Maybe because I'm trying to limit my time on Facebook, I don't get those "Facebook Memories" reminders in my feed anymore. But I do get memories of 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, and so on from my Google Photos.
March and April have been...interesting.
When I was having a difficult time in March with my anxiety, a coworker asked, "do you have any weird anniversaries around this time?" and I thought...well, yes.
My photo memories had insane montages of my eye from March 2017, all red and scary looking from the scleritis that I had to travel in a blizzard to get diagnosed after spending Bryce's birthday in the emergency room. There's a scary eye progression, and then I start getting into the Prednisone Days.
April is worse, though -- April has pictures of my coloring that I did while trying to get out of a 5-day fight-or-flight response as a result of the high levels of prednisone I had to take to keep from permanently damaging my eye, more gross eye pictures, one-dilated-eye pictures, and memories of having a mental health crisis combined with needing to go to the emergency room because my blood pressure was through the roof and my symptoms were mimicking a heart attack.
What brought all this on? Stress. The root cause of the autoimmune attack on my eye and then the difficult medication and resulting side effects was a culmination of the stress of the 8 years we spent trying to have a family (and failing every which way), a culmination of trying to appear normal on the outside while I was howling on the inside with every loss and reminder of what was just not materializing, of what had already been lost. The cost became way too much, and I needed to land myself in an ER and in a car being driven home from school because I wasn't fit for public consumption before I recognized that. I needed to see Bryce crying in a chair at the emergency room while my blood pressure was something like 189/125 and they were drawing blood to test for heart attack enzymes.
That was the ENOUGH moment. And I don't have photographic evidence of all of it, but I have enough that it startles me and brings me back to that time, four years ago.
WOW. Four. Years. Ago.
While that was insanely hard, and I let go of our dream of parenthood kicking and screaming, I am now so glad that we ended what was clearly no longer healthy. I am so grateful for my life, as it is now. I am even grateful for my hysterectomy two years ago, because it felt like an exorcism, a final closing of the broken door, and it finally gave me some answers to why I couldn't get and stay pregnant.
It's good to be reminded of what I've been through, and to honor all the work it's taken to get where I am today. It does make me sad, and I had a real weird dream last night where we were possibly adopting a baby and then chose to adopt a 12 year old instead because we already had a twin bed and dresser (which is a) bizarre and b) unrealistic and c) WHY IS MY MIND BRINGING ME BACK TO THAT PLACE AND THEN MAKING IT ABOUT CONVENIENCE???), which I'm sure is related to my subconscious knowing that these anniversaries exist.
I am not looking forward to the photo memories of May, that include the dismantling of a nursery, the packed-up-pile of baby things by the door for donation, the realization that it's been four years since we made that final decision, irrevocably disassembled our dream. But then there's the redesigning of my office-once-nursery, and the oatmeal couches we bought because we don't have kids, and the California Honeymoon trip we took that August. Those are happy memories.
It's amazing how a photo can bring you right to a moment of time, and how that memory can become visceral. But it's also wonderful how the sting is so much less now that I am farther away from those raw times. Thank goodness for the hard work of healing.
Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!