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Thursday, July 17, 2014

You are not super mom. (And that's a really good thing.)

I am not super mom.

I am not super mom.

I am not super mom.

Not that I've been accused lately of actually BEING super mom. Ummm . . . I don't think that's ever happened. Or is ever likely to happen.

But more often than I can count, there has been a voice telling me I am NOT super mom . . . not like I should be.

It is a familiar voice. Someone that I respect, I love and I hold dear. Someone I hold to be a voice of wisdom. Someone who has a close relationship with God. Someone who knows what it's like to be a good mom. Someone who loves my family dearly, and wants to see me succeed.

Today when I had friends over for a play date, and my sink was full of dirty dishes and margarita glasses from last night's Arbonne event, that voice gently prodded at me. "You are not super mom . . . "

When my mini-guests discovered my room (aka, The Place of Utter Disaster), and their moms had to go in and retrieve them, I heard it a little more forcefully . .  "You are not super mom . . ."

When the friend I had invited to dinner at 5 had to wait until 6:30 to actually eat said dinner, I remember "I am not super mom . . ."

At 3 am this morning, when my daughter came in multiple times -- afraid of bugs, monsters and lights through her window, and I respond much more grumpily than I would have at a more decent hour (10 am would have been amazing), it chirps up. "You are not super mom . . . "

When I am late to an appointment.

When I realize that the cup half-full of smoothie is STILL in the cupholder in the car (from a few days ago) and has now crusted over (ewww).

When I cringe at someone looking in my minivan simply because I cannot keep it clear of toys, food crumbs, mismatched shoes and socks, and apparently, 2 pair of Maddy's panties. (??!?!?) 

When my kids are driving me nuts, and are willfully disobedient, and the feelings I have at that moment more closely resemble feelings of hate than feelings of love. 

When I raise my voice, threaten to spank (or actually do spank), and discipline in anger.

When I remember that I still haven't given little B's foster mom his jacket back -- 2 weeks late.

When I am short with Leyla after constant screaming and sibling bickering. (Her screaming of course. Not mine. Although I'm seriously thinking of starting.)

When I remember that one special parenting tip the social worker (or behavior specialist or viral blog) gave me that would have been PERFECT for the situation at hand --- but I remember 10 minutes too late.

When I take some time to myself and mommy guilt sets in because I'm not being productive.

The voice is relentless . . . "I am not super mom . . . not like I should be."

In short . . . I fail. A lot. Like really a lot.

I yell more than I should. My house gets messier than I think it should, for longer than I thought we could ever live like that.

 If I plan a fun activity for the kids, I think I should be home cleaning. And vice versa. 

There are days where my priorities are crap. I'll get a whole bunch of Facebook posts in, but miss out on personal development, reading my Bible, or even just spending 15 minutes of face time in with my hubby.

For everything I do -- something else goes undone.

If you see my house clean, it probably means that I procrastinated all day on cleaning it, and had a crazy flurry of activity literally counting the minutes till you arrive. It also means that some part of my house is terribly NOT clean, because I can't get it all together. One room goes to pot, always. It's not a matter of if -- just which room I can afford to have go to pot.

If one bathroom is clean, chances are the other is not.

If my laundry room is clear, then my room is overflowing with clean laundry I'll affectionately refer to as "Mt. Washmore."

If I look cute and ready for an Arbonne event, chances are my kids watched WAAAAY too much TV that day. (Oh, hello Dora. Again. I'm so glad you are considered "educational." Maybe if my kids start walking around saying "hola" and "gracias" I'll feel so much better about the inordinate amount of time my kids spend with you.)

Either I let my kids watch cartoons every morning with breakfast so I can get a workout in. Or I sit with them and try to have an intellectual conversation (ha!) over the first of our three meals together. (Which, to be honest, usually results in me fixing them first, then seconds, then thirds before I even have a chance to get a bite in. So much for eating together.)

Either I spend time working my Arbonne business and contribute to our family income, or I organize a craft for my kids that I learned about on Pintrest.

And for right now, either I get up and clean the dinner dishes NOW so I don't have to do them tomorrow -- or I sit, and take 30 minutes for my blog to honor my children gone too soon.

I chose to blog. 

And my very worst critic sees it all.

She questions my decisions, as though they were easy to make. She compares my actions against the actions of my friends, or worse, those of my own mom. She is kind enough to recognize when I get it right. But even as I hear her extend grace upon grace to friends, acquaintances and even strangers -- she is stingy with that grace toward me.  

She is so quick to remind me that I am not the mom I wanted to be. That I am not super mom.

She --  is me.

I can't get away from me. I see it all. Where I get it right. And where I get it horribly, horribly wrong. I have a crap memory of the times I get it right, and a fantastic, picture-perfect memory of the times I've gotten it wrong.

I want to say it's just me that struggles with this. I want to be alone in this. 

But in these days of Facebook, Pintrest and Twitter -- where it seems everyone is changing the world, perfectly coiffed, with well-behaved children and a designer house -- chances are I'm not alone.

Maybe you keep hearing your own voice. Maybe you are quick to notice your mistakes, quick to give others grace but dole out only small parts of grace for yourself. Maybe what you look like, feel like, and act like doesn't always match up with how you feel you SHOULD look like, feel like and act like. Maybe you struggle second-guessing yourself after you make choice after choice for your family.

I'm calling it. I'm calling it for me. And calling it for you.

I am not super mom. You are not super mom.

And you know what?

We were never meant to be.

We have the privilege of being moms. Some of us have living children. Some of us are mothering our children gone too soon. And some of us are doing both.

Every day we have a million choices set in front of us. 

Sometimes I make choices and I feel like I totally made the right one.

But most choices fall into the gray area. Each option is a good option. Or both choices are bad options. Or -- MOST LIKELY -- each choice has some good and some bad in it.

And so you, and me, us normal, totally NOT-SUPER MOMS, do our best to navigate our days. We do our best to honor our kids, our families, our priorities and even ourselves.

But we don't always get it right. We are reminded daily of just how normal we are. Sometimes that pesky voice comes chirping up reminding us of our shortcomings.

Today, I'm talking right back to her. I'm tired of listening to the should haves, and would haves, and if onlys.  I'm tired of pretending that I've got all my stuff together.

Hear me on this. I do NOT have all my stuff together.

But here's what I have right. And trust me on this: You do too.

You love your kid. You love your family. And you love yourself, even if it's hard for you to show it sometimes.

You are doing way better than any of us had expected of you. And even if you feel like you are failing, we are all looking to you with admiration for your many, many strengths. We secretly want to be a little more like you in good ways. We learn from you, learn how to love, or organize, or run a business, or make cute crafts, or coordinate a fancy party, or plant a garden, or write a blog, or take photos, or wow our in-laws with a delicious meal.

You bring something to the table NO ONE ELSE COULD.

You are fantastic gift to your kids. To your husband. And to yourself.

The truth is, even though you're not a super mom -- you sure are amazing.

And in case you were still wondering, there's this really amazing part to not being a super mom.

When your daughter grows up, she won't have to be a super mom either.

She will know the gift of accepting her beautiful, amazing, un-super self . . . because you gave yourself the gift of accepting your own beautiful, amazing and un-super self.

Today, momma, LOVE ON YOU.

It's the best gift you could give your family.

And if you WERE super mom, it's the gift she'd give them too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I bit the bullet

I read from the fabulous Mel at Stirrup Queens that you should finish a draft before you start another post.

As I have about 5 drafts recently started (in addition to the 20 someodd that have accumulated through the years) ... And about 50 more stories to edit and post ...

I'm blatantly ignoring her advice.

(Although, Mel, it really IS good writing advice. I promise I do take you up on it most days.)

So you might be thinking there must be some news, or something blatantly pressing on my heart that I'm writing on my phone while I should be sleeping. 

And the answer is No. Or, at least, not really. 

I started a pill. Actually, make that 2 pills.

Here is my new nightly cocktail:

It's somewhat humbling to even post this, or acknowledge that I'm back on all this medicine after weaning myself off all meds for so long. 
First, it was the anti-depressant. 

Then, it was the baby aspirin. 

Last week, I bit the bullet and started birth control. 

And tonight, I add anti-nausea pills to the mix.

So far, birth control has been OK in every other area except one really really big one.... Nausea. 

The first time I took it, I woke up halfway through the night and I couldn't sleep because I felt so bad. 

The other days I managed to sleep in at least till 6 before getting up feeling sick. Saturday, I laid in bed till 2 pm. (Thank you Ryan!) This morning, I was up at 4:30, ready to hurl, trying to munch down some ginger cookies in case they'll help. They did, or something worked, and I fell back asleep at 7. 

Thank goodness for Maddy who got herself and Leyla cereal and turned on the TV. (Well, a few min later she came running in telling me that Leyla was sitting ON the table. Of course, that got me up for a bit.)

In spite of her help (and Trader Joe's ginger cat cookies -- which really is people food), we missed Leyla's play group. I MADE myself exercise, but had to stop a lot to make sure I kept everything down. 

I decided today that this nausea was interfering with life enough. Time to call the doctor.

The nurse said that the nausea should go away in a month. I asked for tips coping with the unhappy side effect, and she one-upped me: got me a prescription for anti-nausea meds. When I was preggers with Maddy, I lived off this stuff. Literally.

So tonight, I start. And hope I sleep in till at least 7. And hopefully, I am not super sick. But in case I am ... The bucket and ginger crackers are conveniently an arm's reach away. 

As for other things ... Life in blogging has been interesting since my blog went viral. 

And here's what I mean by that. 

First, when your stats start going crazy, you kinda freak out ... In a good way. Then you get overwhelmed (over 1,000 comments in a few days' time will do that. And that's a 1,000 very personal stories of peoples' babies.)

Then you start getting some recognition, people start liking you on Facebook, and then you (ok, really me) start to feel like , YES -- I am a writer and I could totally write a book. 

Except, even during that time, I had to remind myself that the slump was coming. 

You see, viral isn't sustainable. I don't want to be a one-post wonder. 
I want to have content that is readable, thought-provoking, tear-producing, straight-from-my-heart share-worthy stuff. 

But here's the thing. Blogging is really a partnership. I write for me and for you. I hope you like what you read. And I hope you share. 

Sometimes it's hard to see numbers dwindle. It's hard to come off that high.  I have to make myself remember that every single one of you are NOT a number -- even though that's all the comes on my dashboard. It's so much better when I make myself remember that you are a NAME, a person, a friend, a loved one, someone I haven't met yet but I have the privilege of sharing with.

Honestly, YOU reading my blog is super cool. Thanks so much for taking some of your precious time to care about me, my words, my thoughts, and my family. I super appreciate you.

If you take time to comment -- extra super cool. I feel so loved by a thoughtful comment. Or even just one that acknowledges, "hey, I read your stuff."

If you take time to share my blog -- that is like the biggest, biggest hug ever. I think for anyone who is an artist of any kind (music, words, painting, etc), the biggest compliment you could ever give them is to share their work.

So for all of you who have shared whenever a post speaks to you, thanks from the bottom of my heart. And for all of you for whom I see a number, and not a name, know that I really appreciate you sticking around. <3


Sunday, July 6, 2014

If I could say one thing

If I could say one thing to a health care worker,
it would be this:

Just because a loss before 12 weeks is common in your experience, it doesn't mean it is common in mine. This was my baby, my once-in-a-lifetime baby that I loved. Please stop treating me as though my loss is no-big-deal. Do not "save" the grief support and pregnancy loss resources for women who have lost a child later in gestation. They need support, absolutely. But so do I. Treat me as though I have lost a child. Because I have.

If I could say one thing to family:

Please don't try to fix me. This is an unfixable situation. My baby died, and she isn't coming back. The old me is gone, and I'm trying to find the new me. Love me right where I am. Be patient with me. Let me find my way through grief in my own way, but not alone. Know that right now, I need your full support more than ever. I need to know that you will help me, nurture me and love on me, right where I am. Just please, don't try to fix me. I'm hurting, not broken.

If I could say one thing to strangers:

I know my actions don't always make sense right now. I know I seem a bit off, or angry or snippy or sad. I know that I'm not measuring up to what "normal" people do. If we had time, and we were both so inclined, I might sit you down and tell you a story. I'd tell you about my baby. My dreams, hopes and plans. I'd tell you how he died. I'd tell you of the emptiness I feel in my heart every day since then. And then, you would know exactly why I behave as though I do. But we will never have that conversation. So please, excuse my attitude or behavior, even if it doesn't make sense to you. And if you are so generous -- say a little prayer for me.

If I could say one thing to medical billers:

I know this is just your job. Your work revolves around codes for this and insurance plans for that. I understand that maybe, right now, I may just be a number to you. My emergency surgery for you is wrapped up in a series of codes you have to go through and charge: Anesthesia, sutures, laparoscopy, surgeon fees, etc. My emergency surgery for me is wrapped up in a series of traumatic memories: wondering if I will wake up after surgery, knowing my baby died in the onslaught of blood, getting wheeled helplessly into a sterile room. As you talk codes with me, and explain bills, please know that I don't speak your lingo. Remember that I am living through grief, and my head can barely wrap around life without my child -- let alone why you are billing separately for this or that. Please, be gracious with me. Take lots of time, and be compassionate in your response. Please remember that I, nor my baby, are just a number.

If I could say one thing to my pregnant friends:

I am happy for you. I really, really, really am. Even if I burst into tears when you tell me you're pregnant. Even if I go on a 9-month hiatus. Even if I never ask you how your pregnancy is progressing. I am STILL happy for you. But I hurt for me. Sometimes, I don't know how to handle two feelings that seem so at odds with each other. Sometimes I do it well, and others times -- well, other times, I just plain suck at it. But no matter how things go from here -- please know that I know every baby is a blessing. Your baby is a blessing. And I really, really am happy. Even if I don't know how to show it.

If I could say one thing to my nurses:

Please read my chart. And by that, I don't just mean read it. I mean study it as though your life depended on it. Please don't come in to my room chipper and happy, talking about the weather, when it's clearly written on my chart that this is a post-miscarriage follow-up. Don't ask about nursing when in fact my baby has died. Please don't ask me to go through my losses all over again when it is clearly written in the chart. Sitting in your office is full of grief triggers and traumatic memories. Please show kindness and compassion by understanding my history before entering my room. Your few minutes of preparation can make this already difficult visit for me go by more smoothly.

If I could say one thing to my friends:

Thank you for being my friend. Please know I need YOU now, more than any other time. I don't need your answers, I don't need your ideas, and I don't need your platitudes. I just need you, and your very real, very tangible love. I need your arms around me, holding me up. I need your help getting my bathroom cleaned when I can barely get out of bed. I need you to take me to coffee (or bring it to me), and let me tell you every single thing about my baby. Or I need you just to sit as I stare into the swirling creamy blackness as I am so overcome by emotion that I can't utter a single word.  Even though you may not recognize me these days, please don't leave me. I really, really, really need you.

If I could say one thing to my husband:

I'm so sorry. I know you know that. We both know it wasn't my fault. And yet the guilt just keeps eating at me. I'm sorry our baby died. I'm sorry I'm no longer the wife you recognize, and you are no longer the husband I've grown to love. We both changed, so quickly, in just that one instant. Sometimes it is easiest to talk with others. It is hardest to talk with you. To tell you how much I hurt. How much I regret. How much I wish things were different. Because I know you are there, too, in your own way. Hurting so much, but trying to carry me as well. Things may be different now. Maybe they always will be. But I love you. I need you. And I'm committed to finding the "new us" in the midst of the loss of our beloved child.

This is what I would say -- if I could just say one thing.

What would you say?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pam's Story: When becoming a mother is just out of reach

Pam, thanks so much for opening our eyes to this "kind" of childlessness. Whether it's due to biological issues or circumstantial, the truth is so many of us truly don't have the fertility we had hoped for a planned for. I hope that your waiting time won't be too much longer. Love, Rachel

In the world of women who struggle to have children they fall into at least 3 popular categories: infertility, pregnancy loss, and adoption/fostering. 

But there's another group. I hesitate to shine a line it because I don't think anyone ever has. No one I know has mentioned it. Google doesn't seem to be aware of it. And honestly I feel like I stand alone in the category. The only reason I'm writing this is so that someone else who feels alone can know they're not. I'm talking about the women who struggle to have children because they have no opportunity to even try.
They don't have a partner or the financial means to attempt single parenthood. 
I've always known that I wanted children. Even when I've gone through times when I've wondered where I belong, what my purpose is, I've never doubted that I born to be a parent. In the past two years that desire has only grown. I guess the whole biological clock theory is true, because it's ticking so loud that it keeps me up at night. 
If you research single women who want to have a baby, you will find endless blogs/articles all ending in endorsement of insemination, surrogacy, and adoption. Well, that's great if you have thousands of dollars to attempt those possibilities. Not to mention the cost of raising a child alone. But what are the options if you can't afford it? 
I'm a college-educated millennial who is still waiting for the economy to recover. I'm just thankful I'm able to afford to live alone. 
Then there's the issue of being single.  As great as it is, the fact is if you want to start a family with someone, you gotta find them first. 
I don't want anyone to think that I'm 'baby crazy', or that this is a self-indulgent rant, or that I've unrealistically romanticized the idea of having children. I already have a full and wonderful life. I don't need another person(s) to complete me. And I'm sure at some point I'll miss this time in my life. But there are moments . . .
They normally come at baby showers and Mother's Day. These are times when I feel like the odd one out and I just want to scream, "Hey! I would be a mother too if it were up to me!"
Then there are the moments that sneak up on me. Like shopping for a friend's baby and being surrounded by precious baby items that I have no use for. It weighs on me to the point where I try to hurry to get out before tears surface. Or the Friday before Mother's Day and a new coworker says "Happy Mother's Day" to me in passing. I just have to smile and return the greeting.
I always thought I would start having babies in my mid-late twenties. Waiting until later in life was never something I considered. Recently it dawned on me, I'm 28. The odds of meeting the right person, getting married, and getting pregnant in less than two years is . . . slim. 
I don't want to have a baby just for me. But for my parents before they get too old to enjoy having their grandchild for a day. For my sister who would endlessly love her nephew or niece. For my nephew so he can have a cousin. 
So, now that this is out in the open . . . now what? I wait. I faithfully wait. I'm depending on God to have a perfect plan. All I can do is keep my eyes, ears, and heart open as He slowly reveals the plan to me. 
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for good, not disaster. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

Rachel's Story: Stillbirth at 21 weeks to Turner Syndrome

Rachel, thanks for sharing your story of Bethanne's short life. I hope your story helps others reach out when a mom and dad are grieving the loss of their little one. Much love, Rachel L.

I don’t generally get involved with the various “awareness” months. However, there is one that is very dear to my heart. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Ten years ago, Matt and I lost our first baby girl to Turner syndrome. She was born still at 21 weeks gestation. The list of my friends and family who have had pregnancy or infant loss is very long. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers today. If you have someone in your life who has had or is going through this trial, hug them and tell them you love them. Don’t spout platitudes. Just be there for them. They need your love and support. No matter how long it’s been, they have not forgotten the pain. Talking with them about it will not cause them more pain. They will be grateful that someone remembers their little ones. Our babies are gone, but never forgotten.

Here is my story. I pray Bethanne’s short life will be an encouragement to you.

Ten years ago, on February 25th, Matt and I were waiting with great excitement for our big ultrasound. I was 20 weeks pregnant and had just started wearing maternity clothes, even though I didn’t really need them yet. We had our VHS tape in hand and couldn’t wait to find out if this was a little girl or boy.

When they started the ultrasound, I knew the tech wasn’t allowed to tell us anything good or bad, except the gender. So, I waited and watched. I knew from friends that they would measure the limbs, get a good look at the internal organs, and other body parts. We listened to the heartbeat. Then the tech excused herself. I began to worry a little bit. My OB had told me that we would talk about the results at my next visit. If there was anything that needed watching she’d call, and if anything was badly wrong she’d meet us there in the room.

The tech came back with the doc that oversaw the radiology lab. They turned the screen and whispered and pointed. The doc agreed with whatever the tech had seen and told us that our OB would be there in a few minutes. They left so I could get dressed. I told Matt something was wrong. This was not good. I called my dad on my cellphone and asked him to pray. I sat on Matt’s lap with tears in my eyes as we waited for the OB.

To finish reading Rachel's Story, click on over to her blog: A daughter of the reformation

Republished with permission from the author.

Hollie's Story: When your pregnancies and losses are secret

Hollie, Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry that you had to be so alone during your pregnancies and times of loss. I'm so glad you and your husband were able to name Allison. Much love, Rachel
Hello my name is Hollie and I have miscarried twice now both in the first trimester at two months. I named the oldest Xander and the youngest Alison.
The first time I got pregnant I was 15 and had been dating my boyfriend at the time for two years. We had thought it was true love and even said we were engaged. One night I somehow got my mom to let me stay at his house past curfew and that's all it took. His mom wasn't there and his brother and his girlfriend had gone to the store. Perfect formula for a teenage screw up.
I found out I was pregnant two weeks later. I was scared and didn't know what to do and didn't want to tell anyone. I only told him because he insisted I was sick when I wouldn't look him in the eyes and kept wanting to throw up from anxiety. He agreed that we shouldn't tell anyone yet.
After another week his best friend found out and told us to go to the doctor to at least know if it was in fact a pregnancy and not a bad test or whatever. It only confirmed it. I did love this child, however, and I planned to be a mom and he planned to be a dad. A little past the two month mark however we weren't as close as before and he decided it was time to end it. He called while I was bent over in pain.
Within the hour of breaking up, I started bleeding and felt horrible pains. My dad took me to the hospital, though he never went into the back with me. I spent hours there in pain, refusing medication and refusing to let my dad come back once he wanted to. I begged the doctor not to tell my dad and if he did or not I don't know, my dad never asked and never spoke of it.  I stayed out of school for a week with bleeding and cramps, I told my mom it was just my period which often kept me from school.
I didn't tell the father until a month later when he finally called me asking what we should do about the baby. I told him he was free and that he didn't have to call me anymore. His response: "I never wanted to be free. I wanted to be a daddy, and knowing I won't be is my biggest regret." We named our baby Xander, the second half of his daddy's name. 

Years passed and I found a new love, my husband today. At only a few months of dating we jumped off the big step. We thought it'd be fine however because I had gotten the Mirena put in a few weeks before. He was a freshmen in college at the time and I was a high school senior. We both worked part-time at Toys'R'Us and were in clubs and sports.
For one week in October I had cramps and spotting. I thought nothing of it since I was told my periods could be off for the first few months of having the IUD in. However at the end of that week while I was working night shift I started having intense pain, worse than the rest of the week. I ran to the bathroom and was in there for an hour, none of my co-workers decided to check on me.
When I was finally able to stand and look at the toilet I was in shock. It looked just the same as when I miscarried Xander. At first I thought I was just seeing things and that I couldn't have been pregnant because of the IUD and because it just didn't make sense. I don't know if I was trying to validate that it wasn't real or if I'm just twisted but I reached into the toilet and scooped up the fetus. That was my baby. A little piece of me and my love gone... again. I cried for a little but then I realized I was still at work.   

I wrapped the fetus in some paper towels and cleaned up the best I could. I went to the employee lounge, still cramping and bleeding and dumped out my dinner from a plastic container and placed the baby in it. My boss found me there. I told him what happened and asked to go to the hospital or at least call my love to get picked up and go home, but he didn't let me. He said if I was okay enough to stand and talk to him I was okay enough to finish working. I had no car and was in too much pain to walk. So instead I left my baby in my locker and sat there crying at the register for another two hours before we closed and I was able to sit outside and wait to be picked up.
My boss left me at the store and went home. When my love got there I had bleed through my pants and had a small puddle under me. I also had the container pressed against my chest. I spent the next two days in the hospital and was fired for calling out those two days. We never told either of our family except for his little sister a year later. 

I tried forgetting both babies, and even refused to name my second baby. I didn't want to think that I wasn't strong enough to have them. However on Easter when I was trying to make my niece's day perfect and couldn't I broke down. I told my husband that all I wanted was to spoil my niece rotten because I can't do the same for my babies. And that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't forget them.
 I asked him to name our child and asked him what he thought it would have been. He came up with Alison for the perfect baby girl he knew was watching over us with her big brother.
I am a mother of two. And though I'm now only 21 and they passed years ago they are still my whole world. I regret not telling anyone and not allowing my family to know who my children were. I don't have any pictures of them or mementos or anything more than memories, but I wouldn't trade those memories for anything in the world. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

The eternal merry-go-round

I am grieving.

I do not have a sickness that can be caught.

I don't have a bad attitude.

I have not lost perspective.

I am not eternally ungrateful for all things, just because I am missing and grieving one thing.

I am not spiritually weak.

I did nothing to deserve this, so please don't judge.

A pill will not fix me. Some time off will not fix me. You cannot fix me.
I'll learn, I'll keep breathing, I'll move forward.

But there is a part of me that will always be broken.
A part that will always be missing.
I am not lost, though I feel it sometimes.
I am not just depressed, though it may turn into that.
I am not alone, and yet I've never felt so lonely.
I am nothing that I once was.
I've been put through the fire, and I'll come out of this a different person.
You may wish for the old me back. I wish for her too. But she is gone. Buried. Alive only in memory.
I hope, oh I hope, that somehow, in some way, I'll get through this and be better for it.

I hope to find meaning and purpose in my loss.
I hope to find strength again.
But I am the only one who can discover peace, hope and joy again. 
In my own time.
In my own way.
You may plead with me, beg to me, "Look! It's right here! Just be happy again!"
But your efforts will only be in vain.
Happiness will never come from outside of me again.
It must . . . it can only . . . be unearthed from the brokenness within.
At times I will have it all together on the outside. At times, I will fall apart.
I'm on an eternal merry-go-round.
I am never through the sadness. Anger. Denial. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.
Each stage is just a tease. I conquer it. I get through it. Then . . .
It is back again.
One day, I hope I can get off the incessant changes of grief.
Until that day, love me for who I am. Accept me right where I'm at.
Know that I'm still me. Even if . . .
I am grieving.

Dedicated in love to all of those who are grieving right now. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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