It was hard to admit that I was struggling. It was also hard to admit that I had a difficult time celebrating both of my son's birthdays because I was in a slump. I didn't want or chose to be sad and depressed, it just sort of happened. It wasn't something I could kick on my own. It just happened and then didnt go away until after March was gone. It always felt like January to March were just a blur in life.
(My dad had a wolf obsession, these leggings remind me of him... my middle son, also happens to have a wolf obsession)
After that Florida trip, some things changed. I talked to my doctor and actually told her how I was feeling... the first step in my mind was admitting to someone else that I had an issue. On her suggestion, I saw a therapist. I went for a few sessions and didn't love her. I'd seen a therapist in my past to talk through some things, like my parents divorce and a teenage broken heart. I decided after a few sessions that wasn't what I needed. A phone conversation with my best friend, who has also lost her dad, worked much better and made me feel better in the end. I started journaling, not consistently but when I felt like I had something I needed to get off my chest. I started being more open with my husband about my feelings about my dad passing away and just life in general. So I changed some things in my life. I started taking better care of me, not physically but emotionally. So often we forget to take care of our emotional well being.
This year has been the first year that I haven't seriously hit that slump. That doesn't mean I don't miss my dad. That's far from the truth. I think of all of the little moments he's missing. I often think of the time I "butt dialed" him while reading to Bella. I remember him calling me after the book was over and telling me that I must've accidentally called him and that he heard me. I remember him telling me what an incredible mom I was. I remember the emotion that ran through me hearing my dad tell me I was a pretty good mom.
Yes I miss him, yes some days after better than others, yes some days are not so good, this year though, it's been the best so far mentally and emotionally for me. I think taking care of me is important. Filling my cup so that I can care for my kids, my husband, my friends, my career... I'm lucky to have a husband who is ultra supportive of me and encourages me.
While a day doesn't pass that I don't think about my dad and wish he was here, self care has worked. I'm proof. So be sure to take care of you too. Take the time that need to grieve, to fill your cup, to express your emotions. For me, that means its constantly a work in progress. I must be adaptable. I must also realize that the pain will never go away, I'll just continue to grow and deal with it in a way that's healthy for me.