Hello friends! I hope this finds you all doing well. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my recovery time from this surgery; going over every detail that’s not going well, every possible moment in which I messed up the repair… It’s not going well and all I can think about is my swimming. Will I be able to be a strong swimmer ever again? Will I ever be back in a ‘real’ pool instead of the therapy pool in Physical Therapy (PT)? Will “Aqua Girl” ever make a come back?
Today on my way back from specialist appointments for myself and our almost 6mo I decided it’s no longer a question I’m willing to ask but a goal I will reach. Not getting back to swimming, diving in the ocean and feeling whole, swimming with Honu (sea turtles), not getting to be me is no longer an option. Every time I leave PT I feel defeated and broken. Partially because I’ve been super blessed to have a PT who understands that the water is really where I belong as he was once a competitive swimmer too. He also played water polo like me… He GETS IT. But, what he doesn’t fully get is that I’m not ‘normal’. I’m not healing the way they’d expect. The PT exercises, toddlers and a baby who needs to be cared for keep causing me to injure myself and I’m back to square one and feeling defeated again. I’ve been feeling defeated in a lot of areas as of late. I accept that I have many complicated diseases that are made worse by each subsequent diagnosis. But, accepting that does not also require accepting defeat.
Many who hear or read my particular list of diagnoses want to know how I do it all. The answer is, I don’t. My husband and I are 100% a team. We juggle teenager schedules, my husband’s ever changing work schedule, my health issues, foster care meetings. appointments for our high needs kiddos, counseling, sibling visits, home visits, doctor appointments and PT for me, homeschooling the toddlers, keeping our home ready for an inspection at all times… the list goes on and on. But I don’t do it…. WE do it. My parents have likened us to a well oiled machine. We run well together and where one leaves off the other immediately picks up. Admittedly, my husband picks up more than his fair share a lot of the time.
The last 10 days I’ve had some pretty rough challenges and I’m stuck in a huge flare. I paused for a bit and soaked in the pain and feelings of inadequacy, smallness and failure. I felt them and as exhausted and consumed with pain as I am, I resolve to not accept defeat.
Instead, I am going to ask for help more… (Don’t laugh… I’m really, actually going to stop and ask for help.)
I’m going to rest when I have the chance instead of pushing through and paying tenfold.
I am going to choose to not allow my worry of what others will think make me pretend something is ok when it isn’t.
I am going to lean on and into my husband who loves and supports me. He understands how important being the best version of me as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend is to my mental/emotional well-being.
I will pick up the phone when the darkness of pain and struggle surround me and get too heavy. I’ll talk to a friend or family member until I can focus on the light at the end of the tunnel instead of the immediate darkness which can feel all consuming when you’re standing in it alone.
Friends, if you’re struggling tonight with defeat please email me or DM me on FaceBook or Instagram and I would be happy to pray for you and encourage you in any way I can. If you do not have someone who even in their lack of understanding still loves you and wants to help, I would love to be able to lift you up and help you find some support right where you are. Please remember that chronic illness, pain, PTSD or whatever you’re struggling with today does not sentence us to isolation, but it does require a tremendous amount of strength and bravery to admit we need help and allow others to be the help when we can not. And if you DO have someone to talk to and you’re feeling defeated, I challenge you to pick up the phone and text or call and ask for some help or just vent and get it out so you can clear your mind and hopefully get a slightly more clear perspective on the battle you’re fighting.
Remember we only have so many spoonfuls; don’t waste them. It’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to accept that we can not do it all, every single time.