I can’t really remember the last time I could say I had a good week, much less an awesome month. This isn’t me being figurative. I seriously cannot remember the last time I had more than 2 or 3 good days in a row.
A few years ago, Dave and I spent some time exploring Japan together. We enjoyed a day on Miyajima, ending at the top of Mount Misen. The pictures at the top of this mountain are some of my favorite of any trip we have ever taken. The hike wasn’t easy for me. There were so many times we thought we had almost reached the top of the peak, only to realize it was yet another valley. At one point, Dave found tears of frustration streaming down my face and reassured me that we didn’t have to go to the top: we could simply turn around. But I had to do it. I had to make it to the top. I desperately needed to see the view. I needed to know the struggle was worth it.
The last six months or so have very much replicated the day we climbed Mount Misen. Every time I started to feel like my depression was under control, my panic disorder would return with a vengeance. And once I dealt with that, I felt my Asperger’s would kick into overdrive. And then came the ADHD, making it impossible for me to complete anything, thus leading to feeling helpless and anxious. It was an endless roller coaster that I couldn’t get off. I often found myself wondering if it was ever going to be worth it. If I would ever defeat these demons I fight inside my own mind. Would I ever make it to that happy place again? Would I ever get to stand at the top of the mountain and really see how far I’ve come?
Well, today, I am standing on top of the mountain. I had a med-check with Sam today and realized that we have this under control. I say ‘we’ because I couldn’t do this alone. There is not one single thing that has brought me back into the land of the living. Instead, I had to find the right combination of therapies to pull it all together.
So, did I celebrate? You bet your ass I did! I came home and decided I was finally ready to face these:
Yep, those are Christmas cards. Six months ago, I was in no shape to hear all about how wonderful everyone was doing. I just couldn’t face them (read more about that HERE), but today, I felt I could share in all the joy and happiness of my friends and family.
I am so glad I waited until today to do this. It just seemed right. As I opened each card, I took a moment to think about why the person who sent it was special to me. With each card I opened, filled my heart with a little more love and by the end, I was in tears. Not tears of sadness or frustration, but tears of pure joy.
I am joyful today because I feel like I have made it. I am finally in a good place. I even went as far as to invite myself to a friend’s house this morning. That’s something I haven’t felt comfortable enough to do since I left Florida and I am extremely thankful to Jenn for pointing it out to me (even if she didn’t offer me a glass of wine)!
My favorite card today was different than the rest. It was a “just because” card, another Jenn had sent to me for some encouragement. The front reads, “Hang in there—sometimes the prettiest flowers grow in the biggest pile of manure.” And inside, “Hoping better days are on the way.” Part of me kinda wishes I had opened that one sooner, but then again, I was so deep in that dark valley I don’t know that I would have appreciated it’s meaning. I think I had to spend some time in that darkness so I could truly appreciate the amazing view from where I am now.
~Tonyia Doyle is a Navy Spouse, mom to 2 handsome sons, and Military Spouses of Strength’s newest blog series contributor. She began to blog as a way of talking about her own struggles with depression and other mental health issues. Through therapy and medication, she is working towards her own healing and has chosen to share her real life with MSoS readers in hopes of raising mental health awareness.