As I continue my recovery from postpartum depression, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways other than medication that I can cope and deal with the tough times that are part of everyday life. The idea for this series came partly from allowing my mind to wander through some ideas while I was driving one day and (admittedly) party from seeing other people doing the same thing on their blogs (like Momma Bird! Holla!).
One of the most draining, dark things about PPD was the feeling that there was nothing good in life — that all the things that might even be considered good were ultimately draining, or I didn’t deserve them so they would be taken away, or everyone else thought they were good but I just couldn’t see it from where I was mentally and emotionally. Getting into the habit of seeing the good things in my life and being thankful for them helps me recognize that there’s more than darkness and depression in my life. There’s hope.
So, especially coming into the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I want to be able to dwell on those things and not just the bad things or the hard things that have happened in the past year. And I’m asking other people to join me in that and to share their stories.
My husband, Bobby, is sharing today. He’s one of the things I am most thankful for. He has been a rock and an anchor for me in the past 16 months through pregnancy, childbirth, the death of my father, PPD, the tornado … I wouldn’t have made it through these things without him. Even at the moments when he was at a loss, he was there, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Here’s his story.
When Misty asked me to guest blog about an aspect of being thankful, I was happy to say yes. I had a ton of great ideas, and was excited to share them with her audience.
However, I’m a major procrastinator, so I never took advantage of those ideas. Now it’s November 3, and I’m doing NaNoWriMo. Oops.
So please bear with me while I talk about being thankful. I’m going to simply be honest, and lay a lot out there. I have more to be thankful than most. I’ve lived most of my life as somewhat of a cad, an untrustworthy, irascible lout who was looking out for no one but himself. I had very little conscience, zero faith and a dwindling core of — well, not friends, exactly — people I hadn’t betrayed or hurt yet.
It was no way to live.
In the past five years I’ve changed so much. Rediscovered my battered faith. Married the best woman I know, bought a house, had a kid. Well, Misty had the kid. But I helped! And not just in the beginning, either, thankyouverymuch. I became a master of back and foot rubs. I was there in the delivery room to be yelled and cussed at. (Although Misty didn’t cuss a ton. I think she called me an a-hole once.)
My old view was nihilistic. I didn’t mind using up things or people because — hey, we all get used up in the end, you know? But I was wrong. We don’t get used up unless we let it happen.
I’m thankful for so much. This past weekend is a great example. My wife and I went on a road trip to see family in southeast Alabama, about four hours away. Every time I see my dad hold my son, it brings tears to my eyes. This weekend he bent down and gave Noah a kiss on the top of the head. It’s rare for my Dad to show affection like that, and I just felt so fortunate to be a part of that moment.
Another moment: My mom tucked Noah into bed with her and let him nap beside her. We had the pack-n-play over at my mother-in-law’s house, and Noah decided he didn’t want to nap on the pallet my mom made for him. So he got to nap with Granny. Moments like that make my heart swell with happiness.
That’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed these days: I’m thankful to be here, to be experiencing the moments of everyday life with a good woman and a great kid. Every second that I’m a father to Noah is like holding a precious gem. Being his father, being Misty’s husband — being the man I am today — makes me thankful.
I’m also thankful that my lovely and talented wife let me guest-post on her blog. I hope you enjoyed what you read here, and that you’ll find some other worthwhile things at my own blog: http://bobthewriter.com.
Thanks for keeping the peace in the Mathews household and writing what I asked you to, Bobby.
Seriously, I’m happy to have had Bobby guest post because I think it shows readers the other half (or third, as it may be) of our story. I also look up to his writing ability immensely and am proud to have him sharing a tidbit of his talent here.
You can check out future Thankful Series posts on Thursdays in November and December. I’ve got some great folks lined up for guest posts, so be sure to stop back by!