I didn't realize how much the first year anniversary was weighing on me. I knew it was going to be tough, but I was having a hard time differentiating that crappy feeling with the one that has settled into my body, an unwelcome visitor that has stayed a few months too long. My new normal was a day in which I got out of bed for a few hours, maybe pulled a few weeds and emptied the long forgotten dishwasher while laundry piled up in my bedroom. What good is an eighteen foot closet when all your clothes are surrounding your bed? That new normal was becoming uncomfortably familiar, replacing the woman who had worked two or three jobs, who always pushed others because she believed that you weren't good enough yet and a little more effort would bring you to your best. I didn't recognize the old me anymore. While I didn't have post-partum depression, I empathize with those women in a way I never thought I could or would need to. Depression is depression in whatever form it gets to you. And I can only describe it as heartbreaking when I look back on how difficult it was to care for my son while struggling to get out of bed, move, do.
But yesterday was a good day. I can't tell you what exactly about it was better, but looking back I can see myself preparing for a good day. I cleaned my bedroom, put away the laundry, made a LIST (oh how I used to love lists). And yesterday I got up, still a little heavy in my heart and a little light on motivation, but I got up. I left EARLY for a grand opening of sorts with my Stroller Strides moms in Meridian. I returned something to Pottery Barn (because I have a GOAL of getting my office organized this week). And I came home to bake. Kellen's birthday is in less than a month (can you believe it?!), and I wanted to practice making his cake. I always know I'm having a good day when I can get myself to bake. I love it, but I have to be in a place where I can make a mess and be ok with it rather than adding to the overwhelming feeling. Dan wanted Chocolate, and I can't eat chocolate, so I made a side of chocolate cupcakes with homemade chocolate icing from my new baking book (I'm starting to have a cookbook collection again too!). I messed up a few times, so we were back and forth to the store, but even that didn't throw me off. And as I stood in the kitchen, adding egg yolks to the batter, I thought about Thanksgiving, and I was EXCITED.
You see, the anniversary has been this date, looming in front of me, and nothing else could happen because that date was there, a detour or road block. It felt like I was being handed a "Go directly to jail. Do not pass go." card. This past year I could look back on the previous year and think about how much I had lost. Every date was another date that was, in essence, crappier than the year before it. Every day I can look back at my naivety and wish that I could warn my previous self of what was to come, to prepare myself then for the storm. But now that I've past the anniversary, every day I look back on I think, look how far I've come. I can look forward to my life again. I imagine Halloween and how our house (THIS house) will look decorated. I think about Thanksgiving and can once again imagine cooking Thanksgiving dinner with the Macy's day parade on. I can picture my house, lit up in Christmas lights, a tree, and peace.
For the first time in a year I finally feel like I am home.