Today is November 4th. On this day 6 years ago I created this blog and wrote my first post. I was scared to death. Scared of writing. Scared of putting my writing out there for the world to see. Scared that I wouldn't know what to write. Or that no one would read it or care anyway.
The truth is, my fears are what drove me to create A Butterfly Moment in the first place. You see, I was in the midst of debilitating anxiety disorder and looking for anything to take my mind off my fears. Way more serious fears than any that I had about the blog itself. Fears of disease and death and craziness. Fear of leaving my children. Fear of taking a shower, even. I was afraid of everything. But I was mostly afraid of myself.
I've learned since that post traumatic stress disorder can do that to a person. But at the time I just thought I was really, really close to being certifiably crazy. Really.
And so I wrote. I wrote like I was the person I wanted to be. The person I used to be. I wrote like nothing was wrong and hoped it would rub off on reality. It helped. It gave me something to think about other than my fears. Something to cling to. It was the beginning of the end of my darkest days.
I called my blog A Butterfly Moment because the thought of butterflies fluttering around me gave me a sense of peace. Peace that I so desperately sought but that was so hopelessly out of reach. I tried to get peace from within myself. There was none there to be found. I tried to find peace through prayer. Boy did I pray. But I felt like my prayers just hit the ceiling. I tried to sleep my way to peace. No luck.
My brain was malfunctioning and I had no idea. My body was rejecting my every attempt at recovering reality and I still tried to fix it on my own. Silly, silly girl. But one day, when my young son asked me to get him some chocolate milk and I could not physically get off the couch to do so, something changed. I knew something had to be done. So I made some appointments with some doctors and I started the long road to recovery. I fought it. I fought the medication and the counseling. My pride still wanted me to go it alone. But my desire to be a mommy who could take care of her children drove that pride right out the door. And so I drove to my first counseling appointment with tears streaming down my cheeks and I sat in front of a complete stranger and sobbed. And she took my hand and looked me in the eye and told me it was okay. And that I could be fixed. And that God wasn't mad at me. Phew. She explained that the problem was with my brain, not my heart or soul.
After that and a prescription for anxiety medication I began a new journey. One that took me out of the hole I was in. One that finally, finally had a light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel. One day at a time. One minute at a time. I slowly healed. I could finally talk my way out of a panic attack. (Although some would argue that talking to yourself isn't improvement.) I even learned to predict and prevent major attacks. My brain was getting better. And so were my heart and soul in the process.
Anxiety is still a battle I fight on occasion. But now I at least have some weapons. And some help from those I love. And from above. (Which I had all along, by the way. I just couldn't see very well in the dark.)
And so six years after my first post on Butterfly, my life has changed dramatically. I have another child. A pink one even. And those two little boys who played on the floor while I wrote are taller than me now. I've celebrated my 40th birthday and my 20th anniversary. And I've healed and learned and grown stronger from those dark days.
And so today I count among my blessings A Butterfly Moment. For giving me a place to write and share and heal. And for giving me the chance to enjoy so many wonderful, peaceful butterfly moments.