In front of you is a gate.
You can view it either as an entry or an exit.
It can be an entry to something wonderful, even though unknown.
The exit from something traumatic.
Or the exit from something healing.
It is all about perception. It is all about choice.
Today it was both my exit and entry. My exit from 15 months of healing and my entry into the unknown. But I'm choosing to make that new entry bright and bold and happy.
I've been open about the fact that I've been seeing a psychologist. I started seeing her shortly after Kyle made the decision last September to go live with his dad. I was no longer coping on my own. In these 15 months I have grown more than I could ever have anticipated. I've learnt that my issues don't lie in the areas I would have expected them to. I've learnt how to set healthy boundaries so that saying yes means I am not saying no to myself. I have learnt to respect and love myself again. I've cried, I've ranted, I've nearly been hospitalised, a few times I was potentially suicidal. There is no saying whether or not I would have self-harmed. Had it not been for the strong support around me at those times of crisis I would never know. I don't dwell there.
She has handed me the tools I need to carve out a healthy life for myself. It won't be easy. Hell I don't for one second think I'm going to be smiling each day. That's part of the lessons learnt. I've learnt to flow with the bad times. It happens. It's nasty. But it gets better. Sometimes it takes a bit longer than others but it does get better.
I know if I ever needed to go back for booster sessions I can. But for now I'm ready to move forward with the knowledge I have gained. I feel safe. I have built my safety net. I know where my support lies. I can identify my weak points and I can work to minimise the damage before it becomes catastrophic. That is progress. That is what therapy is about. It is work. It isn't about going week after week to complain and be bitter. It's taking the lessons, going home and putting it into practise week after week. And it is all hard work.
It is true what they say - life will keep repeating something until you have learnt the lesson. I've seen that now first hand.
By a strange twist of fate my other pillar of medical care also came to an end today. I discovered my GP of the last 3 years was moving into a new field of study that will take him out of general practise. He diagnosed my Diabetes by pure chance 3 years ago. He got my levels under control and has helped me manage my health now for these last 3 years.
More than that due to his family background and interest in mental disorders he was able to help me navigate the minefield of diagnoses I had to deal with when it came to Kyle. Eventually getting us to the correct Psychiatrist and on the right path. By doing that he also knew what I was dealing with and was able to ensure I was on the correct medications to help me control my diabetes and my anxiety and panic attacks.
Had any of this happened 12 months, perhaps even 6 months ago, I would be a basket case. No psychologist. No doctor. Not coping with change well and knowing I'd have to deal with a new doctor would have freaked me out. I would have just stopped functioning on any kind of level.
But I feel surprising good tonight. There have been a number of developments over the last few months that have meant I'm having to adjust my sails. Kyle is in Boys Town. Nathan will be home schooling his last 2 years of high school. He'll start part time work soon and in 7 months time will be a legal adult. I go back to a full day in the office after nearly 4 years of working until 2pm. New challenges are opening up in front of me on the home and work front. But I can finally stand up again and face them.
When Kyle was diagnosed in March 2011 my life as I knew it stopped. I believe I had what was my first full breakdown in April 2011 and I've had numerous mini ones since. I had my last full blown panic attack in September 2013. I get anxious but I can largely control it now - to a point. But I've spent nearly the last 4 years trying to piece my life back together and some days I have felt like I would never get there. It is like having a newborn - you think those endless sleepless nights will never end... but they do...
I can finally say that while there are cracks, those cracks now let in the light and the love. I feel at peace. I'm ready to face the challenges that are coming my way. Chin up, shoulders back, back straight, stilettos on (when the wonky knee allows it!). The good and the bad will always be part of my life. But I'm taking MY life back.