Today I took some time just for me. I drove an hour to a state park and meandered on the trails for over two hours. I ended up at a dam which is where I sat and ate lunch, listening to the rushing water, the birds, and enjoyed the gentle breeze flowing around me.
I watched a crow fly from one side of the lake shore to the other. Boats came and went on the water beneath the dam, some of them stopping to cast a line in the hopes of catching a fish.
As I sat there, soaking up the atmosphere, sunshine, and basking in the relaxing view, I realized that no matter how hard things get, no matter how dark they might seem, the sun always rises the next morning. So shall we.
I lost myself today. Not in the darkness, but in the light. I didn’t want to leave the grassy knoll above the dam. I could have stayed there all day. Losing yourself in the light instead of the darkness is an experience like no other. Your heart soars and tumbles like the strong hawk floating on a thermal high in the sky. You smile as you exhale, closing your eyes as you drink in the peace around you, remembering a time when you could have sat there and not seen or felt a thing.
It’s days like today which make me grateful for the dark. Because without it, days like today wouldn’t mean so much to me.
As my Postpartum OCD slammed against my shores, the skies darkened and angry bolts of lightning seared through the atmosphere. I hunkered down in a deep dark cave, curled up in the fetal position while wishing the skies would clear. Eventually they did and as puffy white clouds took the place of the dark angry ones, I began to realize the island I now found myself on wasn’t so bad. The laughter and comraderie filling the valleys no longer grated on my nerves. Not even the whining and crying could push me back to my cave. In fact, I slowly began to forget where my cave was – I think it’s been overgrown with dense vines or is hidden away behind a waterfall.
This afternoon with the kids was completely blissful. All three of them played together in the floor without arguing. They peacefully shared with their toys and burst with laughter. Allison wove a wonderful tale of marital bliss with Cameron’s toy cars. Charlotte giggled at Cameron’s newfound block playing skills. And Cameron just soaked up the attention from his big sisters as they surrounded him.
I immersed myself in the joy of watching my three children enjoy each other’s company. THIS is what motherhood is like without the angry and confusion of a mood disorder. Wow. I didn’t have a mood disorder after having Cameron but there were all the issues with Chris’ addiction that threw me for a loop. Moments like these- moments so tantalizingly perfect never fail to blow me away. They make all of this worth it – all the struggling, the fighting, the tears, the pain – all of it makes the joy I now feel so much brighter.
And it’s this joy that i wish for all the families I come in contact with because I remember all too well not knowing it.