the rendering of this blog has been a long-time coming. to hit the ‘publish’ button will take courage, admittance and a few ‘just do its’ inside my brain. but i think i was put on this earth to share. to shout (or perhaps type) my feelings loud and proud and without hesitation for the world (or a few dozen readers) to hear…
i remember the day, one year ago this month when things changed for me.
it was new year’s day and it was the most gorgeous day. sunny and warm; truly spring-like. justin and i took the kids to a nearby reservoir for a walk and some sledding on a nearby hill.
i remember what we were wearing that day. the tracks h’s sorel-clad feet made in the quickly turning to slush snow. i remember chasing jackson, his shrieks and shrills echoing across the still water.
i was happy.
and in my mind that day, the start of the month of january signaled many things. it signaled the impending change to our daily schedules with justin’s work season kicking into gear. it signaled a tightness in my throat, an extra few beats to my heart, a shortness of my breath.
in general, i felt a bit lost those days. a job which had no future in sight and provided no social or community center. a dislike and bitterness for the mundane and uninspiring area we lived. a lull in the rapid-fire that was life with two babies back to back, which in it’s wake left me feeling alone, unsure and totally detached from most things in my life.
those first few months of the the spring passed as all months seem to. but i wasn’t really living them. in fact, i was struggling to get through most days. not a lot of people knew. in fact, no one knew.
i had joined a moms club and was just starting to get to know some of the women but the relationships were new and surface. i went back to my religious roots and found an awesome unitarian universalist church with great potential for connectedness and community but it was a struggle to get there. i had a handful of great friends who i saw often; who helped to include us when justin was traveling but i often didn’t know how to ask for help. or admit how badly i was feeling. i was scared to be a mess. to admit failure.
those things are so very, very hard.
life went on. i felt like a figure merely along for the ride.
my life-long battle with migraines became chronic. and my anxiety levels around having one went through the roof. and then the anxiety about having migraines started causing them.
which on a side-note, i discovered on my own after reading several articles and blogs and research findings around people with chronic migraine…and the alarmingly high percentage (like 70%) who are also depressed and have anxiety issues.
i left my job in may of last year. which felt liberating and totally right-on. but it didn’t ‘fix’ much. it lessened the load, so to say, but it meant that i was home all the time without much distraction and little help. most of those days i spent in new hampshire with family; trying desperately to avoid the loneliness and angst that came with being at home.
in the early fall my mom called. and among a few other things, she shared with me her dream. i wish i remembered the exact words she used but essentially the visual representation her dream painted was me, her daughter, and all the amazing pieces of my life right there within my reach. a wonderful and supportive husband, two healthy and amazing children, a community although not perfect, surely not all bad. but a woman broken and disconnected from herself.
the message was clear. to fix the other pieces of my life, i had to look within.
i had to fix me.
very slowly from that day on i began this journey; to fix myself so i could fully enjoy my life. take deep breaths. laugh. be present in ways beyond simply caring for my children. i owed it to many, but mostly myself.
the past few months i have put in some hard work. but some good work.
i began taking daily preventive medication to battle my migraines. i started seeing a therapist to help with the anxiety and to use as a neutral, professional sounding board. i’ve become very close with several of the women in my mom’s club and my weeks are packed with playdates, dinner dates, field trips and socializing.
my migraines have lessened. and so has the anxiety around them.
lately, without warning, everything seems…brighter. like a fireball of a trillion sparklers.
and truly, this is only the beginning of this part of this journey. the struggles will continue as they do for all of us in our own ways.
this, i’ve come to know is part of it.
and if you have the wherewithal, the understanding and the desire to change your life, you can. but it takes help. and a shit ton of it.
today the phrase, it takes a village to raise a child has been running through my head.
and it dawned on me. holy shit, it takes a village to raise a momma, too.
remember that net? well, this gal fell. and was caught.
i needed to tell this story because there was no other option. when i go back to the ‘me’ page on this blog it says it all…
i undedrstand that life is not always blissful – it is a challenge and often really damn hard. this, i have come to believe, is also part of the journey.
writing helps me ground all the thoughts flying around my brain. it makes me happy and offers stress relief. my hope is that it will resonate with you on some level, make you smile or laugh. if it offers you solace after a trying day with your babe or a insecure day with yourself, i’m happy. and at the very least i hope this site will help you see that you’re not alone, that someone even more ‘out there’ is well, out there. enjoy, and thanks for reading.
i write about my life. and the last several months i haven’t been, well, ready to write about some of the really hard things that were going on.
today i am. although i am not fully ‘fixed’ and i’m fairly convinced you nor i will ever be.
but i am aware and i am willing to work and about myself i know this: i will not settle for anything less than really fucking happy.
to all of you on this journey with me, thank you. i love you, you are my world.
and to all of you reading and nodding your head in some sort of agreement: life is hard. look for the red-ish lining. and ask for help. you deserve to live with the best possible version of yourself.