This blog has always been about transparency. About being a place where I can be real with the world and other ladies and moms can come and know that they are not alone. So, in my spirit of keeping it real I’m gonna tell ya, this year has SUCKED! And I know it’s not just me because I see the suffering in my friends and family on social media. As I close out this hellish year I can honestly say that I’ve been able to stop, take a deep breath, and see the baby steps I’ve taken.
If you happen to have seen me outside of the land of cyberspace, it’s likely I did not look like this, though let me tell you I tried really hard to paint on my makeup and a smile and nod and tell everyone I’m fine.
Instead, I probably looked more like my spirit animal the raccoon. Dark circles under my eyes, burning the midnight oil working on my MSW, and surviving off of coffee. Lots of coffee. I thought I was just putting in too many hours at night and my RA was flaring causing me to be a slug. Like, seriously I was too tired to function many afternoons when the coffee wore off. I finally decided to go to the doctor after getting one of those handy dandy activity trackers with the heart rate monitor and mine kept consistently showing a whopping heart rate of 45 (hey that was with caffeine folks). It turns out I not only have significant iron deficiency anemia but my hypothyroidism was back (no wonder I can’t get these prednisone pounds off). I struggled to balance my daily life while feeling like I was carrying around a ton of bricks.
Then there was the death of my grandmother. This beautiful soul who molded who I was in so many ways. She never had a bad word to say about anyone. She loved Jesus and her family. And despite having advanced Dementia she never lost her beautiful smile and sense of humor. Her absence left a hole no one could fill. I find comfort in knowing she’s in Heaven with Jesus and my Grandpa probably baking up a storm.
I was however, extremely blessed to be able to change jobs. I took a step of faith at the beginning of the year and made a transition into community based mental health. I’ll tell you it was more of a blessing than I could have ever known. Besides feeling about 20 years younger not having to deal with the stressors I was dealing with, I am fortunate enough to work with an amazingly caring crew of people and have the flexibility to work from home when it’s needed. Only God knew what he was going to ask me to walk through when I changed jobs. Doing this allowed me to spend precious time at the nursing home with my grandma, working from my laptop in the afternoons. I was able to hold her hand and be there for her final moments. That is something I will be eternally grateful for. I can also say, with my breath held, that I might be in remission with my RA for the first time in forever. I truly believe it’s because I have the flexibility to balance work and life better and take breaks when I need it.
And finally, there’s this crazy world of my family. My wild and crazy crew at home. We’ve been able to do a lot of healing with our daughter and the littles. But those of with kids from hard places know that when you take one step forward it’s often with two steps back. There were days I didn’t think we could bare one more melt down. I could not hear “I hate you” or “I wish you would die” one more time without my heart breaking in two and simultaneously going into a rage of my own. I spent many nights without sleep just praying for a miracle. Praying this madness would stop. I’d hold my breath and walk on egg shells hoping I didn’t say the wrong thing to set her off. I’m happy to report we’ve had a first. This is the first year our daughter hasn’t had to be hospitalized following the holidays. It was a relatively peaceful Thanksgiving and Christmas. I could see her smile more. I could see her relaxed with a sense of belonging. A feeling she wasn’t going to be abandoned. She knew she was loved. I know this doesn’t mean everything is peachy, but I’m so thankful for that little nugget of peace.
So goodbye negativity. Goodbye pain, and suffering, and grief. Welcome 2017 with your breath of fresh air. I’m ready for continued healing in this body and spirit of mine. I’m ready to breathe. Eric and I have a vacation to England and Ireland planned for the summer along with some staycations with the kids. I’m ready to just live. What about you? What are you saying goodbye to in 2016? What are you looking forward to in the New Year?