Yesterday as I was driving through our white and drifted snow, I had a sudden urge to get a Christmas tree. This hasn't happened for a couple of years. I've been so tired, the thought of putting it up and decorating it just seemed overwhelming. But this year I want one.
There was a period of time--a long one--when I desperately needed to talk with people every day. If it didn't happen, I was in trouble, emotionally. I drew on their strength and love and it would sustain me for a few more hours. I feel helpless and guilty as I write this--but it's true. I could not make it on my own. Therapist believes I suffered some postpartum depression, but as is my habit, I ignored it and immersed myself in work which is what led to the suicidal feelings I was battling a year ago (Has it been so long? It still feels like yesterday). And so I created for myself, mentally and emotionally, safety nets made of loving arms, encouraging words, and interactions with people who care about me.
Today I'm enjoying alone time once again. This doesn't mean I don't want to talk with people--I do. My day is brighter and I'm happier when I connect with loved ones in person and online. It does mean that if it doesn't happen, I'll be okay. The need is gone. There is an odd sense of loss as I recognize that I'm letting go of some beautiful moments most adults rarely experience, mixed with a knowledge that I'm somehow setting myself free--and that freedom extends to those who cared for me. I am finally confident that PTSD will not last forever, and while I don't like it, it doesn't seem to stop my progress. The child inside, the one I ignored for so long, the one who frightened me with her needs, pain, and loneliness, is growing up.
I'm finding myself dreaming about my future, thinking of the endless possibilities, happy to spend time with family and friends, planning beyond the day at hand. And for the first time in at least three years, I'm looking forward to Christmas.
Which reminds me--the Christmas Carol giveaway starts tomorrow. Of course, I'll let latecomers opt in, but if you want to receive all 25 of my hand-picked carols, contact me with your email address before tomorrow morning.