Life never goes exactly as planned. But what happens when life throws several curveballs you never saw coming? What if they turn your whole world upside down?
My journey to get where I am today has been far different than I ever could have imagined. I've gone through more crisis and pain than I ever thought I could handle. Questioning life and my place in it. Living on autopilot, a constant state of fight or flight, afraid, uncertain, and alone far longer than anyone ever should. Wondering why as soon as I found my footing, felt a sense of stability, why in the hell did something else get thrown my way?
My family has struggled, my relationship with family and friends have been challenged, and my marriage has suffered terribly at times. I felt alone in uncharted territory. In a world where I was always questioned and rarely understood. No one else cared for my medically complex children. No one did the endless hours of research, questioned people regardless of their expertise, or fought with every ounce of their being to get the help my children needed. But many had opinions and most definitely judged me. Although, as they would say, “I never needed to explain myself.” That judgment and lack of support crushed me. It changed me. It's taken a long time to work through that pain and come out stronger than I ever imagined on the other side.
What I’ve learned along the way...
The Importance of Finding Peace and Letting Go
I have been validated in every single thing I have ever done for myself and my two medically complex children. It’s taken me a very LONG time to truly find peace in that. To believe that other people’s opinions don’t matter. To fully understand that a person’s opinion is a reflection of them, what their struggles are, and far less about me. Honestly, I believe that’s true most of the time. But when some very close to you believe you are overreacting. When they unnecessarily expose your family because they believe their health standards are good enough. When they are upset or don’t understand why once again you have missed another party or celebration. It not only hurts, it’s exhausting.
Compassion is the very thing you need most during life's most difficult seasons. It can be disheartening when it’s not what you receive. I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles and the importance of letting go what I cannot change.
I have found comfort in those who have been through similar battles. Some I have never even met. It has truly kept me sane and given me the strength to keep fighting. I don’t have a village, nor do I really have a tribe, but I do have a select few people in my life I know I can always count on. For that I’m beyond grateful.
Learn to Accept What Is
The life I once envision is not what I’m living today. I’m not saying this because I’m not grateful for all that I have. I am blessed and have much to be grateful for. It’s taken time to sit in my pain and find ways to work through it. To accept that my life is different and that’s okay. Some people may never understand it but it’s not up to me to change their minds. I’ve learned to embrace the life I’ve been given. To adjust my view of what normal life looks like to me.
If you feel like life right now is simply far too much….Try to find the good even on the hard days. The days you want to say screw you to the universe. You can be angry or disappointed at how you think things should be but don’t sit with that for too long. Reach out to someone but be mindful of who. Reach out to a person you can be vulnerable with, someone who can sit with you, who will listen, and show you nothing but love and compassion.
Look for and hold on to the moments of joy and laughter that remind you life is good. It is what will keep you going, it will help keep you grounded, and it will bring you back to a better state of mind.
Have Courage to Set Boundaries
Stay true to who you are and what you believe. Set boundaries of what you will tolerate, what you need, and who you choose to surround yourself with. It can be uncomfortable at first and not everyone is going to like it. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, it's how you grow. Doing so has given me the courage, the confidence, and freedom to own every piece of my story. To believe I am worthy of love and respect. That I am capable, that I am powerful, and I can without a doubt do hard things.
Life can be pretty difficult sometimes. You will have dark moments that will bring you to your knees. But there will always be brighter days. I promise you, with time and hard work, you will come out stronger than you ever imagined you could be.
You are worthy, you are capable, you are powerful, and you can do hard things.