For me, 2018 was The Year Everything Changed.
As eras don't follow the calendar precisely (did the 2000s as a cultural era begin before 9/12/2001?), my 2018 began on 11/6/2017. If you recall the 2017 thread, that was the day I had my nervous breakdown. Which led to 2 days in the hospital, 6 days in the psych ward, and 2 weeks of partial hospitalization. Also joining 2 support groups.
Early in the year, Hubs bonded with a young man, Leo, in a surrogate father-son relationship. Leo moved in with us and, after much drama, moved out. I avoided most of the drama by being out of the room most of the time.
Through all of this, I was experiencing numbness in my feet that made walking more difficult. The cause was a ruptured disc, which meant back surgery at the end of April. Still a lot of numbness, still using a cane, occasional fall (by literally tripping over my own feet).
As a byproduct of the back surgery, I now have a beard. I couldn't shave while I was in the hospital. And people liked the new look, so I kept it.
And now the biggest change. Through all the mental health work, I realized how much verbal abuse I had been taking in my marriage. As the year went on, Hubs kept getting worse. So in late August, I left him and took the cats. After a few days in a hotel and a temporary stay in a furnished apartment, I moved into a longer-term apartment a couple of weeks ago. (If you're familiar with DC/Northern Virginia, it's in the Tysons Corner area.)
The apartment is a work in progress. The kitchen and bathrooms are just about in complete. The rest is still pretty empty, although I do have a bed. I've also bought a TV and some furniture that should be delivered soon. I plan to search the after-Christmas sales for a desk and chair for a home office. And I have another cat tree to assemble. Once that's done, and the rest of the boxes are removed, the apartment will be livable. Not where I want it eventually, but where I can live comfortably.
The cats are adjusting reasonably well. Coco has been undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer for more than a year, and the tumor isn't growing. (It isn't shrinking, either.) His 13th birthday was on Thanksgiving, and he's going strong even if he is starting to look like an Old Man Cat.
Hubs wants to reconcile. I've told my therapist and my attorney that I'd need to be comfortable that the abuse won't happen again before I'd even consider it.
Finally, I became eligible to retire in September. I'm still working for now for several reasons. It builds up my pension and retirement savings. If I retire while still married, I have to take a cut in my pension for a surviving spouse benefit after I die. On the mental health front, with all the changes going on, continuing to work maintains an area of stability in my life. (Some of my co-workers are confused at the last point -- the Powers That Be here are looking at reorganizing the Department early next year. But it's stable in the sense that I get up, go to the same place, do much the same thing -- and I doubt that any reorganization will change that.)