Hey everyone, so like every year, I’ll be doing an update thinking back about 2021 and how to go forward in 2022. Given what has happened this year, this update will obviously be focused a lot on my health, so you can consider it like a health update where I go in depth about what exactly happened to me health-wise this year. It’s a long update, but it would mean a lot to me if you could read it. Thank you!
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Hey everyone. I started off 2021 with the mentality that this would be an important year for me. A year where I would turn things around and improve my life for the better. Ever since 2019, my general health issues have been improving considerably, but due to a lot of work and other personal issues, I wasn’t able to achieve much of what I wanted in 2020, so I wanted 2021 to serve as a cornerstone year where my life would start seriously changing. And for the first few months, that definitely felt the case. For the first time in years I finally got to travel around a little, I was able to do a lot of exciting things, and I had the chance to keep growing my content on the Library of Ohara.
However, everything went for the worse once I started work on finishing and editing the True History. I put myself through a ridiculous amount of crunch for an extensive period of time, to the point that I became severely overworked by the end of it. I know it’s a mistake, it’s one I’ve already made several times, but for the sake of achieving my dream and my vision of it, I thought it would be fine to keep pushing myself. But unfortunately, that’s exactly when my health couldn’t take it anymore. I ended up developing irritable intestine syndrome, though to a far more serious degree than it commonly happens. To explain it in a simple way, it’s a syndrome where the nervous system breaks and your pain receptors go out of control. Any slight sensation in the affected area will cause searing pain and the body will believe you are in mortal danger. Not only does this bring an unbearable degree of physical suffering, but it also triggers the mental system of fight or flight, essentially making you feel as if you were in a near death situation everytime it happens. Even if you are consciously aware your life isn’t at risk, you still feel that instinctual feeling that you are going to die, and this kept happening several times every single day. While the pain was horrible enough on its own, the sheer level of trauma that kept with this constant sensation like I was dying and suffocating every other hour was something I can’t put into words.
This also meant that my psychological state suffered as a result. While the intense part of this problem started decreasing after two months, my mind suffered for long after that. I felt very fragile mentally, I fell into deep depression for some time, and I even tried to rely on medication, even if it didn’t ultimately work out. I’ve dealt with mental health issues before, but hardly ever to this degree. I haven’t gone into much detail about it publicly because I didn’t want to worry others, but there was legitimately a period of time where it felt like surviving until the end of the day felt like a serious challenge.
With all of that said however, I am relieved to say that right now things are very different. Thanks to therapy and medicine, finally, after months of pain, the syndrome is beginning to slowly go away. It’s a very long process and it’s definitely far from fully recovered, but the pain has substantially diminished, and more than anything, my psychological state has finally been recovering. The good thing about my mental state is that it’s always been flexible enough to recover if given time, so over the past couple months it’s almost felt like my perception of the world is finally slowly going back to normal. I’ve got still a bit of road ahead, but at least I can breathe a bit more easy now.
After everything I went through, I feel I could honestly say that 2021 was one of the hardest if not the hardest year of my life. It especially felt frustrating considering how much hope I had for it. After years of going through other health issues that after half a decade were finally improving and getting better, it was soul crushing to be stopped by yet another completely separate health issue. Not only that, I also feel mad at myself for the many mistakes I’ve committed this year and for not living up to the expectations of others because of it. I feel I should be mad and should lose all hope at the chance of attaining a normal future at this point, yet oddly, I feel like my hope has been reinvigorated like nothing before. It may seem a bit foolish to hope for this again after everything that happened, but I really hope that 2022 can serve as a new beginning to moving forward towards the future for me. You know, third time’s the chance. I feel frustrated about what I lost this year, but rather than stress over that, I’d much rather focus on looking forward to the future. More than anything, I feel so incredibly glad to have made it this far.
And a big part of what I owe that to is the incredible support I’ve received from you. When I opened up about these issues, so many people were not only supportive, but also incredibly patient and understanding. Of course, my content has been affected by this situation, and I haven’t been able to post much in over half a year, which really frustrates me given how much I enjoy covering One Piece. But at the same time, so many people have been perfectly willing to give me the needed space and time to recover, while still being willing to be there once I make it back. That means the world to me, so thank you so so so much for how supportive you’ve been.
Now comes the time to look at the future and how my content will be shaped in 2022. Over the past couple of years I’ve announced big plans and I’ve tackled enormous projects unlike anything before, such as my fan manga “Return to the Reverie” and the mega-theory “True History”. However, said projects have resulted in me overworking myself, so I feel it’s important to say that this year, my big project will be focusing on my health and my life. In a couple of days, on January 4th, my massive theory about the One Piece treasure that I’ve been working on for so many years will finally release on my Library of Ohara YouTube channel and site, so I hope you can take a look at this project I’ve devoted so much work towards. But once that is complete, I want to stop obsessing over such big ambitious projects and start seriously working on my health. Not just my current syndrome, but also working on my long-term health issues more so that I can really fully smooth them out. I hope to open up about them more in the future, I’m already rambling on long enough here, but they have left me bedridden for over half a decade, so finally overcoming them will be instrumental to properly achieving my dream of attaining a normal life. And for that, I think I need to put the dreams of big projects aside for this year to properly focus on my health and life. I hope you can understand that, but your support has already given me confidence that you likely will, so allow me to thank you once again in advance.
That said though, don’t worry, as I don’t plan to go anywhere! None of this means that my usual weekly content will be going away for this year, so I plan to be back with it soon. My health is vastly better than it was early this year, but it is still in recovery and it’ll still take me a while to properly fully exit this disease, but it’s all going to be a gradual change, so similarly I think I’ll gradually ease myself back into work little by little. I think what matters the most is that I take it easy and to be willing to stop if my health requires it, this year more than ever. So I hope I can be back to making weekly analysis and content very soon, but I will be doing it at my own pace making sure that I don’t force myself. While I won’t be doing any massive mega projects that will exhaust me this year, I look forward to covering the end of Wano, witnessing what may likely be the start of the final saga, and of course, watching and talking about film RED!! 2022 seems to be an amazing year for One Piece fans, so I hope it can be an amazing year for both the series, my life, and yours.
I hope dearly that not only was your 2021 better than mine, but that the next year ends up being an amazing one for me, but also an even more amazing one for you! I’m certain I’m far from the only person who is struggling with something in life, so I want you to know that I hope all the best for you too. 2021 may have been a rough year for me and likely many others as well, but I really want to believe the future holds hope, and that things will change for the better.
Let’s properly end my content this year with the release of the True History on Jan 4th and from then on, I hope to keep analyzing this beautiful series across 2022, while also caring about my health first and foremost! Thank you for everything!! I love you all!