“What’s your resolution?”
This time of year, redefinition is almost a buzzword. Resolutions and goals are a hailstorm assault on social media. As the calendars mark another complete orbit around the sun, the timing seems perfect to redefine yourself, to create a better you.
That’s never been a problem for me, at least in theory. I’m not claiming to have a pristine record when it comes to following new exercise regimens, diets, or any of the other “resolutions” people sincerely plan at this time of year. No, I’m made of weaker stuff: My plans to limit my sugar intake crumble when someone brings brownies into the office, and I try to work out six days a week — unless it’s raining or I’m feeling particularly lazy.
The idea behind New Year’s resolutions has always been attractive to me. It’s easy for me to want to change — to alter my eating habits, spend my free time differently, etc. — when I don’t think very highly of myself in the first place.
I don’t know if my low self-esteem is entirely due to Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) and its effects on my movements which are becoming more awkward, but it has exacerbated my feelings of worthlessness.
I used to see FA only as a weakness, a source of shame. When my first symptoms began to manifest, I wanted to hide it away and live in denial. I was unspeakably embarrassed by the disease and ashamed of who I was.
But I’m starting to see how wrong I was about both my ideas regarding FA and New Year’s resolutions.
Some people view FA as a gift and are even thankful they have it, citing things like the awesome community they’ve found and the patience that the disorder teaches them. I question whether these people should be trusted for life advice.