It would be a lie if I tried convincing anyone, including myself, if a lot of days [read: most days] are not a constant struggle. They are, and most of the time, I have no idea how to handle it. It is no secret to me, or probably anyone around me, that the past 12 months have been the hardest of my life. Simply put, I have postpartum depression. In length, I have way more than just a diagnosis. Yes, my struggles come from depression and anxiety, two little friends that reared their heads for the first very real time this past year. I fight a constant battle which, fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately), I’ve managed to keep from most everyone that knows me. Jesse is my rock though. He has helped me through the dark and into the light more times than I could ever begin to count. In fact, that number is still ticking upwards when I have a freak out moment like the ones that still come a little too often and a little too blindly. I’ve done everything in my power to not place my depression, anxiety, anger, or confusion on my children, and I think I’ve managed to do a pretty good job of that. So many days, I struggle. Have I said that yet? I’m working through it day by day by day. I feel like the good days outweigh the bad days now, which is certainly a new feeling than past months. I’m getting out of it, but I do think it will take some more time until it’s all behind me, if it ever is. My depression has prevented me from taking in every wonderful moment with my children, and that, for certain, has been the biggest downfall of the year. My beautiful children are growing every single day, and every single day that passes is one that I’ll never be able to relive. Their tiny toes, and tiny voices are only getting bigger, and I’ve failed in trying to remember each little detail. The events of the last few years have left me without a clue of who I am; a result of trying to grow up too fast, if you will. There’s a Hilary outside of being a little one’s mama, outside of being a wonderful man’s wife, and somehow I plan to find and embrace her.
I’ve become an entirely different person since my adult years began not so long ago, and I have a hard time figuring out who I am deep down inside. The early 20s in anyone’s life are about self-discovery, and I’m certainly not exempt from that. The things I am and have discovered thus far, though, have mostly come as surprises to me. I’ve dreamed of having children since I can remember lining my baby dolls along the side of my bunk bed and kissing each one good night and good morning. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t baby-obsessed, quite truthfully. So it was certainly a surprise to me when it dawned on me that I’m not really cut out to be stay at home mom. I don’t think I will ever be the mom that stays up late at night planning crafty little fun things to do the next day, and lesson-planning for homeschool teaching. My goodness, I try, and I’ll keep trying, but I have to wonder if I’ll ever be that mom. I’m sure a lot of that comes with my age, but I don’t know how much of it really. I’d like to think that most of the way that I feel is because of my postpartum depression and anxiety, and not truly because I’ll never be the mom I always dreamed of being. Too often, my mind gets crowded with the “what-ifs” when I think about the college scholarships I threw away, and my stellar GPA that means little to nothing anymore. As my favorite wizard once said though, “It does not to do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” I have so much to live for right now, and that little reminder is what helps to get me through the hardest times.
Every single day I try to do a little better than the day before. I’m not always successful, but I’m trying. Good lord, I’m trying. To my sweet, wonderful husband, thank you. Without you, I have no idea where this year would have led me. I owe my life to you, indeed.