A Year at Home: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going

A year ago today Brandon and I sat at a long wooden table, hands shaking as we finally signed stacks of paperwork. I stole the pens (I also lost the pens). Afterwards, we sat in the bagel shop across the street from the mortgage brokers—where we had our second date—shell-shocked. It was ours.

We drove to the house, and I babbled excitedly about my ideas of grandeur for the house and for a blog about the house. We snapped a photo in front before we walked around inside. I stood in my new dining room and cried. We were finally over the hardest part.

We went to our apartment, I bought a domain and a set up a blog. The original idea was to blog about rehabbing our weird old house into this snazzy new dream house—but our original intentions rarely match the outcome.

I was sad. I was really, really sad. My wedding, though amazing and wonderful, hadn’t happened at all how I planned (spoiler alert: it was in a hospital). I was stuck and frustrated at work after a year in my position with really no direction, we’d been trying to have a baby for over a year and a half and my doctors refused to help, my husband was passing out, I was sick, and I’d just gone through one of the hardest and most stressful processes of my life. Also, I’m mentally ill.

To be more specific, I have Bipolar Disorder II, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and General Anxiety Disorder. A well-rounded platter of what I like to call The Sads.

A dose of disappointment, a dash of personal failure, a sprinkling of frustration, and a helping of The Sads—pop it in the echo chamber that is an insomniac’s head and you get… one of the worst depressions of your life! Party!

I struggled through prepping our house to move in, I struggled through packing our apartment, I struggled with work, I struggled with our routine change after we got a puppy, I struggled with my friendships, I struggled with everything. I’m not a stranger to depressive episodes but they never get easier.

But I got lucky. I asked for help and I got it. I got a new (and correct) diagnosis. I got a new medication. And slowly but surely, I came out of that depression. And I’m OK.

It wasn’t my first, and it won’t be my last.

After a year in our house, I am better prepared for this blog. Not my original idea of ~*~*fixing up this old home*~*~ but what actually matters to me—what it’s like to own a home, be in a long-term relationship, have a career, and live a life with a mental illness; as well as how two twenty-somethings bought and maintain a house, the common but oft silent struggles of infertility, the journey that is self-acceptance, and our successes and failures in learning lessons of adulting. Also occasionally fixing up this old home, honestly.

That’s a lot, I know. It’s broad. It’s hard. It’s messy. But it’s all important and I want to share it.

People may look at me differently after my public admission of mental illness. They may doubt and distrust me. But it doesn’t change who I am—I’ve always been mentally ill.

These are my struggles and achievements, both private and public.

And I’m ready to talk about what that means.

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Welcome home.

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Q: Who are you?
A: My name is Hannah, and I just bought a house with my husband, Brandon (aka the Husbeef). I work for a biker magazine, he works for a medical insurance company.

Q: when was your house built?
A: 1921! It’s 96 years old. It’s so old it has a coal room and you can see where the shoot originally was.

Q: Ghosts?
A: Ghosts.

Q: What is the War on Spiders? Does it ever end?
A: The War on Spiders is our efforts to reclaim our house from the arachnids who took up residence and got huge while it sat empty. The war on spiders only ends when we are drafted into the skeleton war. Or when we sell the house. Whichever comes first.

Q: Why start a blog about your house and life?
A: As a millennial, I never thought owning a home would be possible. But, here we are. And it was much easier than expected. I want to show and help people on a budget it’s possible to get out of shitty apartments, and into a shitty home! And make that home less shitty. Gotta do something, right?

More coming soon.