Monday 21 July 2014

"The Prince and Perspective"

Always wear your invisible crown
When I was a child my proudly Scottish Grandpa Bill always used to tell me that our family was related to the Queen. We were cousins, of course! So, a year ago I eagerly awaited the arrival of a new cousin, a brand new British prince. Along with millions I waited in front of the television. When would the new baby be born? Would it be a boy or a girl? Secretly I hoped for a girl.

Silly and time wasting. That's what some of you are thinking, I am sure. Who cares about the birth of a new prince? A baby born into a life of privilege. Turns out, I do.

Full disclosure, I have been a long time Anglophile - I adore all things British and I idolized Princess Diana when I was a girl. But this birth played a role in my life and in my well-being in an important way. It shifted my focus from my sadness and depression - it took my mind off the horrible stories that play out on the evening news each night. This birth gave me something to be excited about at a time in my life when absolutely nothing brought me joy and I rarely smiled.

I am writing about this a year later because I have the gift of perspective that time often brings. In the twelve months since little Prince George was born, we have each gone through milestones. He learned to walk - I learned how to be happy and whole again.

It has been a slow process; excruciating at times. I wanted to be well again so badly that I refused to give up. I have tried medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise, social connection, and more. The secret weapon that cures all? It isn't any of the things that I just mentioned - it's perseverance.

As I thought about what I wanted to write about today I re-read my last post. I was coming out of a brief dip back into depression. I was so frustrated because after almost a year I was mostly depression free. To take what feels like a step back is awful. But a month later and I really do feel like I have opened yet another new chapter - a happy, optimistic one. A new chapter full of possibility and opportunity.

Will I have another recurrence? Maybe. The scientific evidence says it's likely. But I am going to keep fighting like hell during my periods of wellness to mitigate that risk. One of the things that I will continue to do is to keep the negative influences in life at bay. The horrific plane crash over the Ukraine is a perfect example. My heart breaks a million times over for the tragedy of it all. But I also need to protect my heart and my psyche.

Instead of dwelling on the horror in the world I choose to focus on the good. I will keep doing what I can to make my world a bit brighter. I wonder what kind of birthday cake my little cousin will have on his first birthday? Happy birthday, George. I think I'll celebrate with a cupcake in your (our) honour.

KB xo

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