This year has had some unanticipated twists and turns for me, with a few health surprises (for both myself and the boys - but all is okay), over committing myself to things, and not anticipating what the demands of my boys would be - and this year it was extraordinary great for both of them. I am tired, and depleted.
I have been so honest here with so many of my struggles, but haven't shared this one in much detail before. I have struggled with anxiety my entire life, and sometimes when it is great, it can be coupled with depression. One way for me to manage it is to stay busy, but it is a delicate balance between busy and too busy for me. When I am too busy, and feel the demands of the commitments I have made and potential of letting others down, it can cripple me and make my anxiety even worse. I have done this to myself this year.
I am slowly backing away from my over commitments, because in trying to be healthy, I have drained myself for those who matter most my little family ... and myself. Tobin will be leaving me soon to go to school everyday, and right now my days are spent so busy. I am not enjoying and engaging as much as I did with Hackett, and feel that guilt. Raising a miracle baby that you are eternally thankful for, while grieving a child you have lost, comes with much guilt. I find myself second guessing myself far more than I should. It's beautiful, and hard, and tangled. Tobin brings SO much joy, and so much fire. That spicy side needs more of me. And that joy needs me patient enough to just savor and enjoy it. Hackett is busy, and his schedule keeps our evenings and weekends hopping. I want to enjoy these moments, savor them as they are passing far too fast for me. As a mom, a parent, it is a constant juggling act, isn't it? I know you all in this same stage, or having lived this stage, can relate.
I also need to make my physical health a priority, and not put myself last on the list. I want to enjoy my family for many years to come, and to do that, I have to take care of myself. I am trying and making strides as I prioritize.
In trying to keep Koen's memory alive, and his little life present, I have added to my stress. After his death, I seemed to have the best grasp on what was important, and what to say 'no' to. But my depression and sadness was present then too. I have pulled myself from that dark place, with the help of Jesus, but now I need to swing myself back so I land somewhere in the middle. My desire is to be my healthiest, not overwhelmed, and able to embrace the small moments without guilt. I have committed to so many of you to make beautiful Christmas ornaments this year to honor Koen. All of yours are prepped, pieces cut, orders organized. This year flew by, all while I was treading water. It is just not realistic for me to enjoy the next few months, and to embrace life the way Koen taught me, while trying to keep his memory alive at the same time. They will come to you ... eventually ... when it brings me joy and not stress. I am sorry, and know you will understand. It is me who is harder on myself than I need to be. Thank you for loving me, and Koen, through every step of my grief, as I am still learning and growing and sorting through it all. Still trying to figure out how to balance my life for my angels on earth, with my angel in heaven.
I am Jackie.