I am a planning a late holiday celebration for the three of us.

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My first decorating in three years. Photography by Michelle and Ricky Schill

As the year progressed so did my psychic abilities and the depth of meditative state I could reach. This has served to help with my illness, depression and grief. John and I began a blog in May which we chose to shut down after six months. After a month hiatus we began this blog which we are attempting to keep more organized and on point.

After my remission ended in October of 2015, I could not seem to catch a break with my health. Any remissions I had were extremely short and minor. Although my mental health has much improved over this past year, my physical health seemed to decline. I went to see my doctor and out of desperation we thought we should try a very low dose of antidepressant. My doctor was very leery about anything strong because of my sensitivity to side effects from medication.

After five weeks of taking this medication I became suicidal like I had been six years earlier. This was much worse than the first holidays after John crossed over. I immediately called my doctor and she told me to stop the medication this moment. It took a couple of weeks for the medication to leave my system and it was a very difficult wait. I never could have gotten through it without Bryce’s support.

I remember that I felt like an idiot for trying antidepressants again after what had happened years ago. My friend, Susan, reminded me that both me and my doctor were desperate because nothing else seemed to be working to improve my health.

My mental state returned to normal but my physical health did not. I spent much of this year housebound and/or bed bound. Recently, I heard that a friend of mine with the same illness (she was in a wheelchair at one point), was redecorating her house, traveling, hiking, etc. I had been in bed for almost two weeks at that point and begged to know her secret. She sent me a lengthy e-mail describing what she does to stay healthy, most of which I already do. The one item she stressed was CoQ10. She said that this made all the difference in the world for her. I immediately began the CoQ10 and within a month began to feel a difference. I have also learned to be in tune with my body and listen to what it is telling me. This is something I never did before and would push myself well beyond my limits. Now at the slightest sign, I stop what I am doing and rest. I still have to rest frequently and usually have 2-4 days per week when I cannot do much; however, this is a huge improvement and I am grateful for it.

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My handmade lace decorated tree. Photography by Michelle and Ricky Schill

She also recommended an herbal supplement for depression which I began taking two months ago. The name is very difficult but in the near future I will be doing a blog post on natural treatments for depression in which I will look up the name. I had no intention of even acknowledging the holidays this year; however, this is the first December that I can remember being in a good mood as December and August have always been my most difficult months of the year. Christian even noted that I am very much in the Christmas spirit this year. I have not decorated my home for the holidays since 2013, the last holidays that John was in the Physical Realm, and I thought I never would again. This year, I have decorated.

The other development this year is that my relationship with Bryce seems to be growing closer. I think he is now seeing the real me who he got a glimpse of when we met 21 years ago. I have no idea where our relationship is going nor will I worry or care. I am enjoying it right now, right here, in this very moment. Whatever makes him happy makes me happy. – Michelle

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