Or when your mom is broke, depressed and overwhelmed.
I really wanted to come back to this blog in triumph. I planned to detail all the terrific progress I’ve made in the past couple years. I’ve become active daily, lost over 60 pounds, dealt with some chronic health concerns I’d avoided for years and continue to manage my depression and anxiety without medication. I continue to strive to be more mindful and have found that acceptance is my single greatest tool in recognizing what I’m feeling and avoiding wallowing in those emotions… sometimes. On the good days. When things are better.
Problem is things aren’t better right now. Right now I’m struggling to remember the progress I’ve made because it feels like it is always the same bullshit, year after year. I’m still broke, living on a paltry income from disability and the exceedingly rare child support check. I’m teetering on the edge of foreclosure, being sued by my ex, my head gaskets are leaking in my Subaru and I’m miles away from a catastrophic engine failure that I can’t afford to repair. My therapist is away until late next week.
Waaahhh… yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone has problems. Sometimes I just need to rant.
What about the bright side? I shower more. I like myself better. I feel better about my body. My health has improved by leaps and bounds, my blood pressure is normal, I have fewer headaches and colds. I climb the 5 flights of stairs to therapy without having to stop anymore. My dog is happier getting more exercise. I was able to send my brilliant son away to college 1,000 miles away… it was hard, but I did it and I’m so very proud of him. My younger son is thriving socially and has found his niche performing in theater. I have gained some ground in my financial chaos, working with a case manager to get on top of the paperwork. I’ve been a tireless advocate for myself to get child support collected by the state – even if that office is finding me pretty tiresome. But I’m tired.
I’m tired of being poor. I’m tired of not being ready to work. I’m ever so freaking tired of people assuming I’m just being lazy and feeling like I have to justify my disability. I’m tired of giving my kids underwear for Christmas because it is all I can afford…
I’m grateful that my kids are awesome and will behave as though they are the greatest boxers ever.
I’m tired of people telling me how to solve my problems. Tired of folks thinking it is just a matter of making a phone call or filling out some paperwork – people who don’t understand just how daunting and overwhelming such seemingly benign tasks can become to someone in my position. I’m so exhausted with people being tired of me. People heaving a big sigh and trying to be understanding but feeling like it is really just a question of me being lazy or sorry for myself.
They don’t know. They’re not here when I make a list, set an alarm, vow to accomplish a task only to find my self literally turning in circles trying to figure out where to start and collapsing in tears that I can’t just take care of these simple things everyone else seems to do without thinking. They don’t know what it is like to obsess about an issue until every waking thought is consumed with the agony and fear of not being able to cope with it. They don’t know how I shake to my very core with panic. They don’t know, but they feel so free to judge. They feel so confident in their conviction that it should be just. that. easy.
I’m better. I’m so much better than I was. I’m building relationships, isolating less, successfully advocating for children in my volunteer work, being more present and available to my children and friends… I’ve been taking care of so many things I’ve avoided in the past. I’ve been taking care of me.
The holidays suck. Right now is hard, brutal even, but I’ll be better soon. I know that I have to strength to come out of this low and keep moving forward. I know that the anger and fear will not consume me. I have resources I haven’t been able to access in years. I’m stronger now, even if I’m so very, very weak today.