Monday, September 18, 2017

It isn't all rainbows & sunshine.

I had a person close to me ask me a question, or maybe this person was making more of a statement about who they think I am. Regardless, it hurt my feelings and made me want to write about the realities of recovering from anxiety and depression, and why one should never judge a book by its cover. Especially when you don’t know what the chapters of that book entail.

 Seemingly out of nowhere, I was recently asked, “do you always have to be so perfect? Is everyday really all rainbows and sunshine? It just seems like that would be so exhausting.” The person who asked me this question and made this statement, is kind of a dick. I’m just going to put that out there, and so I’m used to random and sometimes hurtful things being said by them to me and to others. Still, it really hurt my feelings and then made me feel so upset that I even allowed it to hurt me or make me question who I am and how I come off to those around me.

It would appear that to this individual, I act like I am perfect and I come off as too positive and happy, too much of the time. Who knows, maybe they’re right – but you know what else I know to be true, they weren’t there when I was drowning in life and depressed for 2+ years, so they don’t understand why I am the way I am today. Do I highlight the good stuff, yeah. Are 95% of the pictures I share on social media of my family’s smiling faces, yes, they are. Do I make big deals out of holidays and even the smallest of special events – yes, guilty as charged. Does this mean that my life, my marriage or my family is perfect? No, of course it doesn’t. Does this mean that I’ve never known struggle or the overwhelming darkness of anxiety and depression? Hell no, it doesn’t. 

What this person doesn’t know is what I went through during my journey to get to where I am and who I am today, and how it broke me and then changed me for the better. They don’t know that along with having a broken spirit while trying to conceive, I lost what felt like half my head of hair due to a bad mix of anxiety and fertility drugs. They weren’t there when I was coloring my bald spots in with brown eyeshadow or crying in my car anytime a friend or family member mentioned my thinning hair. They weren’t there that Mother’s Day weekend when I went through the pain of losing the baby that was growing inside of me. They didn’t see me crying in the shower after not 1 but 4 of my cousins announced their unexpected pregnancies while I gained more and more weight harvesting eggs for my IVF retrieval. The IVF retrieval and FET that wasn’t meant to be. They don’t know how much anxiety robbed me of time with my family and friends for most of those 2+ years, because sometimes I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the house.

You all know about all of this, because I wrote about it and so many of you helped me through it. I can never thank you enough for that. I was open about it all. The sadness. The impact it had on my marriage. The mom guilt knowing that I wasn’t being the mama I wanted to be. It’s all there still, in black and white for anyone to read. There did come a point when I could no longer write. I had fallen apart and needed to step away. This was the period when I went nearly 5 months without blogging, because I just couldn’t.

Then things started to get better. The fight was over and I made the decision to put down my sword. I told Georgia that I was done and that I needed to work on me. I needed to heal and so she took on the role of expanding our family. This is something she never wanted to do and still, she did it for us. She did it because she knew that my heart would be forever broken if I knew I was the reason Gracie grew up as an only child. To say that this made me love my wife even more doesn’t begin to describe it. She saved me in every way and was there by my side when the fertility drugs completely left my system and my hair started to actually grow back! I began taking calls from my amazing friends again, who were still around and reaching out even though I had blown them off a hundred times before. I started leaving the house and began feeling pretty again. I stopped feeling sad every day and started noticing all the amazing things in my life and this is when everything truly began to change for me.

When you’re in the middle of a dark storm, you can’t see all the good in your life. There’s just too much sadness and everything feels like it can break you. It’s scary. On the other side of this, if you survive the storm and you find your way out of it, your blessings shine brighter than ever before and you become a changed person – if you choose to. The biggest changes I’ve seen in myself over this past year, are that my general outlook on things has changed, in a BIG way. I worry less about the little things. I’ve started feeling crafty again and I am back to making stuff. My sexual drive returned in a major way (hallelujah!) and I am back to being a social person who looks forward to being around other people. Most of all though, I celebrate life! I celebrate it in a big way! I do all the fun things I can and take as many pictures of my beautiful family as possible. I feel like I’m nicer than I used to be and I would imagine that this happiness shines through on social media, even if some days aren’t as happy as others.  

If this means that my life looks perfect, I’ll take it. I will gladly own it all because it took so much work and such a long time to get here. I feel blessed every day, even on the bad days. I am eternally grateful that there was a plan all along for my little family and that we’ve made it to where we are today.

So yes, I think Georgia, Gracie and Will are perfect, and yes, most days are rainbows and sunshine. There’s tough days, for sure. The kids can drain every bit of energy from us. My house is still a total mess, 75% of the time. G and I bicker like the best of them and I still have so much weight to lose – but we’re happy and healthy and that’s all this mama can ask for. If this means that I am projecting a life that looks perfect, well thank you so much! Thank you for such an amazing compliment, because I wouldn't trade this life, with these people, for anything in the world.


7 comments:

  1. Of course we all post pictures of the things we love. Our lives probably do look better on social media. But that doesn't give anyone the right to judge you and make you feel like garbage for posting the positive stuff. Your family and your life is beautiful. You are beautiful. Keep on posting and know that we appreciated how hard you struggled to have this life be what it is. You deserve it.

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    1. Maybe I'm just emotional these days (shocker)... but your comment made my eyes leak a bit. Thank you, Stacey. You're always so supportive and I appreciate you. :)

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    2. Aw. I wish I could send you a real hug. I really think you have an amazing family and I feel privileged to follow along for the ride. :)

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  2. You know that I was a witness to that dark storm and sighed in huge relief when I finally saw it starting to break. This person has no idea what "we" know about these very real struggles. One thing I have always marveled about this place and each of our spaces is that the community comes together to hold up their own.

    Of course everything is perfect on social media. The forum in its self is nothing but a giant filter. For posts, for photos, for interaction. I love Blogland for the realness. That said, every single time I see that sweet smiling boy pop up in my mewsfeed or IG, my first thought is all those tears finally paid off and big.

    You are a fantastic Mama. We get it. We get you. We see you.

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    1. You are absolutely right about the community we have created here. For all the times that I've drifted away from this blog, what always brings me back is my fellow blogging mamas. I always end up missing you guys too much! Thank you for the love, Amanda.

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  3. Tears!
    Sending so much love to you and I'm grateful for you being so open and honest. You deserve nothing but the best, the beautiful family and life you have and so much more!
    I also wanted to say that you have an incredible wife...for us, I know that Katie would never want to become pregnant. She would probably pay for a surrogate though...ha!
    Be proud of your family and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

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    1. Thanks so much, Nadine. Georgia is such a trooper and I'm so thankful for that. I would bet that if it ever came down to it, Katie would carry. Although, I'm sure you'll never have to worry about that. :)

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Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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