Happy New Year friends, what a quick start it is off to so far. While I've been pretty quiet lately , I'm happy to share with you today that for a few weeks, consecutively, I'm doing really well. As anyone knows by now, thats not to say that everyday is awesome but I'm finally able to put together a consistent sequence of happiness and hopeful days. It's not everyday but it's been many of the last few weeks. You might wonder what changed and I too have spent quite a bit of time thinking about that. Thought it would be good to share with you.
I think that the secret for me has been stepping back from the noise. That noise being those things around me that I need not be consumed with, or that distract from my time with those around me. Yes, it's Facebook, Instagram, news, television and the things that we as a culture have surrounded ourselves with to sustain this concept of being in the know or up on the latest in someones life. That's not to say I've cut it all off but for a period of time I did and I feel like it it retrained my habits. I'm lucky enough to have been able to spend the majority of the holidays at home. I had a week off of work and worked remotely for a portion of the following week so that I could be home with these two little monsters that keep us going. During that time, I deleted all social media from my phone, just as I do with my work email when I'm on vacation, no temptation. My ask to myself during this time was simply to be present. Present for my wife, present for my children and present with myself. I knew that if I spent all of my time scrolling through feeds and seeing all of the family pictures and holiday celebrations, my mind would be consumed with the sadness of the holidays without Hudson. Instead I spent it on the couch playing games, building puzzles, and interacting with my family. I'll be the first to admit that while I spend a lot of time with my family, I'm often distracted and it was interesting to see how engaged the kids were with all of my attention. Looking back I felt like it reestablished some focus for me, realizing how influential everything I say and do is to my children. While the approach I took may have been slightly selfish to my extended family my hope is that they'll be happy with the result.
Now that we're a few weeks removed from this time of re-familiarization with a world outside of being consumed by the non-tangible things, I'm starting a year with the chance to refocus my energy. The resolution I set for myself this year was just that, to refocus and refine my purpose. What does that mean? It means that I need to refocus on what's in front of me, never forgetting what has happened or the history that has lead me to this state, but trying to always look ahead and help those that I still have influence on. Refining my purpose by continuing to be an advocate for those that struggle from depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. Not just being a parent survivor but starting to be a bigger voice in this space. Still determining the right path for that goal. While I love the work I do every day and am grateful for the opportunities presented, I know that I won't be happy without continuing to give back through guiding others through similar journeys and helping those that can, avoid this path. I'm the busiest person I know and I love that but it's those moments where you can help someone start to understand the whys or through their roughest time that is the most rewarding work.
For a change, I'm approaching the new year with some excitement, with a renewed focus and with a new career challenge like nothing I've taken on before. I hope I can sustain the momentum. I do recognize that in 2 short weeks I'll be faced with that fateful date and until then I'll have moments every day where I'm reliving those last days, holding on to those last memories, and questioning every action or opportunity that could have prevented 1/26/16. For now, I'll hold my head high and focus, this weekend I'll probably spend watching old videos and looking at pics, promise to share if I find some gems. God I miss you Hudson, I hope you're proud of the fight as it's for you and our family that I will never give up! Here's to a better year than the last 2 and the ability to cont;nue developing me.
If you are feeling hopeless or having thoughts of ending your life, please reach out for assistance. Resources are available at https://www.projecthudson.org/get-help/
Remember that you don't have to call, you can simply text for help from the US by texting home to 741-741 or by going to their website at https://www.crisistextline.org