When you’re faced with change, do you embrace it? Or run from it? Two options that are vastly different from one another. But it doesn’t end there. If you accept it, the journey has only begun. Decline, and well, maybe you’ll live on facing a lot of what ifs? Or perhaps maybe not.
I accepted, and it was not, and has not been simple.
We knew we were going to take the plunge and move out of Vancouver a year before the “event” would take place. That was before I would finish my first summer as a new mom, my first year of maternity leave, before I would go back to work part-time, which turned into full-time. Before a lot. It was during a time when everything was changing. We had just had a baby six months earlier, and every day we witnessed change with watching him grow. I experienced myself as a new person, which im sure if you read any of my posts from forever ago, you already know. New people were in our lives, new friends, it was in fact, a completely different world being new parents.
That year passed. well actually it flew by. We packed up, said goodbye to our friends and family and headed to Victoria. We came over here with excitement, knowing we made the right decision. My usual anxiety that clings to me every day was non-existent, I just felt happy for our next chapter.
The rest of summer was spent exploring our new neighbourhood, un packing and making our house a home. We wanted to allow ourselves to relax after spending so much time working at getting over here. It all seemed surreal, a little too good to be true. When fall came around the corner, that’s when my mind decided to tell me it was.
As the days got shorter, wetter, colder, I began to feel something I hadn’t felt in a long time. loneliness. I wasn’t working, I didn’t know anyone in our neighbourhood, and I was learning how to be a stay at home mom again. This time without the close friends nearby that I relied so much on for support. I became obsessed with social media, the only thing that tied me to my friends in Vancouver. Almost as if twisting the knife, I would glance over photos of them all having fun with others, and I would think about how I didn’t get to do that anymore. My anxiety told me, that’s it for you! you chose a house, your days of fun with friends are over. As we lived through renovations, difficult financial months that never seemed to end, (there is always something) I drifted into what I now can admit as, a depression.
What happens when a year/somewhat of a life time of working towards a dream comes true? what if it ends up looking different from what you expected? I kept telling myself to take it day by day. Get up, do the usual every day routine that revolves around a two-year old, look forward to nap time, cry, eat, tell yourself this will be the last day of binge eating bad food during nap time. Dread cooking the same dinner you’ve been cooking for months. Worry about money, worry about your anger, tell yourself you’ll clean and do laundry the next day (which you won’t do the next day). Get yourself through bed time routine, continue to binge on bad food while avoiding eye contact with your partner. Go to sleep feeling angry at yourself. Text your friends during all of this and convince them you’re living the life you always wanted.
this and more every day of the week.
This is not what I thought my life would look like. I lost myself. The identity of who I was before we moved here was gone. I began to feel sorry for myself every day, and it became more and more transparent to my friends and family. I simply was not used to being alone. That isolation is what got that ball rolling so quickly down hill. I let it build while waiting for it to smack into me and kick me out of this fog I was listlessly drifting through day by day. I got through fall, winter, and the start of spring faking a smile in the public eye, and feeling guilty for letting my anger and depression consume me at home. A lot of time wasted on feeling sad, a lot of time spent trying to hide it from everyone else. Mostly I just felt ashamed of myself for being a shell of the mother I thought I once was. That is how this depression twisted every thought, and left me feeling selfish for feeling sad.
I needed a change. I needed drive again. I wish I could say some great big life changing event helped spark a “new me” attitude, but nothing changed really. I looked at a photo of myself beside some friends that came to visit, and I didn’t recognize myself. I thought, “who is that person?” That was the moment. I slowly began to walk in a different direction. I chose exercise over self loathing, I set myself goals which are never easy, but something that keeps me moving, and I realized I was depressed and did something about it. I talked about it. It dawned on me recently that the journey of working towards moving, had nothing on what I was to experience after we got here. It’s been a challenging year to say the least, and I hold zero regrets.
It’s been nearly a year and a half since I wrote anything for Peaks & Harbours. I felt my life wasn’t worth writing about anymore. Now I can say differently, and that I will be around here more often. Change can be excruciatingly humbling. I got brought down hard by it. But I’m ok, and I will be ok, and that is something to be happy about.