Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Are You Holding Up?

I have shared quite a bit here and on other social media outlets so if you follow me, you know that I am going through an icky divorce, and even that has been overshadowed by the health issues across the board in my family lately. It has been a lot on top of the normal day to day that we all experience.

"How are you holding up?" This is a question I have been asked so many times over the last year but especially the last couple months. My response is always the same "oh, I'm fine! It's so-and-so that's struggling more with xyz than me." or a smile and "I'm just doing what anyone else would do" when a friend comments how strong I must be.

But I feel like that isn't fair. I'm going through something. I've hit a hard spot in life. Other people are going through things too- maybe worse than me, maybe not quite as much as I am. I feel like it isn't fair to belittle their struggles by underplaying my own. If someone has something on their plate and they look to me with maybe a little but more on mine and ask how I'm doing it, how must it make them feel to get a smile and chipper "super dee duper" response? I'm not being real and it isn't setting fair expectations for someone else that may be coming up on some of the same hurdles I'm barely leaping over right now. Here's how I deal though...

I wake up early. I get up before everyone else and I take that time to chat with God and to cry. Mostly though? I'm angry at God so I just cry. That way, when something comes up later in the day, I just remind myself that a tear was already shed and pull it together. Be strong for the family member standing next to me that maybe didn't cry enough that morning.

I say it one time. With my mom's health issues, there are so many people praying with and for us. They want (and deserve) updates. Bless their hearts, I know they mean well, but it is really hard to deliver bad news a thousand times over. So I made a group message and just send it once. I told everyone from the beginning yes, I know, it's annoying to be in group messages but for us, there are so many people getting the news that we need to just process it ourselves then spit it out one time. One. I'm sure they roll their eyes behind the screen but they understand and so far nobody has driven me completely bat shit crazy yet.... yet ;) You have to know what you can and cannot handle and be comfortable letting other people know. Everyone knows when you are fighting tears, all it takes is one hug or one kind word to open the flood gates... so imagine if you have to go through that over and over and over. It's enough. If you leave the group, then fine. But you will be privy only to the broad updates we share with everyone instead of the details we reserve for closer friends and family.

I choose my battles. Things come up everyday that, on a normal day, would send me off on a 3 week tirade. But now, I have to look at it, let it soak in, then decide if, in the midst of all the other chaos, is this a good use of my time. If I decide no, then that's just it. No. A hard no. And I have to keep it moving.

I check out. Sometimes I go to bed before I'm actually planning to fall asleep so I can have 30 minutes of dark silence alone. It's selfish but in the most healthy possible way. I also have a friend that has been here from literally the second I found my mom. He was the 1st person that I told. He always listens when I need to vent, but never pushes. He is just silly and normal and has been a sense of normalcy for me the last couple months. He has been my constant. It's important to have people like this in your life. To talk about day to day things, to crack jokes with, and that isn't afraid to call you out or "get lippy" with you just to avoid hurting your feelings in "such a fragile state".

What am I missing? What are some tricks you can share with me? After all, we are all in this together...


4 comments:

  1. I have a blog but I write The Real Issues in a journal. I keep it by my bed with a pretty pen, and sometimes I just vent about the bad shit. What I REALLY try to do, especially on hard days, is to write down the things that make me happy and for which I'm thankful. Even if you just write your sweet baby's name over and over and over and fill up a page, it is a good practice in the midst of such hardship and darkness to remember the light.

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    1. I have a prayer journal that turns into "breakup letters to God" journal haha serves much the same purpose but slightly more over dramatic ;)

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  2. Ok, so you might hate this as much as I do, but one thing that really helped me during the time of losing my dad was... running. Gawd, I hate running with a passion, but I found it to be a great outlet for me to burn off the stress, the anger, the frustrations, the lack of control I had on the world. Even if I couldn't conquer my problems of the world, I could conquer a 4 mile run (eh, more like walk), and at the end, that left me feeling a little more powerful against this big ol' bad world. You might want to give it a try. Even if you hate it. Throw some Britney on an ipod and go run as fast as you can until you are out of breath and curse me for giving you this idea. :-)

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    1. Ahh! I knew someone would sneak that in there. I remember you running & training for your marathon. I keep saying I'm going to start. But, like you, I just hate it. I buy new shoes to motivate me, get to the mailbox, and then just turn around and go back home haha

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