I have thought for a while about what my return post would cover. Whether I would do a catch up of all the stuff that has happened in the past year (yes a whole year!), or whether I would just jump straight into the present. I came to the decision that maybe explaining why I’ve been away for so long might be helpful to both me and my readers.
The year long procrastination began with the constant crashing of my WordPress app, it became far too much effort to write a blog with technical problems occurring all the time. Then, with the busyness of family life I soon got out of the habit of writing. When people would ask about it, I would feel guilty for letting things slip but feel too overwhelmed at the task of starting things up again. I felt like I had missed so many important events and progress reports that it would just be an enormous task to catch up. Looking back, I had turned something that began as a means of releasing my anxieties and feelings of depression, into a cause of anxiety and depression.
The rather dramatic title I chose seems to cover how I’m feeling about my blog now; like a phoenix rising from the ashes (I know, what a cliché). My reason for taking the leap and writing again, is the realization that this blog isn’t just for me. I am not under the illusion that my audience will ever be more than double figures but I feel like if I could help one person feel more comfortable talking about their mental health, then it would be worth it. The catalyst for this was when a friend of mine, who I didn’t even know suffered with anxiety, felt she could open up to me about it because of reading my blog. That sealed the deal, the voice in my head said, “come on Ellice, this is no longer just therapy for you”.
Isn’t it funny how you can in one moment, gain such strength. I knew as I walked away from that conversation, that I needed to get back on the horse. I needed to stop being afraid of a task that was only as big as I made it. I needed to have the courage to put myself, my thoughts, my feelings, my failures and successes, back out there to be shared and hopefully make a difference to someone.
So, what about progress? Well, I would love to say that in the year that I’ve been away from the keyboard, I’ve found the ‘cure’ or ‘magic pill’. However, the reality is I’m fighting as hard as ever to keep the black dog at bay. Sometimes I feel as though I take two steps forward and a hundred steps back. I have added a couple of good things to my life, like yoga and crocheting, which both actually help a lot, when I do them! I am also trying to remind myself daily that perfection is not achievable in this life, I wonder how long it will take to get that to sink in?
My kids and better half continue to be a great source of happiness in my life and also a great source of anxiety. They test my patience more than I ever thought possible but in the small and quiet (or sometimes loud) moments, I feel so much love for them, my heart could burst. I also recognize I’m not the easiest person to live with, so we’re all going through this learning process together.
So much has happened in my ‘gap year’! Animal Lover has been baptised a member of our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), which I will share photos of in my next post. Also, Thing One and Thing Two have entered the world of mainstream education, Dino Boy has had four teeth taken out (I will be writing a post about that on its own!), Stephen has decided to become a Secondary School (high school) teacher, and I have developed a love of crocheting (seriously did not see that coming).
2016 brought with it some serious trials as a family, one of which I will never go into but we’ve definitely been tested and as a result had to really pull together. I’ve started this year with goals that I hope will help me cope with whatever life throws at us next. They are simple goals, but I think their simplicity is where their power lives.