I am sitting here contemplating what to write; trying to decide if I am ready to dive into the second half of my story, opening up the remaining can of worms, to dump em out in a giant pile of slimy goo and sort em. The thought is ever so appealing...ugh. But I promised, and well, healing comes with dealing (did I make that phrase up, or have I heard that somewhere?) so I appreciate your willingness to go on this journey with me.
I'm tired. I'm tired of this battle that has lasted 3 years. 3 years! Ugh. Typing that is hard. My daughter is 3. Not 2, not 1, not 6 months old, like it feels like she should be. No, she is a wild, adorable, beautiful, delightful, sometimes naughty 3 year old. Where has my life gone? In the blink of an eye, the baby months were lived, never to be experienced again. I wish the memories were sweeter.
I couldn't cry. If I let even one tear out, I knew they would never stop. So the dam of self preservation was built and fortified and protected and re-enforced again. I was tough, I was a soldier's wife, I could handle anything. I wanted people to look at me and see strength. I was proud....but you see, what I've learned is God has a way of breaking down our barriers, stripping us of our pride, and showing us what we're really made of. How weak we are, and how much we need him. I wouldn't have learned that without my 3+ years of pain.
After the doctor sent me home to "sleep it off," my parents made the decision to move in with me temporarily until Alex was able to come home. I didn't ever really tell them the details of what I was experiencing because I was afraid, but they knew I needed them, so they made themselves available to me. Looking back, I don't know what I would have done, had they not so selflessly put my needs above their own and held me up when I couldn't stand. No one else offered to help, but truthfully, for all outward appearances, my friends and family thought I was fine, and I was so afraid of what was happening to me, I wasn't about to tell them the truth. That's the problem with mood disorders, they're in your mind, people can't readily see them like they could a broken bone, or some other affliction. So for the most part, I suffered in silence, praying that "tomorrow" would be the day that things were back to normal...and with each rising of the sun, as I woke up and realized, that this wasn't going to be THE day, my heart bled just a little bit more.
Gracie was almost 5 months old when Alex came home for good, 14 LONG months after he had left. His homecoming was sweet, precious, forever etched in my mind as an amazing day...my heart felt like it had come home. He was beautiful, handsome, ever so real and finally not just a memory. He was home to stay. So long ppd/ocd, my husbands home, he's a military man and he is goin' to kick your arse right out of our lives... that was the plan anyways. Once he came, everything would just magically fall back to place, wouldn't it? Nope! The thoughts just continued to roll in. And the hard thing was, life was once again, totally upside down. Alex had left as a newly married man, not much responsibility. He came home a father, a homeowner, a veteran, he was completely overwhelmed with the life that was created for him while he was away. And I was totally unprepared for the realization that the boy who I had sent off to war, was not the man that came back home to me. We had lived two totally separate lives for over a year and now had to merge them in one fluid motion. It was beyond stressful. There were days when I wondered who this man was. He was certainly NOT the man I had married and I had certainly NOT bargained for this road that I now found myself walking. This was all aside from any ppd/ocd issues. I prefer to not discuss all that we dealt with when he came home, out of respect for my husband, but I will say that it was awful. Absolutely, emotionally awful. And when I didn't think my heart could break any more, another chunk seemed to be taken out. But I sure did know how to plaster a smile on my face and say everything was "a" ok.