Once the Storm is Over

~ And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about ~ Haruki Murakami

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When I came upon this quote a few months ago, oh! How it resonated with me. Exactly 8 years ago, my husband and I left the UK on an extended honeymoon adventure in Southeast Asia, en route to our final destination – a new life in Regional New South Wales, Australia. Within ten months of landing on Australian soil, still in backpacker mode and adjusting to the realities of our new life, I turned 36, and our first daughter was born. And so the winds began to howl, quietly at first, but fast gaining momentum. The signs were ignored, immigration was blamed, and I soldiered on with what I now realise was Post Natal Depression. Almost three years later, with another beautiful daughter in my arms, I finally entered the eye of the storm, taking my little family down with me. Therapy and Zoloft came to the rescue this time, and I emerged, battered and bruised upon the shore – only to sink once more within two years. This time, there was nothing to blame. We were living our Aussie dream, had even managed to buy ourselves a little fixer upper in an beautiful country village, life was so sweet…and yet, I was often suicidal. I went back on my medication, and a psychiatrist diagnosed recurrent Clinical Depression. Light bulb!!! So many things about my history suddenly made perfect sense. It no longer felt like the end of the world, but rather a new beginning.

Eighteen months on from that diagnosis, I look back and I really, truly have no idea how I survived the wild and frightening storm that was the early years of motherhood for me. But I did and I am happy, and I am med free again and I am on the right path in taking care of myself. Life is good, and I am so, so grateful. And yet, it is true I am not the same person who walked into that storm. I often feel as if I have just woken up inside this life, and it can be disconcerting. It is exactly like that feeling of waking up in the morning after a storm has raged all night, to see blue skies and sunshine and no trace of the driving rain and howling wind that went before. It’s unsettling. I worked my whole life, met my husband in my early 30s when I was backpacking alone, we had adventures, we were free, I was a city person with a corporate job. Then, I went on this crazy, terrifying ride that near as dammit did for me. And now, suddenly, I am a stay at home country mum, living quietly and peacefully in a small village at the ends of the earth.

I haven’t worked these whole eight years. I believe in my role as a stay at home mum; it’s right for our family. And I love living slow and simple. However, my girls are now going on five and going on seven and I am well, and out of the blue it seems that at last, there is time for ME. What the bloody hell am I going to do with it? Well, crochet, of course!!

Crochet has been my saviour since I finally mastered the basics at the beginning of 2015. Complicated patterns require a concentration that takes me out of myself. Simple, repetitive stitches in silence are soothing and almost meditative – or they can accompany Netflix binge watching, a kind of therapy all of it’s own, in my opinion! I just LOVE to crochet. It is entirely addictive and it makes me sooooo well, damn happy. I have pondered what the future holds for me and I cannot see myself in an office wearing a suit again. Financially at my age, another degree is not cost effective. Anyway, my daughters are still young enough to need me a lot, and so here I remain. I’m sitting at my kitchen table listening to the quiet that school and preschool bring, looking at a new-to-me laptop that is quite frankly puzzling me, and opening a new chapter in my life. Today I bought a year of a domain name and I’m going to take this year to blog and crochet, no holds barred, no guilt, no shame – just live, love, laugh, write and crochet on!

Yours yarnfully,


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4 thoughts on “Once the Storm is Over

  1. Sonyo Estavillo says:

    Life living “slow and simple” is so important. I am going to link my next blog to this post, if you don’t mind. It’s about this very subject. I understand depression because I’ve experienced it and am managing with medication as well. I too have a daughter, she’ll be 2 years this May. Storms in our lives do make us stronger and I’m glad to hear you have weathered it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam @ Hooks and Hills says:

      Hi Sonyo, no of course I don’t mind. It’s important to keep the conversations going. I was very open about my PND and it astonished me how many women opened up to my honesty – so many suffer in silence through shame. I have recently stopped taking my medication as I have just written about in my new post, but as i said there, I am not anti-medication. It is a life saver for many and oh how I needed it then, for the sake of my family if not for myself. My daughters are that little bit older now, the pressure does ease a little and I have more time to think about myself – and more sleep, which of course helps hugely! So I’m trying a different way. We’ll see. Thanks for commenting 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sonyo Estavillo says:

        Good luck to you! The organic approach is definitely helpful too and I believe that life comes in stages. 🙂 I have to do it all, a combo approach of organic plus meds. It works for me for now, but I will likely be tapering off soon. I’m so glad I found your post and I linked your blog to mine. When you get a chance, feel free to read. lilpickmeup.com 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Pam @ Hooks and Hills says:

          I will do that cheers. You are so right, life does come in stages. Tapering meds is not a decision to make lightly, I was so careful and already had my other options coming together…I don’t know what the future will hold with this, I am ever vigilant! I wish us both wellness 🙂 x


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