The truth is my life, our life, the life I am blessed to live, can be totally overwhelming at times. The busy shuffling of schedules. Jobs...lost, changed, shifted. The scrambling to keep some sense of domestic order in our house full of busy kids and furry animals. A house that could use a little more than a little DIY-TLC. The ever changing dynamic of relationships: friends, family, partners. The parenting of a middle school girl. Oh, the parenting of a middle school girl! The searching for a niche. My niche. The right niche. A long, long, LONG cold winter. The all too fast passing of summer following that long, long, LONG cold winter. The arrival of the middle ages of life. It's all enough, at times, to make my head explode.
The truth is that even if more yoga and meditation; less weight on my aging body; more work to accept my body as it is; more meaningful, purposeful social interactions; less busy schedules; and a continued practice of gratitude for all the blessings of life could EVENTUALLY help, those changes take time.
The truth is it's hard to find the time and energy to do all, or any, of the things that could help change my ability to more positively cope with the overwhelming feeling that life sometimes leaves me feeling when I'm feeling overwhelmed by life. There are times in life when it's okay, in fact it's really the best, to
admit you can't do it all on your own. That you're not actually coping
as well as what you'd like everyone to think you are coping. It's okay to let others in on the secret you've been carrying around while you've tried not to let your crazy out. It's okay to honor your sometimes messy, sometimes overwhelming life, AND your right to be happier living that life.
The truth is it is not easy as someone who has grown up learning through the actions of others that toughing it out is what "we" do. That openly admitting I'm not handling things very well could be a sign of being weak, or overly needy. That by openly discussing my struggles is somehow breaking some unwritten, unspoken code of keeping one's problems quietly tucked away in the closet because "what would the neighbors think?"
The truth is I had to just STOP, get out of my head, admit that a slowly disintegrating marriage, an almost constant feeling of inadequacy across several areas of life, and days upon days spent silently on the verge of tears for no explainable reason were largely a result of my stubborn inability to admit that I currently need some help regaining a better perspective on where I am in life. Hard as it may have been, I nervously started the conversation. Before help can be given there has to be a conversation started. Slowly the conversation has grown as I have opened up and help has been offered.
The truth is sometimes you need a little something more than just an attitude adjustment to get back on track. As the end of summer neared, and as I realized the sadness that had been renting out a room in my heart had not been burned away by the warm golden rays and carefree days of summer like I had hoped it would be, I knew I could not afford to head into another fall/winter season without something more than a perkier outlook. Turns out, after consulting with my personal physician who did some blood work, I'm a bit low on a key nutrient that is a big factor in mood maintenance. And realistically trying to "tough it out" for longer than I probably should have, more likely than not, has a few other hormonal systems a little off balance as well. Prescriptions were written. Supplements were ordered. A follow-up plan has been put into place.
The truth is I cried when I called my husband to tell him the blood results and the treatment plan. I cried as I texted a very dear friend who knows all too well the ups and downs of dealing with hormone systems that can get a little out of balance. I avoided going to get my new Rx for 2 days because I didn't want to be part of that all too common statistic of married, middle aged moms who account for the largest demographic of anti-depressant, anti-anxiety prescription drug consumers. I still wanted to believe just knowing, plus some vitamins, a little more exercise, and a really, really focused effort to just get happier would fix me.
The truth is my husband has not tried to fix me, even if secretly I kinda hoped he would try to do even if it's not really what I need from him. He has listened and supported and loved me, which is exactly what I need the most. That friend, that friend passionately and reassuringly has shared her own experiences and her support and her love. And my kids, both the human ones and the canine ones, have stayed steady by my side, giving me a clear vision of purpose and of the great love that exists in my daily life.
The truth is today I can write about this struggle, this journey, because I feel the grey cloud that has been part of my inner life for longer than I'd like to admit starting to lift. I do not feel any less. I do not feel broken. I do not feel crazy, at least not beyond the little bit of crazy that makes life a little more fun to live.
The truth is what I am starting to feel is a brighter perspective on my life. I'm starting to feel a little less alone with my inner thoughts, a little less lonely even though I am often rarely physically alone. I'm starting to feel a little more like random kitchen dance parties, once a frequent occurrence that have been MIA over the past year, may once again find their way back into our home. I'm starting to feel a lightness and a peace in my inner self that has been hard to find over the past several years. I'm starting to feel hopeful. I'm starting to feel my inner strength starting to grow from that place deep inside where I know it still lives. I'm starting to feel more myself.
The truth is I needed to ask for help to find my way out of the shadows, and I'm so, so, SO glad I did. I really like the warmth that comes with living a brighter life.