Happy New Year everyone! Now is the time to reflect on the past year.
I hesitated to write this post b/c isn't all babies and adventures - although there is some of that but it is also about my struggle this year. A struggle that I carried with me all year - and maybe before that. A struggle that I didn't have a name for, until two weeks ago when my DR told me I scaled mild to moderate on the depression scale. I also don't want to make this post a pity party, because it is not. You might think WTF, she has a blessed life and I'll admit that I do. It's not about that, it's about a chemical imbalance in my brain that I can not fix on my own. If two of my lovelies Anne Theriault and Melody Ross have taught me anything this year, it is sharing our stories are important. Someone out there might need to read this, so this post is for them.
The year started with a kick in the pants from a friend whom told me I wasn't putting myself 'out there' enough when it came to dating. Man, I was mad at him but he was right. So I did what he suggested and the result found me with a really nice guy. A guy that I could see myself falling in love with some day. And while he could see himself maybe falling for me someday, he just wasn't ready and we decided that we'd just be friends for now. I'll admit, I was sorely disappointed. And I discovered, I was still carrying around some pain left over from some long past relationships and I had the opportunity to work thru that at the time.
This is when I first noticed something wasn't quite okay. You see I didn't realize how much stress I had, until it was gone and then came back. The guy I had been spending time with made me feel at peace and content and worry free and we had fun together. He was a great hugger, which is a huge stress reliever for me apparently. Even though I didn't share all my stress with him, I felt like I could. I felt the burden of the world lift because I could share it with him if I wanted. I felt safe. So the stress went away. And when he went away, it came back with a vengeance. I felt like I was on high alert all the time, at work, at home, everywhere. I didn't feel relaxed ever, and I never felt peaceful.
Over the last couple years I have learned a lot about myself and what I need to do to make myself feel okay, so I worked my way thru The Walk by Brave Girls. My take away from that is; we are all BELOVED and each day I should go out in the world and act as if I'm beloved and treat everyone as if they are beloved too. In doing this, I think, I hope, I have become more gentle with other people - I'll be the first to admit I can be judgy sometimes. It has certainly helped with my interactions with my patients, for which I am grateful. However, that gentleness didn't quite transfer over to myself.
|What I bring to the circle|
|Getting ready for a music video shoot.|
|Nick Carter....my boy and his guitar.|
|Me in New Orleans|
I finished up my fourth palliative care course and only had one and my placement to go but decided to take the summer off. I had plans, lots of them.
Then something bad happened at work. A patient I was looking after, got really sick and there was nothing I nor the DR could do about it and she died. I think this is when hole started to open up. I believe this b/c the same week, my sister had friends visiting from overseas - girls I had met before and absolutely adore and had been excited to see - and all of a sudden, I didn't care if Katie included me in their activities or not. That's kind of messed up, particularly since I love those girls so much.
|Katie, Charlee, Lily and Lucy at Sauble Beach.|
My nephew Thomas was born and it felt anticlimactic. He was born the same day that bad thing happened at work and for awhile they were linked in my mind. I should add here, now I think he is the bees knees and I think he thinks that about me too.
I developed a stomach ulcer that would not go away. My migraines became worse, when normally they are better in the summer. I couldn't wait for the summer to be over and I had a fun summer, one of my oldest friends got married and I did lots of fun stuff. I rode a horse for the first time, my Nana turned 80, my Grandma turned 90, there was a family reunion on my Dad's side and I got to become good friends with my cousins James and Alex.
The beginning of fall saw me in
for CNTC Arbonne, with a few members
of our team. I explored and listened and showed up. I felt like I belonged,
like I mattered. I came home inspired, knowing I wasn't quite ready for it all
yet but with plans to get me ready. That inspiration didn't last very long. I
felt unhappy, I told my Mom I was unhappy. She told me I was okay, that I was
doing okay. Montreal
|Best view in Montreal|
I felt disconnected from everything. Except for one thing; that guy and I were still hanging out a bit and I felt like he tethered me to the earth. Which I realize now is completely unfair. We started to hang out more and I hoped it was going to go somewhere but if I'm honest I knew it might not and when I came home from my amazing trip to North Carolina (you can read about that here) he told me he didn't want to date me anymore.
|Nags Head Beach|
So I kept my unhappiness to myself. Who would care anyway? What was the point anyway? I began to scare myself a little.
Then one morning, I went into work and one of my co-workers asked me if I was okay. She had noticed that I hadn't greeted her the way I normally do. And I told her I was stressed all the time. I didn't want to be at work and I didn't want to be at home. And I started to cry. The other nurses at the nurses station all hugged be and told me they loved me. My co-worker said; "You need to see your DR." Finally, someone noticed what I had noticed. I wondered if I might be depressed but then reminded myself that I had just broken up with someone I really liked and maybe I was just feeling bad about that (disclaimer - the break up did NOT cause my depression). But if I was really honest, it had been going on long before that. Finally, someone validated what I had been thinking myself. I made an appointment that day - though it was 3 weeks before I could get in and I called EAP for some counselling.
While I waited Hannah Marcotti offered a course on sexy selfies, so I did that and found women whom had the same struggles as me.
I invited my niece Lexi for a sleep over and crafted with her all weekend.
|Lexi playing with my vision board words.|
The counselling sessions have helped me identify some of my self destructive behaviour - like isolation and under sharing. Something I hope to work on this year. My best friend cried the other day when I told her b/c she wished she had known, so she could have been there for me.
It has only been two weeks since I saw my DR but already I feel better. I might have had no control over this happening to me but I can take responsibility for how I handle it now. I can't do it alone and that is okay.
I spent the last day of the old year with family, most importantly Lexi and Thomas.
|Thomas and I at Pizza Hut.|
|Pure delight, Miss Lexi on New Years Eve.|
My word for last year was trust. I have learned to trust my journey, this is only a small part of it. This year my word is hope. They say "it's always darkest before the dawn" so I am hopeful for a better year.
I hope you learned a lot last year and it wasn't too painful. If it was, here's to a better year for you too!
You are beloved.