It’s been almost a year I have had a gift. A precious gift of being home with our kids. And a gift that I treated like a curse. Not because I don’t love being home. I ADORE being at home! I hate to even think of putting them back in daycare. We have a system, a rhythm, fun… sure I get frustrated, sure I crave alone time, but I love being home and I love exactly how this past year has gone.
These two have been through more in their sweet little lives than most go through in a lifetime. They have experienced trauma, confusion and most of all deep loss. They had strangers in and out of their lives. Multiple people calling themselves mom and dad. They had a difficult start. And I would have to drop them off to daycare and listen to them scream for me and go to work. Some days a case aide would pick them up and some days it was me. Some days A would claw my face off and pull my hair as I put him in the car to go on a visit. And even with the celebration of our adoption, it meant they had to say goodbye to their biological parents. Trauma is real and it will always leave it’s footprint on their lives and not to say this lightly, on mine too. We’ve been through some ish! And these kids needed to be home with me. We needed time to just be a family. Today is our 1 year adoption anniversary! Shortly after adoption, I left my family business that was all I have ever known as a working professional. I grieved the loss of that job/career/life and went full-on stay at home mom which was hard and good and strange and so wonderful. Yet also I knew my time home was limited and that time would come to an end and I would need to find employment. We cannot survive on one income and I would need to find something to help support our family. And this is where anxiety became my sidekick, my bedmate, my partner in crime, my cancer that filled throughout my body.
I believe this anxiety is situational. Same as depression has been in my life. I can pinpoint it and most would say those are for sure anxiety-inducing times. Who doesn’t worry about their family when you are facing a huge financial loss? Who doesn’t feel awful and filled with worry when real true life hard times are happening? But the way the anxiety has gripped me has been overpowering. Overwhelming. Paralyzing me. I cannot drive around without thinking about money. I can’t go back to sleep at 3 am thinking about money. The fear has made me into someone I don’t even know or like. I have rollercoastered this past year with trust in God and distrust in God. I feel so much like last year while waiting for the judge to decide on the kid’s case. 2 months of fear and trying to trust but physically not knowing how to do so. And here I am… one month left of this gift with options on the table. I am working towards my own business, I have been blessed with clerical work to do from home, I have been accepted to be a para sub in the school district, I have been blessed by so many people in our lives that love us and want to see us succeed. We have been given so so much this past year and I have let my anxiety and fear absolutely blind me to them.
I have never looked at myself with so much self-doubt, so much regret, so much negativity. I have physically become the best me and I feel amazing, but I still feel incapable of succeeding as far as a career goes. I feel so lacking in so many areas. I didn’t finish school, I don’t even know what I want to do. I just feel so inept and that is unlike me. I’ve been stretched and yanked and pulled under by my own self.
And I am finished.
Every single day I go to the gym. I attend a camp that fills me up for the day. I have grown so strong, I have lost inches and pounds and gained confidence that physically I can do anything. Seriously I really feel like I can physically do anything. I am able to lift Lily like she’s a baby again. I ran a mile with Andi in under 10 minutes and was hardly even winded. I ran in the Spartan race and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected. So if I am able to push myself in these extremes physically, why can’t I do that mentally? Seriously, why?
Maybe because I didn’t know how to. Sunday at church we had a sermon on mental health and boy did it hit me hard in the gut. Here are my notes I took about how to know if you are struggling.
I could relate to each and every one of these feelings. Every single one.
So then we talked about ways to get out from under it. Now it was definitely stressed that seeking professional help is very important. Seeking help is brave and respected and to be encouraged! I too am ready to seek counseling as well. And I feel like I would be too embarrassed to write that but I am not now. I am not ashamed to say I am struggling and I am seeking ways to get out from under it. But our pastor shared some tangible ways to seek help and the thing is I do all most these things. I have amazing friends, I move each and every day and I move hard! I do believe I show kindness and always have… BUT… gratitude. Ugh. I have a pretty shitty attitude a lot of the time. I tend to swing negative and this lovely trait of mine as been not just highlighted this year but magnified by fear and my anxieties. SOOOOO I am not just going to say I will be filled with gratitude because I know I won’t just if I say I will. I am putting to the test this month Appreciative August! I will be posting on my Instagram story each day things I am thankful for with a weekly post updated every Sunday.
I have so much to be thankful for. I have so much, so so much that this should be easy. It is my attitude that is going to take some time catching on.
Let’s do this attitude of gratitude this Appreciative August!!!