Taking time to reflect on the last year

‘It’s only by stopping and reflecting that I realize how far I’ve come.’

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

In another few days summer 2020 will be a memory.

Even despite the turmoil in the world, this summer has gone by quickly. Incredibly quickly.

The end of summer and the beginning of fall are always a tough time of year for me. Thanks to my previous career as an Emergency Medical Technician, the fall is full of ghosts. Since I left the ambulance in 2013, I have continued to struggle at this time of year.

Heading into the end of summer, 2020, things are different though.

My mind is nowhere near as dark as it’s been in years past. I find myself succeeding despite the illness’s attempt to derail me.

Instead of worrying about what is to come, I’ve been finding myself reflecting on the changes that have happened over the last year, and instead of being hyper-vigilant, worrying about the darkness closing in again, I’ve reflected on the successes I’ve had of which there have been a few.

In spite of the fall being generally unkind to my mental health, I find myself looking at the fact that September marks my first full year back in school.

Even with a hospital admission last year creating an inauspicious start to my renewed school career, I overcame the challenges.

I passed my first course with flying colours. I’m in good stead to pass my second course, writing the final exam this week, and I start anew with a new course on Sept. 1st.

The last year has proven to me that I can succeed, despite the mental health struggles that plague me; in turn, these successes have helped reduce the burden of the illness.

The successes have helped grow my confidence, and I find myself in a much better position than I was in, compared to even a year ago.

The beginning of September also marks a full year since my last hospital admission, a milestone I never thought I would see.

Compared to three years ago, I’m doing even better.

Three years ago, I started writing, and since that time my mental health has improved in a dramatic fashion, leading me down different paths that I never thought I would see when I was at my most ill.

Reflecting on what has passed is helping me navigate towards my future, and it’s a journey that I am honoured to share.

This summer has gone by fast. The last year has gone by fast. It’s only by stopping and reflecting that I realize how far I’ve come.

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