A Different Kind of Gratitude

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Today is my birthday and I’ve been reflecting a lot about the last year lately.  Last year on my birthday, I lost my second child.  Nothing about any of my pregnancies was easy, but I never expected to feel as I did on that day.  I had endured two months of constant bleeding and a surgery to stop it, non-stop vomiting and nausea, infusions, and the baby was still having issues. There was no way to survive it—potentially for either of us.  So my birthday came and my doctor gave me the news that there was nothing else we could do and we couldn’t wait any longer and this was not viable.  The guilt felt like an elephant on my chest.  I felt even more guilty as the relief was immediate—as soon as I woke up, I could eat again.  I felt alive again.  I had color in me again.  As I lost my child, a new path was born.  I wouldn’t be birthing a physical being, but I could birth a new way of living.  And that guilt was heavier still because the life I was supposed to bring into the world would not be coming.

I made a choice after that to dedicate myself to my writing and creating a new life for myself and my family.  I knew I was meant to bring some creation to life, I’ve felt it in me my whole life.  At my lowest, when I couldn’t even play with my kid, I was still able to write.  There was so much to get out, so much feeling and emotion in a constant swirl, that I just needed to share.  That is what had been brewing inside of me my entire life.  If I couldn’t make myself feel good, maybe I could help others to feel good.  Maybe I could give them some of the encouragement I needed.  I’m not perfect by any means, I’ve screwed up a ton and I felt that the world needed a dose of humanity on the realist level.  So I’ve done that.  I’ve published hundreds of posts and I’ve been working on networking to spread the message further.

So this birthday is very different.  I’ve been sad since January with the revelation of how my siblings view me.  With the revelation that we are essentially alone.  I’ve been sad a lot lately because we’ve been approaching this anniversary and because the things I struck out to do haven’t come to full fruition yet.  I’m proud of what I’ve done, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was also disappointed—things just don’t feel quite right.  Over the last year, I’ve shared so many things.  I’ve made a ton of decisions and I’ve been given opportunities I didn’t think I would have.  I’ve gotten closer to learning who I am and I am not the person I was a year ago.  The irony is that, on some level, I know I’m the same, but I don’t feel like who I was. I still feel the need to be validated and appreciated and to feel like I’m wanted—but I can say that’s what I want now. I’m getting to the point, I promise.

In spite of all of this, I AM grateful.  We are given chances everyday when we wake up, and I’m working my hardest to get through.  But I want to do more than get through—I want to love my life.  I don’t believe that we are meant to be here to endure misery and simply survive.  I don’t believe we are meant to carry the weight of the world and then die.    I’ve been dealing with my trauma rather than addressing it and I think the connection I’ve been looking for needed to be internalized rather than sought elsewhere.  I needed to find me again.  I didn’t realize how hard it is to pivot at times.  Ironically, in the moment it feels right and you think you’re on the right rack—or that you’re fine.  And then, like a silent mist, it starts settling on you and you see you’re not.  Again, I’m still grateful because I know there is always the opportunity to turn it around.              

As I’m writing this a puffy Robin is sitting on the fence outside.  They symbolize a fresh start in life, rejuvenation, a fresh perspective.  So I’m grateful.  I’m grateful that I get to keep going.  That I get to wake up.  That I get to write and be creative.  That I get to play with my kid and spend time with my family.  That I get to support and repay those who helped me get here.  That I get to change things up again and go for what I want.  That I get call the shots.  That I don’t have to be who I was and that I am always a work in progress.  I am grateful to be alive and I know I am, not just because I am sitting here, but because I get to feel the entire range of emotions that I’ve described to you.  I’m grateful that life shows us the way, in its own way in its own time and that it all somehow works out.  I’m grateful to choose again and to share again and to remind us all of that connection in side of us.  I’m grateful to be.  Happy Birthday to me.

3 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Gratitude

  1. It’s early days do not be hard on your self, your grieving and you have to carry that grief, grief is love, please have a look at Megan divine refugeingreif, child Bereavment it really helped having counselling. Slow is good as well. Take care xx🌻

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