When I wrote that post about finding your tribe, I didn’t fully realize how much I was going to need them. I don’t normally need people. I’m usually pretty self-sufficient and strong. I know strong sounds like a weird reflection of myself, but I don’t usually doubt myself or need others to reassure me. I love helping other people and I’ll usually drop everything to be there for someone. Yet, I don’t usually need that in return.
To say I’ve had a lot going on in the past few months would be a gross understatement. I’ve spent most of that time telling myself that I’m fine and can handle everything. I’ve been stretched thin more times than I can count. Overworked until I’ve reached my breaking point. And then I’ve kept going. Honestly, I have no idea how. It’s always a new day with new responsibilities and a different schedule. So push through is what I’ve done. One day after another. It’s a lot like biking. Keep peddling.
I’m not proud of my parenting over the past few months. My patience is basically non-existent. I can’t figure out how to get it back. I’ve used up all my energy and brain space getting myself to the evening and forget how to parent two small boys who have a lot of energy. So I hope that each day they give me a new chance to be a little better and yell a little less. I try to build up a little more patience and remind myself that fighting and not listening is normal.
Summer is crazy around here. I know it’ll get worse when the boys have more activities, but it’s enough to have us wishing for a few quiet days. If you’re not careful, marriage can be a lot of passing in the kitchen and text messages. Bless this husband of mine for being ok with all the nights I can’t “deal.” For understanding that I’m overwhelmed. For stepping up and doing things he normally doesn’t do. I know he hasn’t liked it and it’s been a strain on him too, but in a sense I’ve been on survival mode. Some nights he sends me away. Other nights he takes care of me. And there are a whole lot of other nights where we co-exist in a messy house with loud boys.
One of my best coping mechanisms is sleep. Or laying in bed. I’ve been alternating between going to bed at 8:30 or going out with my friends. Which means going to bed waaaayyyy to late. It’s not a healthy choice to stay out so late. But guess what? When I go out with my friends, there are no expectations. We chat about life but I don’t need to do anything for them. I can talk through a struggle or complain about one thing, but it doesn’t make everything fall. I can forget all the things that are piled up on me and I can just be me. I know it’s not good to ignore the stress in your life, but it’s something I’m really good at. Pretend it isn’t there and it’ll eventually get better. Keep pushing through.
I’ve reached the end of that line. It’s time for me to start processing my feelings and dealing with my emotions. Some day I’ll put together the right words to thank my friends. Our nights out haven’t been about me and most nights it was actually about someone else needing me, but that’s the irony in pretending that you’re ok. I now realize it was just as much for me as it was for them. And I know that all of the past few months have happened to each of us because we were the right people for each other. I needed a couple of close friends who could help carry me. Even on the days it looked like I was carrying them, it was still a little bit about me.
They were distracting me and giving me a purpose. Giving me something to focus on that wasn’t a responsibility but was simply opening up my heart to help a dear friend. That’s the easy stuff. That’s the stuff I can do in my sleep. You need me? I’M IN! If I’m starting to crumble…well, I’m not good at that. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be alone, I want full-time distractions. I don’t want to feel. I want fun, uplifting distractions. Build up my confidence or compliment me. Ask me to go do something but don’t make me talk about real life. Keep it light and I’ll have the time of my life. And please, don’t ask me how I am. If I’m on the edge, that pushes me over. I can’t handle the compassion and concern. It opens up all my feelings and eventually you leave but I still have to deal with them.
By this time, it’s pretty obvious that I do really good at ignoring, pretending, and distracting myself from myself. Until I reach my breaking point and then I break down. It doesn’t have to be something big that does me in. It can be a little thing. A small disappointment or small thing that didn’t go as planned. It only takes that one thing to make it all fall down. I had one of those moments last week. Well, it was longer than a minute. It was raw and hard and I am so grateful to have one of my best friends by my side. I didn’t solve anything that night. And it took me a good day to start to feel better.
Maybe it was the really good cry, maybe I pushed the feelings aside again, or maybe it was the reminder that I’m the strongest person she knows and I’ll be fine. Either way, I’m ok. I’m kind of dealing. I recognize some of the hard stuff and feel it. I get close to not being ok but then pull myself out of it. So far. I’m not done yet. Honestly, I’m afraid I’m not even close to being done before I really get through them all and can feel safe in my head again.
Recently, someone commented on how I can put myself out there on this blog. Writing is one of my passions. It’s not easy to write the hard stuff, especially when this feels so raw. I’m basically opening up my heart in this post. I’m admitting to not being able to handle everything. Admitting to not being as strong as everyone thinks I am. That’s really hard. But I’m also hoping that my words can help me deal. I figure out my thoughts through my writing and I realized a few things from this post. I feel confident in saying, I’m fine.