Finding peace in nature

It was one of those beginnings. The night was spent nursing Egan every hour, maybe more often than that. We went to bed well beyond our normal time because we couldn’t help but watch The Walking Dead. When morning came I was less than pleased.

I stayed in bed, hoping it would all just end so I didn’t have to do anything. My breath was shallow. My heart was racing. Hello depression and anxiety, nice of you to join me today.

I feel as if I could sleep for days. My head is pounding. I have to remind myself to breathe. My temper is short, my patience is missing. I’m trying to push through it but I can’t stop thinking about sleeping. I’m lacking motivation to do simple tasks. Any request from the kids makes me want to scream. The fact that Egan is clingy and crying frequently makes me feel rage. Still, I must continue on since it’s not about me anymore.

Somehow I found the energy to get three uncooperative kids ready so we could go outside. It’s much colder than it was yesterday but we still managed to stay outside for close to two hours. We walked in the snow, searching for animal tracks, listening to birds, and soaking up the sun. I felt alive again.

I’ve been living with PMDD for about 17 years now. I’ve had chronic headaches for 14. Being a parent is challenging on a good day. A bad day makes me feel incapable and undeserving. It makes me feel weak. I have many, many bad days.

Outside with my kids is the happiest I feel. I feel centered. I can breathe again, my heart slows and I can laugh. The rage subsides. I feel no hurry, my mind becomes quiet. I walk behind, giving Gannon and Waverly space for exploring. I see their happiness shine through. It must be difficult to have me as a mother. I’m unpredictable and often unhappy. But when we are in nature together we are connected and I feel hopeful we will grow together.

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