It’s Tradition (And A Bit Bleak Really)

Blogging tradition dictates an end of year round up really…Well, at least I think it does. This is only my second Christmas doing this thang y’know. Either way, it looks like it’s going to be my tradition because it feels like the only way to end the year when there’s so much else going on and we’re all diving head first into wrapping paper / presents / a bottle of wine while tolerating embracing our families.

Unfortunately for me and my newly installed tradition, I don’t really know where to start. Twelve whole months have passed and, well, one hell of a lot has happened really. More than I care to think about while I’m sipping hot chocolate in the early hours of Christmas Eve, covered in glitter having just concocted a particularly sparkly batch of Magic Reindeer Food™ for Beans to sprinkle in the garden before bed, no doubt with sheer confusion in her eyes and wonder at the fact that where mummy usually yells to ‘get off the grass’ she is all of a sudden allowing it to be liberally covered in fistfuls of glitter.

Inspired as ever, I’m going to wrap up 2012 in Dickens style – that is past, present and future. Only this version has no ghosts. Or Tiny Tim…It’s been a while since I blogged properly so I’m looking at this as a good opportunity to catch up if nothing else.

The Ghost of 2012 Past:

Beans took her very first steps and then had her very first birthday – both things that I look back on now with hazy memories and a sullen frown because I was more messed up than I realised and far more unwell certainly than any of us could imagine. In fact maybe I should have come up with another angle because looking back still makes me wince and writhe a bit.

I remember being surprised at the relief that I felt watching Big Ben chime in the new year alone on the sofa. I cried but I was glad, so glad, that the weight of 2011 had been lifted somewhat. It was gone, past. Last year. I desperately wanted to move one.

And then it was February; when it all crashed and burned, when I crashed and burned. It was Valentines day. There was duck in the fridge waiting to be cooked for a special dinner and something delicious for pudding but it all went very, very wrong.

I reacted to my medication and it was all just horrific. Some kind of breakdown maybe, or just how ill I really was, I honestly don’t know. But it lead to me leaving behind the husband and Beans and collapsing into my childhood bed at my parents house not to move or eat or drink for weeks.

Horrible.

We lost our home. We were all split up and then our landlord sold and it all just got worse and worse and we had nowhere to go.

And then, after months, we got the house we are in now – the place that because of all of you we managed to make home. But I think that counts as present so I’m skipping it for now.

I have post after post after post like this, half written and languishing at the bottom of my drafts, unpublished and forgotten but as real as ever:

My whirling dervish of a daughter. I wrote a few days ago about how happy she is. All the time. She never stops, she never sits still (unless she wants a story), she is constantly laughing and giggling and chattering away to herself.

This afternoon I looked at her and cried.

I can’t explain how much I crave for one day, just twenty four hours, where I can be the mummy I want to be and do the things that I want to do. There is so much that she hasn’t experienced, is that fair? Because of my depression or my anxiety or my general ineptitude she misses out; she has never been swimming, never been to soft play or a baby group, she has no little mates to share her toys with.

Why has this happened? Why has it taken me until now to realise that because of my illness every single thing in all of our lives has been put on hold.

So much of the last year has been heartbreaking or exhausting or emotionally crippling and scrolling back through posts, although painful in a lot of ways, is also kind of cathartic. There is so much that I wouldn’t remember had I not taken the time to pour it out here, and as much as it’s a bit shit to actually be reminded, it’s also showing me that we have come so much further than I give us credit for.

And it reminded me of the time that I tried to explain to the husband how it feels to be a mummy through the frankly ingenious metaphor of a penis. Oh yes.

Even so, I think I’m going to stop here because now, tonight, I’m excited about Christmas and presents under the tree and roast potatoes and gravy and that is what I want to focus on. So tonight we will shroud the garden in glitter and thank our lucky stars that we have so much when we had so little.

Happy Christmas everyone x

PS – the next posts will be a) better and b) less maudlin, I promise.