November Brings Cupcakes…and Post Traumatic Stress

We have so many birthdays the month of November. It’s a crazy time of year. Two of my own children, two nieces, two of my siblings, one of my sibling’s spouses, multiple cousins, and friends that have become family…..all have birthdays this month.

For the first time in six years, I’m doing a birthday party for one of my kids…at my house…with cupcakes, and crafts…all in the month of November.  *Cue dramatic music*

This is the month Brent Got Sick. A long time ago. I figured once the five-year mark passed the month of November, kid birthday parties, ambulances, the exit for Regions Hospital, and the sight of intubated people on television shows would magically move to the “okay things in my life” column.  For the most part, things that truly trigger strong emotions in me regarding Brent’s illness have moved into the “okay” column. However this week I continue to find myself on edge. I was downtown with a friend going to an event. We got off at the Regions exit. An ambulance shrieked past us and I fought back tears. My daughter wanted to make special puppy cupcakes for her party and I started crying. (My dear friend made the most amazing cupcakes for the party six years ago–all various kinds of puppies…hence my tears.)

Life marches on. As do I. Tonight I’m taking Littlest to the store. We are buying the supplies to make fondant for decorating her cupcakes. At her party that is on Friday. A party taking place in our home.  My friend who made the cupcakes last time shared a recipe and is on standby to come help – for emotional support or technical support – I’ve never made fondant.  She may be needed on both fronts.

Another dear friend knows I’m struggling. I want to make sure my daughter has a special party. It’s not her fault I have demons to exercise. My friend offered for her daughter to come and run the party with my older daughter. She’s bringing the labor, I’m supplying the margaritas. And yet another friend…one far away…encouraged me to write this.

Lately, I’ve become fearful of sharing what I’m feeling. I want to be funny and entertaining….I want to share that part of myself with you. Instead…the last year….I’ve been in a weird place. Not feeling great and trying to navigate my life with a chronic headache.  I’m trying to find my way to where I want to be. I am working really damn hard actually. I’m getting there. I’ll get there.

One cupcake at a time.

This post originally appeared on Evil Joy Speaks. It has been reprinted with permission.

Joy Hedding

Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mother to four children she often refers to as spawn. Joy is a snowboarding fanatic and loves to share her exploits – snowboarding and otherwise – on Instagram. She currently spends copious amounts of time taxiing her children from one place to another. Frequently funny, always honest, and occasionally serious Joy blogs about everything from dealing with messy teenagers to navigating life after PTSD. Joy has been published in the anthologies “Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor” and “Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee” and has been featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds and UrbanMommies.com. Her blog is Evil Joy Speaks and you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

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