Um, hi. It’s been awhile. Like maybe a year-and-a-half while. Which is totally my fault. Obviously. I stopped writing. And I probably worried some of you, and I am so sorry. I’m okay. I’ve been (mostly) okay since my last post in the fall of 2017. I’ve had a couple of really not okay moments and I will get to those eventually, but for now I wanted to try and explain why I stopped writing and why I am starting to write again and how I hope you’ll be interested in reading.

I stopped writing, largely, because I started to feel better and I felt less and less like talking about being sick. I didn’t have to think about or feel my illness every minute of every day for the first time in over a year. Continuing to blog about it felt counterproductive.

While I could have written about getting well, frankly, it felt boring and also more like purposeless navel-gazing than writing about being sick. Writing about being sick felt like it might be helpful; it made some meaning out of the madness (pun aboslutely intended). Without that larger purpose, I felt lost in terms of what to write about or why to write it.

I also had a bit of a shame hangover (hat tip, Brené Brown). I shared a lot on this blog, about my mental health, my guilt/fear/shame as a parent, partner, and human, and my struggle to accept and make my way through life as a person with “late onset,” or at least late-diagnosed, biopolar disorder. I was broken when I started this blog and I stopped writing when I had reassembled enough pieces to feel capable of moving forward from not exactly where I left off but close enough to be my life.

And I did move forward, and I do, but I’ve also taken like a million steps back and fallen once so hard I almost died. But I didn’t and I’m okay but not always or in the way that I’d like to be. Being well is a struggle, every goddamn day, it’s a struggle. And I’ve found some things that are really, really helpful to me. Also, things that are particularly unhelpful. I’ve got some thoughts and ideas and tips and tricks and questions and answers and questions without answers that are still useful to ask. I’m back at work. My oldest is about to finish kinder and the twins will start pre-K this fall (?!). I am the ringmaster of the shit show that is our family of five. I’ve started taking epic hikes and gone to two meditation retreats and one in-patient psych ward and my weekly pill organizer could kill a horse.

I am okay and not okay every day and most often at the same time. And I’ve been thinking I’d like to write about that. That it might be helpful to know that getting better is always just that and sometimes it involves getting worse, at least for awhile. I have absolutely no answers to Any of the Things, but I can point them out and write about them in a way that might make them more approachable, less scary, sometimes funny, and always shared. It’s not just me and it’s not just you and none of us can do this alone.

So, if you’re not still totally pissed at my for disappearing for 19 months, please come back. I promise I’ll write as often as a mentally-ill, working mother of three kids six and under can, which I hope is often. XOXO, A

Things I want to remember 

I realize a lot of my posts lately might seem negative or at least a bit melancholy, but that is my truth a lot of the time. However, my truth also includes many sweet moments that I want to remember when my little ones are big. Moments I would never have had had I not had three small children. Things like:

  • Henry singing himself to sleep at full volume;
  • The first time Lucy smiled;
  • When we discovered, during a diaper change, just how ticklish Calvin is;
  • The twins’ first belly laughs;
  • Henry dismissing the other pregnant moms at daycare for only having one baby in their bellies;
  • The perfect smoothness and softness of my babies’ skin;
  • The look on Matt’s face when I gave birth to our first child;
  • The first time Henry said, “I love you, mama.” And eveytime he’s said it since.
  • The period of time we were convinced Henry would never crawl but instead barrel roll his way to college;
  • The way Calvin’s face lights up when he sees me, and when he’s trying to eat his small stuffed bunny;
  • Henry’s inability to combine the letter s with any other consonant (e.g., “That food is too picy;” “Look mamma, a quirrel!”)
  • Henry’s verbal tics from daycare (“Well . . .; probably yes; actually; so guys”);
  • Seeing the twins really see each other for the first time;
  • The way Henry’s face softens to perfection when he is sleeping;
  • Watching Henry nuzzle Lucy at bedtime while cooing “Lucy girl;”
  • Hearing Henry tell people that he likes Lucy best because she doesn’t cry like Calvin;
  • Watching Calvin make Lucy laugh;
  • Putting the twins down for a nap together and seeing them hold each other’s unswaddled hands.

These are the memories I want to hold on to, the moments that get me through the harder times. This is the joy of parenting. It may not always be fun, but there is such joy.