2016 was a rough year, in more ways than I thought possible at the age of 35. It was my first year as an “empty nester”. Yes, I know I don’t look old enough to have a child in college… but, I promise you, I was there and I’ve got the stretch marks and a Columbia College Chicago sweatshirt to prove it! It was my first year as a mother with 2 teenage boys. Speaking of teenagers, 2016 was also the first time since I was 18 that I had to move back home, in order for my mom to take care of me. It was a year of professional transition (resigned my accounting position of 12 years to become a stay at home mom) and unimaginable heartbreak (Haley). However, as in every other year, 2016 offered me an abundance of memories that will last a lifetime. I would concede that it was in fact, “the most memorable year of my life.” And honestly, I don’t remember most of it. Between constant anxiety attacks, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and meds that would make most drug dealers jealous, I lost all sight of myself. So, while 2016 is full of juicy, drama filled material, this is the story of 2017. My “comeback year”.
An update for those of you who may or who probably do not know what really happened…
- I had a nervous breakdown. A true Goldie Hawn, having to be thrown in the cold water barrel by Kurt Russell in Overboard, kind of breakdown.
- Me (sobbing) to my Dr. in April: “I just don’t understand it… gasp, gasp, gasp… I used to have it all together. I used to work insane hours at a high level job that I was good at and respected for, I raised 2 amazing boys as a single WORKING mother (all while maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship with their dad), paid all my own bills, exercised, traveled and looked good while I did it! What happened to me?!” My doctor: “Ummmm… Well, that’s probably why you’re here talking with me and having a nervous breakdown at the age of 35.” Me: “Oh ya (sniffle, sniffle), well I guess that kind of makes sense.”
- I don’t remember most of that story, so it would be hard to retell.
- I don’t want to.
- In September, I found a compassionate, empathic, brilliant psychologist who is helping me put me back together. Within our work, he has introduced me to the very trendy term and idea that is Mindfulness.
- Have you heard of it? Are you already living it? If not, here is Wikipedia’s take on it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness
- I started writing to my psych as a kind of therapy. My mind was constantly spinning and it felt like writing was the only thing that could keep me focused. It was also very important to me that my Dr. know the real me, not just the broken shell of a person that was sitting in front of him multiple times a week.
- Basically, I wanted him to know me that way most of you do. It’s been a few months now and I’m finally at a point where I am ready to open myself (back) up and thought this was easier way to stay connected with everyone at once.
Anyhow, I do hope you enjoy my writing and although I welcome your honest feedback, please keep in mind that this is MY STORY. It won’t be perfect, but as I’m slowly learning, neither am I.