I do not have it all together

We’re on the cusp of a new year, and with the changing out of our wall calendars and planners comes reflections on the past year and resolutions for the new one. 

2015 was a rough one for me… with the traumatic birth of my son and the developement of PTSD and post partum depression. It was also the year that our car broke down and for a few days, we thought we wouldn’t have the funds to repair it. 

I had high hopes for 2016. I was ready for a break from the emotional burdens I’d carried for years. I was ready to feel physically renewed –to be free of a rough pregnancy, post c section recovery, and endometriosis. 

Lots of people on social media have complained about the mishaps 2016 brought the world. I don’t know if they’re just referring to the death of celebrities, the messed up politics, and the terrorist attacks and war all over the world, but part of me feels a sense of unity thinking maybe their 2016’s didn’t live up to their personal dreams, just as mine didn’t. 

2016 brought a new bout of endometriosis, and more surgery. It brought new emotional burdens, a diagnosis of ADHD, more big changes, and nothing even resembling a break. Not to mention, it was the first full year since 1999 that I wasn’t in school. Most of my peers graduated from universities, and I watched them start careers through excited announcements on their Facebook walls while I sat at the kitchen table spoon feeding an infant, wondering if, when, and how I would ever finish my degree. 

In 2016 I also lost my dear, beloved grandfather. A man who impacted my life even before I was born. A man who I’m unsure I’ll ever stop grieving for. Even now, writing this, I’m sobbing. I miss him so much. 

But, in 2016 I also made amazing leaps in my PTSD recovery. I recovered from my endometriosis surgery and finally made progress in my physical well being. I acknowledged my eating disorder and began to strengthen my relationship with food. I started learning on my own since I couldn’t study formally, and researched body diversity; finding a new passion and a topic I want to advocate for for the rest of my life. I joined support groups on Facebook for women with ADHD and members of my church with mental health concerns. I started therapy again and spent the whole year involved with it. I also started this blog. 

And not long before my grandfather passed he and my grandmother spent a few days staying in our home. We enjoyed precious moments together, and those memories are a blessing I can now treasure forever. 

In 2015 my beautiful baby boy entered my world. I realized how much family was there for me when many family members jumped to our rescue and helped pay for our car repairs. I developed a deeper understanding of Christ’s atonement and love. 

It’s easy to look back on a year and label it all as “a rough one.” Because it’s true. Life is rough. But if we focus too much on the rough patches, we miss out on remembering the moments that were full of joy and the experiences that helped us grow. 

I do not have it “together.” I’m a college dropout and a hot mess mom. I have ADHD, anxiety, and PTSD that all cause bouts of depression. I’m not physically fit. My home almost always has toys on the floor and dishes in the sink. I have a phone/Facebook addiction I need to kick. 

But I’m still learning everyday and preparing for my return to university. I love my child with all my heart, and that makes me a good mom even when I’m a hot mess. I cope with all my mental illnesses and have become a mental health advocate. I’m recovering from my past physical aliments and am finally developing a healthy lifestyle I have the strength to maintain –and I’m doing it because I love my body, not because I hate it. I’ve learned to be ok with a home that isn’t perfect and to be patient with myself. 

We’re all trying to hold ourselves together. And 2017 will be no different. War will continue. Politics will only get more complicated. And our lives will still throw us through unexpected loops. 

BUT we can still move forward. We can still make resolutions. We can still have hope for a better year. 

But maybe the way we make it a better year is by changing our attitudes. 

2016, with all its hardships, also brought me one of the most spiritual and sacred experiences I’ve ever had. I learned for a surety that I have worth, and that is a gift I will always be able to fall back on. It has taught me to be more patient with myself, and to love myself unconditionally. 

Be patient with yourself. I don’t have it together. At all. I’m not going to pretend I do. And that is a huge relief already. Now, I can stop worrying about “having it together” and focus on the things that bring me joy. Give yourself the best gift you can and do the same for yourself. 

My resolution for 2017: look for and create joy. 

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