Monday, May 9, 2016

Give me strength for the fight

Today as I was leaving the hospital, after visiting my dad, I began to feel incredibly overwhelmed. My stomach felt like it was being punched repeatedly, my hands were a bit shaky and I just wanted to go lay down somewhere. This feeling has come over me several times over the last few days. I know the feeling well. It's called anxiety.

After I talked myself through the physical feelings, I started to sort out the mental. I came home, collapsed into my bed head first, and had a heart to hear with myself.

Me "Dude! Why are you having such a hard time this time around? You should be an old pro by now!"

Me "I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm also moving in a week and because work is so busy right now"

Me "But when Dad was in the steroid psychosis you were in the midst of Strides season- and you were a Strides manager! and you handled that just fine!"

I sat with that for a while. Why do I feel like I handled it fine, maybe even handled it better, back then, but that I'm barely holding on now? At first, I started to see this as a sign of weakness. Maybe I'm not as strong as I think I am.

Or maybe I just don't remember how much I struggled. You know how people always tell pregnant women that they will never remember how much pain they felt during delivery? They'll just remember holding onto their sweet baby for the first time? Maybe it's kind of like that. Maybe I just remember my dad coming out of the psychosis, and the incredible sense of relief we all felt. I bet if I looked back at some of my posts from those days, I would find plenty of examples of when I was "barely holding on".

Or, maybe, I shouldn't compare. I preach all the time that we shouldn't compare ourselves to others. But I guess we also shouldn't compare ourselves to...ourselves. We're not always going to be 100%. We're not always going to be strong. Life brings different circumstances and surroundings every single day and not one day can be exactly the same as the next.

I'm working on accepting that- that I have a right to be where I am now, emotionally. That I don't have to "stay strong" (even though those are the words people love to say the most). I can just BE. I don't need to feel guilty about how I am or am not acting. I don't need to worry about making everyone else happy. I can only do what I can do in these moments. I can't promise you all that you are getting the very best version of me right now, but I can promise you that you're getting the real, raw me.

As for my dad, he's hanging in there. The poor guy carried a look of sadness today that really tore at my heart, and maybe that's why I felt so defeated. I hate seeing him so down, and I wish I could snap my fingers and fix it. I feel helpless, and that's probably leading to a lot of my own emotional distress. I like to be able to help- and when I can't, I feel a little out of sorts. Please continue to keep my dad in your prayers, and send him all the positive vibes and sunshine you can muster up.

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