Reflections: My Difficult Yet Beautiful Journey Over the Past Few Years

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. Lately, I haven’t had as strong of an urge to write. I used to constantly write blog posts and journal entries — it was how I processed my feelings as well as how I expressed myself to the world. Lately, my writing has just been the occasional journal entry after a major life event, to make sure that I remember important things and when they happened to me.

I decided to give myself a bit of a push today and write about what I’ve been going through lately. In the past few years, I experienced a long series of life changes.
First, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I’ve written about this on my blog before. My first episode with bipolar was quite the traumatic experience, and I have spent the past few years recovering from that. Since my diagnosis, I have been able to achieve stability thanks to therapy and the right mix of medication.

In the midst of getting diagnosed with bipolar, I connected with Juan, who I ended up marrying on June 13, 2020. This summer we will be celebrating three years of marriage, although it feels like just yesterday. Our wedding took place during COVID, and instead of paying for a large wedding, we put a down payment on our first home together, which we moved into the same week we got married. Since then, I’ve focused making this house a home and enjoying my time with Juan.

This past November, we found out that we were pregnant with our first child. I was thrilled to find out that she is a girl! I’ve always pictured myself with a little girl. Besides that, I have a beautiful, big wooden dollhouse that my grandfather made for me. I can’t wait to pass this on to my child. As a kid, I spent hours playing in this dollhouse with my Barbies and Beanie Babies, and as I got older, I started focusing on decorating the rooms of this house, which led me to my love for interior design.

My baby is due on July 2, and the time has just been flying by. It feels like just yesterday I found out that I was pregnant, and now I’m already entering my third trimester. My baby girl has just recently started moving around a lot, her little kicks a constant reminder that I’m growing a life inside of my belly.

As I reflect on the past few years, the most overwhelming feeling that comes to my mind is gratitude. When I first was diagnosed with bipolar, it felt like my entire life was falling apart. I was hurt by the people around me and their insensitive response to what I was going through. I lost a lot of friendships with people who misunderstood the nature of my mental illness. I struggled to adapt to my medication. I felt depressed and lonely at times.

But somehow, in the midst of my greatest struggle, my life slowly started to come back together in the most beautiful and unexpected ways. I got closer to friends who truly stood by me in the midst of what I was going through. I developed new friendships with people that I feel are genuine and supportive. Through therapy, I was able to process my pain and move on from it. I moved closer to my parents, and enjoy being able to visit them whenever I want to. I met the man of my dreams, and now we are having a baby together.

When I look back on all of the things that I lost and all of the pain that I’ve experienced, it feels so distant now compared to the joy I have in my life today. I am grateful to God for carrying me through the difficult times, and for putting my life back together when it felt like nothing would ever be joyful again.

Things I Didn’t Know About Motherhood

Motherhood is an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Despite having many friends who became mothers before me, and despite listening to them tell me about their experiences, there was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood. There were parts that were way more difficult than I anticipated, but there are also parts that are so much better than I could ever have imagined.

On Weight Gain and Body Acceptance

Over the past few years, I’ve put on a lot of weight. It actually started with a medication that I had to take for bipolar disorder. One of the side effects was that I put on a few pounds. But it wasn’t until recently, when I got pregnant with my first child, that the weight really started to pile on. During my pregnancy, I was a bit overwhelmed at the rate at which I was gaining weight, and it was hard to prevent it from happening. I was constantly hungry, and as my pregnancy progressed, I replaced going to the gym with more leisurely walks because I was constantly winded and tired from my workouts.