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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