New:

Carry On

 

It's been a while since I've hit the publish button. And that's okay. 

But I feel like I have some things to say, and so here I am, writing a few lines- preparing to hit the publish button this time. 

I haven't really talked about my mental health lately. But being open about it really is a healing thing. When I'm open with others, it literally opens my heart to the encouragement and support provided afterwards. Sure, some judge, but that is more rare.

Sharing is worth the risk. Vulnerability is too. 

I'm filled with overwhelming emotion, being reunited with my children. We've been mostly separated since February 2020 due to two factors: my mental health and the sale of our house in Lexington.

Jed (my ex) and the children moved to San Antonio in February to have the help and support of his family, and I stayed behind to continue working with my psychiatrist to find the right medicine while prepping the house to be placed on the market. The goal was to move to Texas and be reunited with the children by the end of the summer.

Well, summer came and went, and I was beginning to get stable on my medication prescribed by my psychiatrist, but the house hadn't sold.

Fast forward.

It's now December, the house closing is in a few days, and I'm reunited with my children, spending time with them at my mother's farmhouse in Greenbrier, Arkansas for Christmas. 

After the New Year, we'll go back to Texas, and I'll find an apartment to rent. We'll reestablish our routines together as a family. Jed and I will split custody of the children so they get equal time with both of us.

Mentally and emotionally, this year has been incredibly taxing. But because of the support from friends and family, and the miracle of Rx, I'm able to ride the waves of severe mental illness.

It's weird to write those words. Because I never want those words to define me.

Yes, I struggle, but I want to be defined by my strength, not the struggle.

The way I cope isn't perfect, but when you are in a constant battle (and I do mean constant), you're bound to make mistakes.

And I do make mistakes, don't misunderstand me.

But I'd like to take a moment to celebrate all that I do get right. How far I've come.

I can walk, I can talk. I can think. I can sleep. I can wake. I can eat. I can make music and art. I can interact with others. I can work. I point these things out, because in episodes of acute illness I struggle to do these basic things.

And it's humiliating.

I've improved because I finally sought help, accepted my diagnosis, take my medication, and stay close to my family and friends for support.

Balancing creative tasks with rest is also a wonderful way to cope, especially on hard days.

I take pride in my ability to create something beautiful. Whether that's music, an interior, or even just a pretty wardrobe. It distracts me from my lingering symptoms that bother me during the day.

Strength looks different for everyone. And for me, I try to carry my strength in beauty. Beauty around me, and in me. Beauty brings me joy, and joy gives me strength.

Strength allows me to carry on. I have a life to live, and babies to love.