These are the things I've learned so far:
- Everyone struggles with something, even though our struggles may be very different and we may seem to have it all together on the outside.
- Finding joy is a difficulty everyone faces, and yet, it is possible to find joy in every circumstance.
- Sharing our stories of triumph over struggle helps others to find joy and strength through their own trials.
- We are stronger than we ever knew possible, and we find our strength when we go through difficult things.
- We can do hard things! Especially when we are doing hard things together.
- Julianne's Story-- finding joy through the death of her two year old son who was hit by a car
- Rachel's Story-- finding joy through putting her baby up for adoption
- Tiffany's Story-- finding joy through the death of her two year old son who drowned in the washing machine
- Marion's Story-- finding joy through the death of her baby girl who was shaken by her husband
- Emalee's Story-- finding joy through postpartum anxiety
- Olivia's Story-- finding joy through miscarriage
- Britt's Story-- finding joy through adoption (the other side of Rachel's story)
- Cathy's Story-- finding joy through infertility and adoption
- Lindsay's Story-- finding joy through infertility
- April's Story-- finding joy through the death of her premature daughter
P.S. Yesterday was a day for the books! I felt like myself for an entire day!!!! I wanted to do things and to be productive. I felt so much love and other good, positive emotions. I remembered that I used to make to do lists (haven't done that in 7 months), and I wanted to make one, because I actually wanted to fit more into my day. I got quite a bit done during the day and didn't feel overwhelmed about any of it. I acted silly and weird with my husband (always a sign that things are going well). I remembered how journal writing used to be a thing for me, and I wanted to start doing that again soon. I wanted to take my medicine (huge thing!!!), because I felt great hope that life can be good again, and I will want to experience it. I made a plan for baking with my daughter this week, something we have not done in months. I felt like I truly love being a mom and want to be the best mom I can be. I felt happy-- real, genuine happiness. Now, I know it will be a long time before I can get back to where I was, because I have lots of healing/recovering to do and I have to take things slow, but yesterday was a breath of fresh air in helping me realize that I will get there again. I'm determined to overcome this monster, and I really believe that will happen.