Daughter. Wife. Mother. Cook. Employee. Volunteer. Friend.
Most parents have several titles, several roles they play and what outsiders see is the put together family life, well-behaved children, clean house and all together goodness.
But let’s be real. There are squabbles between the kids, cheerios between the cushions and days that the minutes to bed time are being counted. I think we all know this, and really try to keep reality in the forefront BUT why is it so hard to keep that reality at the forefront at the individual level?
I think there are so many times that we as people compare ourselves to the social media lives of friends and strangers and question why we don’t have it all together like them. But really we are only seeing what they want to be shown. WE only show what WE want to have others see.
Starting in October I had to take some time off of work. I felt like I was falling apart.
I was in tears at my desk at work. I would drive home in a fog, completely unaware of my trip from the office to the house. I would sleep right after supper and be up all night, and don’t even get me started on my mood and tolerance of others — including family.
You will notice that I said, I took time off work in October… It should have been MUCH sooner. Everyone in my medical team has been extremely supportive in this situation and most had the exact words “I am surprised it took so long”.
It took so long because I was in denial, I was convinced that if I push through everything will get better, I was comparing myself to those other moms that “had it all together”. But I
was am dealing with inflammation. I was trying to push through with an injury. My brain, physically, had had enough, and healing time was not going to happen if I was trying to push through because I felt like I should be able to deal with everything I have been given.
My mental health is suffering. I have depression. I have anxiety. I am NOT these things and I am NOT defined by these diagnoses. They are illnesses that need to have treatment and healing time.
A few weeks ago I started feeling better – and I was so excited; I could do things around the house, I could go out and meet with friends, I thought I could go back to work.
But here we are, a few weeks later, and I have just had another appointment that has confirmed I have not kicked this yet and I do need more time to heal and to get back on track.
This is OK.
I am OK.
I am taking time to RECOVER from an ILLNESS, and that is OK.
(I am hoping saying this/typing this out will make me believe it)
So if you, or someone you know/love is having a hard time, if you notice them pulling away. Let them.
BUT, let them know you are there for them. Keep reminding them, because even if they ignore you now, when they are ready – and at the point of reaching out – it will help them knowing that they have someone to reach out to.
If you need someone to reach out to PLEASE let me be that person, and just remember:
We are all in this journey together, BUT there are many lanes in that journey and none of them are the same. Don’t compare yourself to others or to what you think you should be.
I feel like I would also be doing a disservice if I closed out and did not place this somewhere.
If you find yourself needing help, and do not want to reach out to someone you know (that is totally OK) please use the Mental Health Hotline 1-888-429-8167, or if you are in immediate danger head to your nearest ER or call 911. Your life matters. YOU matter.