Monday, January 11, 2010

A Few Lessons

A few things I learned after my rather raw and uncensored blog the other day …

People I never would have thought are still reading. I kinda figured my fellow local stay-at-home moms may be checking in on occasion, that my mom appreciates the opportunity to catch up on my daily adventures, and that a few far-flung curious folks may skim through. The many personal messages, Facebook notes, blog comments and phone calls I received prove otherwise.

On that note, I am reminded of the large, supportive, caring community of people available to me if I can muster up the courage to ask for help. It can be very easy to go through our days unaware of the friends and family who are only a phone call away and willing to step in and lend a hand or merely a listening ear when times get tough and difficult. We each bump around in our daily routines, going to our jobs, caring for our children and sometimes feeling like it is a solitary endeavor, or one we share solely with a spouse, when in fact community surrounds us, if we but open our eyes. But for many of us, it is difficult to ask for help …

Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media can, indeed, connect rather than further isolate us. Much has been and will continue to be said about the isolating effect of individuals staring blankly into screens for hours a day, never communicating in person or establishing deep relationships. I’ll be the first to admit that I visit my computer monitor multiple times a day to check Twitter for the latest breaking news, Facebook to see what my friends are up to and read blogs to see what other moms/women think about their daily lives. I still get out and visit my friends in the flesh and blood, but as a stay at home mom with a toddler, preschooler and one on the way, this is a valuable connection to people without which I would feel more isolated and alone.

A blog is not a journal, and it is tricky territory when you start spilling your soul to an unseen audience. I am incredibly grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received in the last four days, much of which would have been totally un-accessed had it not been for a simple blog. On the flip side, I understand the weight of responsibility shared when you open your personal struggles and sometimes frightening feelings to such a wide audience. There are a few people out there worried about me, and that weighs on me. I feel a responsibility to those who have expressed concern and encouragement to be accountable that I’m working through this. And, to a certain degree, that is good, but in other ways, it can be another thing to worry about. Which brings me to …

Anxiety and depression are tricky, difficult conditions and any effort to manage them is a work in progress. Much of my struggles sound like, and are, typical for a “mom of young kids” and “stay at home mom”. But the difficulty “pulling out of it”, “shaking it off” and seeing the “good in the days” and the “light at the end of the tunnel” well, there’s more to that. More that isn’t going to just go away by ignoring it and pushing through. More that requires some time and attention.

So, here’s a broadcast thanks for all the wonderful, supportive, caring responses. I do, indeed, feel very blessed and loved. And rest assured, I’m working on it, doing the best I can, and thankful for each and every one of you along with me on the journey.