I spent several years being quite miserable at this time of year, and into the early spring. Depression was diagnosed and compounded with my mother's death one cold February. With her death remembered in February, Mother's Day not completely celebrated in March, and then trying to get through her birthday in April, spring days were hard for me.
Mum loved daffodils, and I always think of her when I see them
I don't suffer like that any longer - and I don't really know why, except that I decided not to one year. Not that I had ever made a conscious decision to be miserable, but I do remember making a huge effort to be cheerful - it reminds me of that saying about "fake it until you make it" which is what I guess I was doing. Mental illness is never easy, and I am not trivializing anyone else's experience of it, but I am incredibly thankful that I no longer feel that way.
The New Year for me is now a huge opportunity to look forward to a brand new year, and a new chance to start afresh. It's clean, unsullied and full of promise. I love to write lists and plans at this time of year, and fill myself with fresh hopes. It's looking up, looking forward and looking outward.
By the time the schools go back in January, we will have lived six months without the FH. Six months. It seems like so much longer in many ways, but I still remember it all like yesterday. We are stronger. We are asked every so often if we are "coping". "Coping" to me implies just getting by. We are doing so much more than that - we are living, thriving and moving forward, just as he wanted us to do. The EFG is doing really well at uni, the YFG is moving her life on towards GCSEs and Sixth Form, and I am working, and doing all the other things I do!
(image from darkecologies.com)
And so our ride, which hit the bottom of the rollercoaster last July, is climbing up and up again. I have no idea where we will be when we hit the top of the climb, but I know that the ride is exciting and we're enjoying life again.