I cannot even begin to tell you how bitter I was a year ago on this day. Everyone in our lives, family and friends alike, wanted a reset for our family and in their eyes, the New Year should have marked that reset. Unfortunately, this was easier to believe in if you were on the outside looking in. From the inside, from my position as the mom in this family, I knew better.
We went into the New Year in the midst of a shit storm (sorry to be so blunt) and I knew that there would be no relief for us for some time. I had no idea just how difficult things would get. I had no idea that three weeks after the New Year I would be an emotional puddle stuck in North Carolina alone and wanting more than anything else for the pain to end, wanting with all my heart to just die.
I look back on this time last year and even now, with the distance of time, I can feel the weight that was bearing down on us as a family and on me as a parent. I can see the cloud that was not just dark but so thick we could not see through it. But, I can also see that point in the year when the cloud began to lift and although we could move forward only an inch at a time, we could move forward.
Last night, as 2014 came to a close, our family once again sat around the dinner table, saying “our gratefuls.” Mine came to me without any effort. I am grateful for progress. In 2014, the year I dreaded, the year in which I hoped to die, our family made progress. But it was not just our family. For me it was even more personal. I made progress. I gained the emotional strength I had been accustomed to before I fell apart in the summer of 2013 and ended up on the psych ward.
I no longer fear the depression that pushed me down into the pits of hell. Instead, I look back at that time and admire the distance I have travelled.
So, this year, as we looked forward to the New Year, I did not dread it. I did not cringe at the idea that this year would be better than last, because this year I really do believe in progress. I do not believe in reading the future. I do not know what is in store for us but I believe in progress. I believe there is more happiness than misery in store for us this year. I believe that I will continue to gain emotional strength. That I will continue to catch glimpses of pure joy and that there is at the very least a chance of grabbing hold of that joy and riding it through 2015.