Looking Back to Last Year

Sometimes I play the “one year ago today” game. This is when I look back in my blog to see what I was doing during the prior year. Playing the game has taught me much about the patterns of my life, I can see the tendencies and often find myself saying the same sorts of things over again. This afternoon, as I was contemplating what to write, I opened up the entries from March 2013. That was when I discovered that the game is no fun at all this month. A year ago Gleek was in crisis with full-blown panic attacks at school. Her teacher was at a loss for how to help her. We were in the process of getting a school evaluation, psychological evaluation from a private source, and setting up therapy. I was scrambling to try to make things better, to shift and help. Then (a year ago next week) it all crashed into much worse. Just glancing over the entries brought back lots of emotion, because I remember vividly all the details that I did not write.

The year from February 2013 until now, mid-March 2014 was transitional in dozens of ways. It included the challenge coin Kickstarter which meant that we were able to focus on all of the emotional arcs without fretting over the cost. During that year Howard began treatment for his depression. Gleek collapsed into an anxiety disorder which we then treated, brought under control, and continue to manage. Kiki transitioned from her senior year in high school into a thriving college student. Our family transitioned from four kids at home to three. We acquired a warehouse and the business moved out of our basement. Link started high school and took half the school year to figure out how to handle that. Patch had to deal with the fact that life changes, friends move away, older sister leave home, and these changes do not destroy everything good about life. I helped everyone with all of the above and because I was overwhelmed, I plunged into a low-level depression for about six months.

I knew, even as we went through it all, that the transitions were necessary and that we’d come out the other side in good places. We did. Life has found a new normal and we’re happy here. We’re back to watching money, but not terrified about it. Gleek has horseback riding. Patch has his cello. Link has programming. Kiki is building a life for herself that is beginning to have the shape that she wants. None of these things were true a year ago. It was a hard thirteen months. In some cases it was gut-wrenchingly hard, but they were also good months. Even the hardest bits taught us things we needed.

In the months to come, I will be taking a closer look at all the blog entries I wrote in 2013. I do that because I like to have a print on demand copy of my blogging for each year. In that paper copy I also include the private blog entries that do not get posted. There were quite a lot of them last year and I expect many of them to be painful to read. I’ve had a similar experience before when I wrote about my radiation therapy and then read it later. The emotion was packed away in my brain and only by opening up the boxes was I able to let go of the emotions. I’m not looking forward to processing all of the emotion left over from last year, but I’ll be very glad to have done it.