People usually remember the “firsts” in life.
Your first day of school.
Your first kiss.
Your first heartbreak.
Your first job.
The first time you make love.
Your first car.
Your first funeral.
This past couple years has been filled with many firsts for me…
Some were happy.
Some were sad.
Some were devastating.
Some were triumphant.
During it all I felt that I was drowning…sinking lower and lower. I was sure that shortly I would simply disappear into oblivion.
I have fought a long, exhaustive battle with PTSD and a weakened will to live which brought about a myriad of stress related physical ailments. There were many times over the past year that I simply wanted to quit everything and crawl into a hole and hide. Obviously, I didn’t do that and instead, I have struggled to win the fight within me.
Those who “know” me could tell that there was a blankness in my eyes, but everyone else either didn’t notice anything or maybe thought I was a little bit sad. I guess I’m rather good at faking it. More than anything, I just wanted to be whole again. One of the things I decided to do was to occupy my mind with so much stuff that it wouldn’t be able to wander into the unhappiness that always threatened to overwhelm me.
Since I love my blog and find it to be the one place I can totally express myself, I decided to switch it to my own host and redesign it to fit the new person that looked back at me in the mirror. Did I know all the coding necessary? Heck no! Night after night I buried myself in code to ward away the demons of my PTSD hoping to find the me that once existed.
Where did all that effort get me? Not only have I learned a whole lot about blog design and code, but I discovered that the old me died and won’t ever return. Instead there is a new me. In many ways she is very different, but I think I like her.
After redesigning my blog at least ten times, I finally reached a point when my heart and mind had healed enough to agree. I disappeared online for about a week and am emerging with a blog that is easier to navigate, search, has more options and shows my face in the header.
Yeah, revealing my whole face was hard for me to do, but sitting by the James River with Alyssa taking my picture, I felt relaxed, peaceful and happy. Not faked happiness – real happiness like I used to feel. The same kind of happiness I feel when we go to the apple festival on Grave’s Mountain. Looking at my face in the blog’s header will remind me of that wonderful feeling that has been so absent in my life for many years.
I am actually proud of myself for not only writing diligently almost every day the past two and a half years, but also for all that I have learned and implemented on this new blog design. It has been a much needed boost to my self-esteem. Although I always knew the end goal, the path leading there was often nearly non-existent or drowning in the conflicts of life.
This is my first post to publish on my own host with my new design.
I created it.
I didn’t give up.
This helps to mark the beginning of a new me.
It is one of those monumental firsts in my life.
A first that I won’t forget.
So be honest and tell me what you like and don’t like about my new blog design. I’m eagerly listening and anticipating your input.
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