So tonight is the sixth night of Hanukkah, and because my family is Jewish, I feel the need to talk about miracles. Thatâ€™s what Hanukkah is all about, celebrating miracles, and I have a lot to celebrate. They may not seem like grand miracles to others, but it doesnâ€™t really matter what other people think, right?
First, and most important, is that my family has stayed healthy and safe this year, which Iâ€™m so grateful for.
Itâ€™s also a great feat that I havenâ€™t had a â€œbreakdown.â€ Iâ€™ve stayed strong this year, despite the pitfalls and obstacles this dreadful year has created. It wasnâ€™t easy for me â€” or anyone â€” to have two young kids at home for three months. It was really hard not going to therapy for awhile. Hell, itâ€™s been hard for me not to go anywhere at all. I know that Iâ€™m not alone in this; every one of my nerves has been frayed. Every limitation has been reached, and Iâ€™ll be honest, I have a lot of limitations. I have to rest more, take breaks. I have to practice self care every day and get a lot of sleep. I have to verbalize when Iâ€™m struggling, so I can get the help I need. I have fought my depression and Iâ€™ve fought suicidal thoughts. I fight my own brain on a daily basis. Itâ€™s exhausting and my depression is relentless.
I have to constantly monitor it so I can prevent a depressive episode. Itâ€™s annoying and even though I know what to do to make myself feel better, my brain tells me not to take care of myself.
Itâ€™s also hard when you have to prioritize your health over others, especially your children. As a mom you want to make sure your kids have everything they need and I donâ€™t mean this in a bad way, but they suck the life out of you. So much of me goes to them and thereâ€™s not much left for me.
Itâ€™s a balancing act and itâ€™s tricky as hell. Itâ€™s one that I havenâ€™t mastered, even six years in as a mom.
Iâ€™ve lost my cool and expelled many a curse word. But Iâ€™ve survived. My children have survived. I havenâ€™t done much else this year but survive and thatâ€™s OK. Yes, Iâ€™ve gained 20 pounds and I probably have gray hairs sprouting â€” also OK. Obviously, Iâ€™m utilizing some not-so-helpful coping skills but damn, Iâ€™m coping and thatâ€™s what counts. In my book, anyway.
So, surviving is my miracle. Avoiding a depressive episode is my miracle. Keeping my children and husband happy and healthy is my miracle.
As I light the Hanukkah candles tonight I will remember my miracles, Godâ€™s miracles.
There is great divinity in finding light when it is dark.
Happy Hanukkah, my friends.