Finding My "Why"
Last month I wrote about what it's like to live my life with a never-ending, anxiety-and-abuse-induced argument going on inside my mind. What it's like to want so much, to be so willing to do what it takes to achieve my goals ... and yet, to be so stranded - so suffocated - by the circumstances of my life and the impact of those curcumstances on my mental health.
The thing is, no matter what's going on in your life, you have two choices: you can become better or you can become bitter. You can choose to learn and grow, using your experiences to enrich your compassion and empathy for others - or you can let yourself grow hard and cold against the world.
And I'm choosing to be better in the face of so much "and yet" - because I'm determined to keep track of my "why."
Tuesday, I picked Josephine up early from school to take her to the hospital, where she was fitted with electrode leads for a 24-hour ambulatory EEG. Wednesday, she stayed home from school, and we went back to the hospital to have everything removed and turn in the equipment. We got home, I sent her up to take a shower, promised I'd help her pick the glue out of her hair when she got out.
We still haven't gotten to that yet; by the time she got out of the shower, I had taken a call from my mother's emergency alert service, informing me that she had pressed her emergency button. She lives determinedly alone, about an hour away. My van issues are getting worse, so even if I had been in a position to jump up and run over, I might not have made it to her on time - or at all. So I waited, with no idea what was going on. "We're sorry, ma'am, we can't tell you that. All she said when we spoke with her was, 'Help me, help me ..."
The week went on, and every day I got more behind on my writing goals. I was increasingly exhausted, depressed, irritable. A stressful home situation didn't help, and I've been in a pretty solid state of extreme anxiety for about three days now. Nausea has been my constant companion all week, coupled with a headache that blurred my vision and kept me clenching my teeth almost painfully hard. Cramping muscle tension is still alternating with shivering chills that leave my body aching.
The fact that it also happens to be what I've come to think of as the "crazy me" part of my PMDD rotation isn't helping. I'm depressed, unmotivated, and all I want to do lately is quit life and curl up in a corner somewhere. Just quit. No cooking, no cleaning, no driving, no running, no visits, no homework ... nothing.
I haven't even had a shower in like two days, because by the end of the day when I could take a shower, I'm so exhausted emotionally that I no longer care to bother with it.
My mother left the hospital yesterday. I'm relieved that the doctors thought her well enough to go home, but also terrified because now she's alone in her home with no one to look out for her.
I went to bed obscenely early last night, dizzy and confused due to the depth of the nothingness inside me. I slept eleven and a half hours, and I slept so hard I barely even moved. I woke up stiff and sore, not wanting to get up.
I did get up though, just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. Because of my "why."
My children are my world. They're the sun and the moon, the wind and the rain. They're why I discipline myself into bed when anxiety begs me to lay awake all night - I know I'll need what sleep I can get during the night, as preparation for the coming day. They're why I keep writing, why I keep chasing this dream despite the many challenges - I want to set an example that makes them believe they can chase their dreams, too. They're why I get up, why I juggle our myriad medical and psychological appointments, why I function at all sometimes - they need someone to hear them, to keep them fed, to juggle their needs. To show up for them, to care about them. To nurture them.
And because life has not been easy on them ... because I know that life will probably continue to not be easy on them (because it isn't easy on anyone), I want them to see an example of determined will that they can follow. I want them to see effort turn into success, hope turn into reality, and courage turn into strength. I want them to have what I wished for when I was their age; I want to be for them what I didn't have in my life back them.
They are my "why" - the reason I write, the reason I try, the reason I make every possible effort to find the balance between accepting my challenges and working to overcome them. They're the reason I wrote this post, to keep my blog on schedule even though I didn't want to bother today.
They're the reason I'm going to publish it now and drag myself upstairs to the shower. Not only because they need a responsible mom that at least attempts to keep functioning normally, but because the blessing of their presence in my life inspires me to keep trying to build something that will one day inspire them.
What's your "why?"
If you liked this post, related to it in some way, or know someone who needs to see it, make sure you drop a comment below - I would love your feedback as well as the chance to interact with you! It would also be great if you could share the link to this post with your friends - it helps me get my blog out there, and I love that it brings new exposure to the Undaunted Army and what we hope to accomplish! Be sure you check out my quarterly giveaway page, too - there are several free and easy ways to enter - and members of the Undaunted Army are always eligible for extra entries!
And speaking of the Army, I'd like to personally invite you to take your place among the ranks of those who have fought and survived the battles of life. Addiction, abuse, violence, divorce, parenting, illness, and other traumas are real battles too, and those who suit up to fight every day have a right and an obligation to nurture their own health, well-being, and self-empowerment. But there is strength in numbers, as as a member of the Undaunted Army, you have the hope of knowing that you will never have to fight your battles alone again. Enlist as an Undaunted Army Private for free, or invest in the growing impact of the Army with an Undaunted Army Officer Commission for as little as $1 a month.
However we stay connected, always know that my brand and the Undaunted Army itself are solely built on what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman" isn't just a slogan or a tagline - it's a purpose and a goal, which is why, whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being here.