It's hard to believe that I have lived in Austin for 3 months already. Or....one quarter of a year! I moved here before the end of 2015 and here we are, almost on the fourth month of this new year already. I wish I could remember when time started to go so fast!
It has been an incredible three months. I survived the biggest challenge in the entire transition which was living apart from Matthew for 10 weeks. I learned that while I didn't (always) feel brave, I am in fact brave, and I think I surprised nearly everyone with how well my big leap went. I didn't just live without Matthew for several weeks, I survived. I had to find a new home, start a new job, learn an entirely new city, manage to be on the receiving end of the move and unpack alone without going completely in sane. While I had my days and my moments, I do believe I came out of all of that a stronger person.
There is an entirely new meaning to happy in my vocabulary. And that is my life in Austin. Matthew and I sit and talk all of the time about how happy we are and how we feel so much better since being in Austin. We enjoy everything here, jobs included. Getting up in the morning is a much more relaxed process. I don't have to drag myself out of bed and dread what I will walk into once I hit the office door. I wake up much more rested (usually) than I ever did before. I know that if it's going to be a bad day that it isn't going to be my job's fault. I can roll with the punches, which is not something I was ever good at before, much better than I gave myself credit for. I enjoy every second of my weekends, we have so much fun no matter what we do. Maybe part of that is not having a couch for us to camp out on all weekend......ha! We were happy before, but mostly we were just content.
I still have some pretty awful days when it comes to my mental health and I am still trying to figure out what exactly is causing them. I still have panic attacks and feel like I'm completely exhausted for no reason. These periods of time seem to be shorter but darker for me. Instead of being a rough week or two where things just seem hazy and like I am going through the motions of the day, they are periods of a day or two, maybe three. They are heavy, they are dark, and they are exhausting. I have to pick my feet up one at a time, I have to fake a smile, I have to tell myself that it's okay, that I am fine, and that tomorrow will be better. I have to tell Matthew the truth about how terrible I feel. I have to be left alone, sometimes. I have to convince myself that the world isn't ending, I didn't do anything "wrong', and that I am not "weird". A lot of times when something happens (like the panic attack I had at the grocery store last week......) I say "I wish I was normal". It's not the right thing to say and normal is non existent, so why do I say it?
I don't know why God chose me to have the brain in my head that I do, but I won't give up on it and I won't stop being an advocate for others with mental health diagnosis. I also know that I could have all of the money in the world, live in a mansion, have my dream job and dream family, and still have GAD and have these terrible dark times. It is possible to be over the moon happy with life, and still have panic attacks and bad days. Mental Illness does not discriminate and it doesn't care who or what you are. The trick is not letting it win.
This view never gets old.
Easter was also the first holiday I was away from home and virtually did nothing to celebrate. Matthew and I talked about going to get Easter brunch somewhere but we didn't. We didn't even try to find a church, which is un usual for us. Instead it was a normal Sunday for us. We took Wrigley to get groomed, ran errands, and saw a movie. We enjoyed maneuvering the city with no traffic. We skyped with our families. He let me have a mental break and take a nap on the floor. (I literally told him I needed a break..) We made supper and stayed up past our bedtime watching a show together. We had a good day, but it didn't feel like Easter. Or any holiday, or anything other than Sunday. I hope all holidays away from home won't feel this way.