It's been a week since I came home from the retreat.
When I finally arrived, after getting off the plane I was surprised to find my whole gang waiting for me. Manny, Gabe, Christian, and little busy-body, Lola. As soon as Lola noticed me, she yelled, "Ma-ma!" and ran for me. I missed all of them so much and I gladly welcomed the October heat (yes, I said heat) as we made our way out of the Phoenix airport.
Although I was so happy to be home, sleeping in my own bed with my family at arm's reach, I couldn't shake this nagging feeling. I didn't even know what to call it. I just felt...down. I felt like I brought the overcast gray of Seattle with me.
I thought it was just me trying to get back to my day to day routine. But with every passing day of last week I was still feeling off. Like I couldn't get into my groove.
Four days of this went by. I saw another one of the moms from the retreat post in our message group about feeling the same way. Finally I posted something. And everyone was feeling the same thing! It was like a mini-depression-retreat-hangover.
After my feelings were validated by my other fellow mommies, I mulled it over in my head as to why something like this would occur. I think it's because for four days we were able to pause. For four days we intertwined conversations about our favorite wine with which therapies we had tried for our kids (fittingly paired?). Conversations of our favorite TV shows intertwined with medication jargon and seizure control. It was effortless and normal. It felt really normal. Nobody was on the other end of the conversation politely indulging me about the latest happenings with Christian. When I told of Christian's progresses, however minute, I wasn't met with a look of Is that a good thing? Instead I was met with looks of understanding and feedback and all sorts of things that don't happen in my everyday life. These four days became more "normal" than my normal back home.
So it wasn't surprising that when I got back home it felt a little less "normal" because of my overexposure to "more normal" if that makes any sense. I felt sad to leave that silent understanding that exists in our little tribe.
The great thing, though, is that as soon as my hangover feelings were validated by just about every single member of our tribe, I felt so much better! It was like Poof! A complete 180. I was able to get back into my groove and the entire experience - the four days and the retreat hangover - has taught me a lot about connection and appreciation. Feeling down has been replaced by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for having had this opportunity to learn from others and to meet these amazing women. There's a sense of belonging that is like no other. And I can't wait for the next retreat!
So thank you for indulging me. I felt like I needed to blog it out.
1 day ago