Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A year I am proud of but never to be repeated

The last few weeks have been in stark contrast to this time last year and with the new year it is not surprising that I have found myself reflecting on 2012 and its impact on me. I have to say I am really proud of myself. It was a year full of challenge but also of me consciously taking on those challenges and coming out stronger with a new faith in my ability to deal with life and not succumb to the temptation of that dark pit that is depression. I definitely don't want to leave the impression that sheer will has led to this. Instead a combination of therapy, an awesome husband, family support and an amazing midwife, along with the decision to keep taking antidepressants, have all made this possible.
But in the end I chose to do these things. I chose wellness and to never go back to the horror of depression and stuck to it. I have had to make some really hard decisions to get here but I regret none of them.

Over the last year I have been in hospital three times, been really ill for the whole pregnancy with George, faced the terror of the prospect of a relapse of depression, planned to birth at home despite most people thinking I was "mental" and struggled with feeding George, eventually letting go of breastfeeding. And put my hubby and daughter through all of this too.

But I am so proud of me. I am proud of the tough decisions I have made but I have no regrets. I made decisions that were right for me and my family despite what others may think or what I may have wished for. I have had the courage to face my reality, to be honest about my fears and feelings and to stay present to what is happening right now in my life. I have had to face up to all my faults and weaknesses, many of which are still things I have to deal with every day. But through it all I really believed it could all be okay. I believed it without putting my head in the sand or leaving my life in the hands of others. I took responsibility for me and my baby and I am so proud of me.

The real test for me was the completely unexpected and very difficult time we have had with feeding George. I have had to accept that there is no "right" way and that the "best" thing to do is different in different situations. I have to look myself in the mirror and say I chose not to provide my son with breastmilk because the toll it would have taken was too high a price to pay for myself and my family and ultimately George.

Because in the end kids need parents who are ok, who are well enough to be able to loved and laugh and be present in their lives. And I am. I am well. I don't fear depression. I feel empowered to recognise the signs, to take the steps to be well and enjoy my life.

So 2013 is looking bright. I am enjoying each day as it comes. I don't have big plans this year. Just living life. Enjoying now. Cause I feel like I am living my dream. I have dreamed for so long of enjoying family life but ever since we lost our first baby that dream just seemed distant or even impossible. I thought I was faulty as a Mum and would never truly enjoy having kids. I would just learn to "cope" to "survive". Yes, I have had to learn to have more realistic expectations of myself and do less. But instead of feeling disappointed by that, I feel free. I can live how I choose without perfectionism being the monkey on my back.

So hear's to enjoying life and living. Being present in my life right now and celebrating all the simple everyday joys I appreciate so much, as I could have lost them all. And that is truly a miracle. Under all of this is God's constant faithfulness. I hope I can truly reflect the love I have been shown in my life and actions this year.

Bless you in 2013.

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