Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hello from the other side.

Oh, hi.  What's that you say? It's been a year? The longest break I've ever taken from this blog. And I've thought about it, oh, so many times! I'd think to myself "I should blog" and then I couldn't bear to. A tweet, a picture to instagram, a slightly longer facebook post, but I hadn't the capacity to write it all. I finally can, so this is what happened.
The week we moved into out apartment. Right before I got really sick.
In March we moved into our lovely little 700sqft apartment. Our stuff from Seattle arrived. I unpacked most of our stuff. The 5 year anniversary of Jason's death come around. Then I had a nervous breakdown and didn't get out of bed or stop crying for a week. After that I was afraid to leave our apartment for another week, two weeks, three weeks. I saw a doctor and got my post partum depression diagnosis. It's such a deceiving title because PPD is so much more than depression. For me it also meant anxiety, paranoia, unexplained rage, and an inability to keep track of time in any form. My brain chemistry was off, I wasn't thinking right. I knew it but I couldn't fix it.
Miriam's first bike ride!
We did everything we knew to do. We found a good doctor and counselor. We hired a once a week babysitter so I could go to dr. appointments, run errands, and just try to get healthy. We decided to eat out as much as we needed to and order our groceries delivered. We only did the necessary. I stopped doing anything except making sure everyone safe, fed, and clothed. Slowly, things got better. Once I got back on my bike things got better faster.
On a trip to the Academy of science.
I started building my village again. We kept exploring the city. I became involved with the local babywearing group, an active member of a mom's group, and church too. I became vegan, both to cope with Miri's allergies and to move towards a simpler diet for me. I caught up on 5 years of dental work. It took months and months, but life got better bit by bit. With every change and every effort. With every week that went by there was improvement.
Light of my life.
Zeke turned 3 and is himself every single day. Gideon turned 5 and started school at an amazing public school here in the city which we all love. Miriam started walking at 8 months old. We got rid of our car and I bike 15-20 miles a day now. And it's wonderful. I struggle with anxiety still. On bad days I find some hills to climb to work it all out. Luckily, there's no shortage of hills here in SF.
On a bike ride to the zoo.
Now that life is manageable again, Silas and I are going out together once a week. We are currently on a mission to visit all the good restaurants and bookstores in the city. Each week we check one off the list. We really love city living and it's so wonderful to explore the city together.
Out and about.
Some pictures popped up from last year. And they brought tears to my eyes. The memories are still a bit raw. Last year was such a difficult year. A painful year. A terrible year. But it was a year of profound growth in our lives. I would not relive it if you paid me and I'm so glad it is over. But it definitely changed me for the better.
On a visit to one of our favorite places, the Japanese tea garden.
Having now experienced days were I could not function. Where I pretty much poured cereal on the floor in front of the tv and crawled back into bed. Where I took my kids to the park and dumped them in the sand while I tried to pay bills on my phone. Where all three of my kids were not only crying, but screaming in the grocery store. Where I put all my kids to bed and then sobbed into my pillow that motherhood isn't fun anymore. If I ever judged anyone for anything, I am sorry. I've probably done almost every thing I ever judged anyone for this year. And that's been good for me and my pride.
Heading out for a day in the city.
We're coasting now. Things are good. God is good. San Francisco is good. We're gonna be ok! Motherhood is fun again and I'm enjoying my kids like I used to before I got sick. Every day that ends and I'm not completely comatose or melting down is kind of a surprise to me now, and a gift. What a gift. To be well. This is the other side. And it's 100x better than I could have imagined when I was in the darkest place, when I forgot it was possible to not feel terrible all the time.
My three.
So that's what happened. That's why I dropped off the face of the planet. That's why you haven't heard from me. And I hope that never happens again. But if it does, I know it gets better. I hope you are well, friends, and if not, I hope you find the support you need. Peace.

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