So tonight is the sixth night of Hanukkah, and because my family is Jewish, I feel the need to talk about miracles. That’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 doesn’t really matter what other people think, right?
First, and most important, is that my family has stayed healthy and safe this year, which I’m so grateful for.
It’s also a great feat that I haven’t had a “breakdown.” I’ve stayed strong this year, despite the pitfalls and obstacles this dreadful year has created. It wasn’t easy for me — or anyone — to have two young kids at home for three months. It was really hard not going to therapy for awhile. Hell, it’s been hard for me not to go anywhere at all. I know that I’m not alone in this; every one of my nerves has been frayed. Every limitation has been reached, and I’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 I’m struggling, so I can get the help I need. I have fought my depression and I’ve fought suicidal thoughts. I fight my own brain on a daily basis. It’s exhausting and my depression is relentless.
I have to constantly monitor it so I can prevent a depressive episode. It’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.
It’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 don’t mean this in a bad way, but they suck the life out of you. So much of me goes to them and there’s not much left for me.
It’s a balancing act and it’s tricky as hell. It’s one that I haven’t mastered, even six years in as a mom.
I’ve lost my cool and expelled many a curse word. But I’ve survived. My children have survived. I haven’t done much else this year but survive and that’s OK. Yes, I’ve gained 20 pounds and I probably have gray hairs sprouting — also OK. Obviously, I’m utilizing some not-so-helpful coping skills but damn, I’m coping and that’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, God’s miracles.
There is great divinity in finding light when it is dark.
Happy Hanukkah, my friends.