Peace. Peace is a feeling I have been unsuccessfully trying to achieve for the past two years. Contentment has evaded me; serenity out of reach.
For the past two years, depression has been swallowing me whole, and anxiety has been eating away at my brain. Though these are issues I have fought my whole life, this particularly long and grueling episode was brought on by our failed fertility treatments that ended early spring 2014. All of the pain resulted in me protecting myself by turning off the ability to feel and process emotions. Depression and anxiety became the only feelings I could appropriately identify.
In order to begin taking the necessary steps toward living a healthier life, I began seeing a therapist. Therapy isn’t something that most people will talk openly about, or talk loudly about at the grocery store (which is a fairly uncomfortable). But I think the vast majority of us would benefit from seeking at least short-term therapy.
Therapy isn’t easy, but it’s also not laying on some strange man’s couch in a dimly lit office. I’ve found it incredibly uncomfortable, yet emotionally beneficial. Unearthing the decaying feelings that have been long buried under the unsteady foundation of everyday life – that is challenging and frustrating work.
What I have only recently realized is that by protecting myself from pain, anger and sorrow, I had also stopped allowing myself to feel grateful, peaceful, joyful, and happy. I felt the first glimpse of true joy one day last week when I was watching Little K play soccer. The sun was out, the breeze was perfect, and he ran past me with the smile and gusto that only a 6 year old with missing teeth can manage. He made eye contact with me briefly and smiled a little brighter. My heart suddenly felt warm and I couldn’t help but smile. My guard had lowered just enough to feel the presence of happiness, my old forgotten friend.
It only then that I realized that I have been so busy mourning the child that will never be, that I have missed out on the last 2 years of enjoying the beautiful child with who I have already been blessed. Enter stage left: my familiar frenemy, mom guilt.
This weekend Little K and I traveled to my hometown to meet my best friend’s new baby. Leading up to the weekend, anxiety was very present. I had worked myself up, anticipating the tears that would creep up as I held this tiny new life in my arms.
As it turns out, the only tears that crept into my eyes were tears of pure joy for my best friend of over 20 years. There was no jealousy, no yearning for a second baby of my own; just very real happiness. Her baby is beautiful (all three of her children are), motherhood suits her beautifully, and our honest friendship is beautiful.
As we spent most of the day together, laughter took over, old stories were told, and new memories were made. Best of all, peace started to settle in. And though I know I still have work to do, I think peace will be hanging around more often.
Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.