about last week

6:05 PM

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write after last week. How to put into words the massive ups and downs. How to express my gratitude.
Last Sunday I made a return to social media, with a caveat. With the promise to be truly open and painfully vulnerable. It seemed to me that the road back would mean taking a new path altogether – one that was rooted in truth. I had to be myself, no matter what. And though it was wholly terrifying to me I did it. Approximately three mild panic attacks later I pressed, “publish” and didn’t look back.
And what a welcome I received. You. You beautiful sparkling souls. You moved me to tears. You overwhelmed me. You said, “I see you.” You reached out and took my hand. There was so much magic that happened on this app last week. And though there is no way I could ever adequately thank you for making a stranger feel so heard and so loved – THANK YOU. This truly was something I did for us. I wanted to reach into something deeper, something beyond a glossy photo. I wanted us to be able to connect on the level of our souls. And though I wasn’t sure it would be entirely possible YOU made it happen. So thank you, thank you so, so much. It’s an honor to have you all in my life.
I also had no idea that the week I would open up about my own struggle with mental health would become a week when everyone would have to face the fact that mental health issues are not just disruptive or destructive, they can have fatal consequences too. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I didn’t realize that having just begun this journey towards healing would mean I would be especially vulnerable and susceptible to backsliding. And that’s exactly what happened. Friday was a really, really tough day for me. Fear took over. Shame began to whisper her familiar song and before I knew it I felt stuck. But with the kind and loving guidance of my therapist I was able to illuminate the experience in a way that allowed me to see the many grains of wisdom that were sprinkled throughout for me. I collected those grains, one by one and used them to strengthen myself further and add something else useful to my toolbox. In my experience therapy has always provided me with a reliable flashlight for my life. It’s never changed my experience or altered my situation in any tangible way but it’s allowed me to walk in the light rather than stumble through darkness.
This Tuesday morning we went to the woods with our homeschool group and it was the perfect place to be. Amongst nature, with the animals – big and small. The smell of pine needles washed over me and the sound of children’s laughter and birdcalls entered my bones and grounded me. Watching children interact with nature is such a good reminder to be forever curious, fearless and excitable. On the way home Birdie said “Mama, you know what is the best part of falling down? You can get back up again!”
God bless that little girl. She knew just how badly I needed to hear those words right then. May we all remember that it is absolutely not about being perfect, it’s about how many times you get back up again. For every time we rise we are altered – a little wiser, older, kinder and stronger too.

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”  Anna Quindlen

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”  Cheryl Strayed

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