The other morning for the first time in I don’t know how long I woke up and thought about writing on my blog and it didn’t fill me with dread or send me into a tailspin of anxiety or the whirlwind of obsessive thoughts. I just thought: oh yeah I guess I could write.
Last fall when our house flooded and we had to leave was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I guess. I already had three children in treatment for anxiety disorders. Mental health and keeping things together for my family became the focus of my life and writing for an audience here in this space somehow didn’t seem possible. It broke, not when we were living in rental houses, but when we returned home and I was trying to unpack, make house, and reinvent a new normal after so much disruption.
Three children in therapy and taking medication… but getitng help for my own anxiety seemed impossible– the paradox is that the illness prevents you from seeking the treatment. But one day, early this fall, I did it. I was seeing my doctor about a mysterious rash on my hands and I asked her — I was hoping for a referral but she talked about long wait lists and, well, in the end while we agreed that formal diagnosis and treatment from mental health professionals was a longer term goal, but in the short term she agreed to trial buspirone for me. And after some weeks on the lowest dose, we upped it. And now… it’s like the almost-invisible white noise of static stopping. You have lived with it so long you no longer hear it but some part of you is braced constantly against the onsluaght of the noise. And then you slip in ear buds which cancel out the white noise and the silence is bliss.
I don’t know how often I will write or what. But I do know that writing here feels possible again. I’m in the season of teenagers– I have three now. This isn’t an easy season. My children face challenges too. Among the five of them they have dyslexia, anxiety, depression, adhd, and now a diagnosis of autism for at least one child and possibly more pending. We’re still homeschooling, but it looks very little like I expected it to all those years ago when I started out. It’s still the right choice for us, but it’s also much more complicated than I ever thought it would be. Many things I expected and hoped for have fallen away as I adapt to the reality in front of me each day, the unique persons my children are and their individual needs and the crisis du jour. And oh I could do better. I fail so often, but here we are in the middle years, in the middle of the way, in the messy muddle, and it’s still good despite the flaws. Different but good.
All the kids are in BSA scouts and loving it. At the same time we don’t go on as many homeschool outings as we used to. I miss them, and hope there will be seasons of museums and hikes and zoos and things once again. But right now those also are barely-possible.
I have been writing poetry. Not steadily, but on and off. I’ve written some journal entries here and there– for my computer’s eyes only. But blogging felt like an emotional minefield for some reason. Who can explain. Some part of my brain got trapped in a kind of obsessive perfectionism and nothing seemed good enough, no time auspicious enough. My thoughts were tangled and I couldn’t get out of the labyrinth. And now that I’m out I have no idea how I came to be lost there in the first place.
At some point I’d like to tell you about some of the books I’ve read in the past year or so, about some of the thoughts I’ve had. Or maybe I won’t. Who knows. But for now, maybe just maybe I can see myself coming back here to figure out what I want this space to be. I’ve missed you, dear blog. Thank you for waiting patiently for me.