Monday, November 22, 2010

How Things Change

Christmas was the hardest day of my year for a long time. Even when I still lived at home, the day would dissolve in tears and screaming most of the time. After I ran away from home it only got worse. I was alone, and intruding on my boyfriend's family... just watching from the outside. I couldn't sort out the part of me that wanted to go home, and rest of me that never wanted to see my mom again. It was a terrible day, and I almost never looked forward to it. That's life with mental illness. Days that should be the best, usually suck the most.

Then a few days ago my three year old daughter was telling me everything she knew about Christmas. "There will be lights, and ornaments, and a tree!" she said. "Mama, is it time for a tree?"

I actually caught myself feeling genuinely excited to put up a tree and decorate the house. I'm not saying that having kids magically makes the day better. It could easily be a terrible day for all of us if I chose to wallow in the past like my mom did and destroy any future hope for peace and happiness. Life is all about the choices we make. And things really can get better.