The best way to describe, for me anyways, single parenthood, career, and grief is like a crazy game of Jumaji. There are times when you are rolling those dice, and you only hope and pray you can roll a 6 or an 8 to get out of the jungle you are stuck in. Other moments, regardless of what you hope for, you are being chased by a head hunter or wild animals. The only way to win is to keep playing. The crazy thing is…THE GAMES TAKES FOREVER!!!!! You are constantly living in fight or flight mode. The worst part about it, is that the choice is made for you. You are fighting! Putting one foot in front of the other just to stay one step ahead of the depression, anxiety, and sadness. Your always in that mode, even while sleeping it seems. The sheer weight of everything makes taking one step feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Newsflash, you are!!! You have the weight of YOUR world, and you have to bear it alone. What makes the task so difficult is the fact that before you had your partner supporting you.
When you say you vows, until death do us part, you never expect to experience that so young and soon. Being thrust into raising a child alone, and living life without your best friend and other half is unfathomable. Yet here I am, still grappling with grief, guilt, and motherhood. Attempting to juggle a full time career, being a present and good mother, as well taking care of my needs is just a balancing act that I am still struggling with. You would think after eighteen months that I would have figured somethings out by now. Unfortunately, I still feel as though I am in survival mode. Henry is and always will be my main priority, but still other things need to happen in order for life to run smoothly and as comfortable as possible. So every time I tell him I can’t play because there is something else that requires my attention, that mom guilt hits harder than ton of bricks. There are moments when I cry from the sheer thought, that I chose something silly over my own son. It takes lots of self reminders later, some time days later, that this is our life now and there is only one of me. The anxiety weighs heavily on me when my thoughts turn to my parenting skills. I am always afraid if not doing enough or doing too much. We have entered a very difficult patch, Henry and I. This increases the anxiety that is already lurking deep my consciousness. All the times I have lost my temper, wish for some alone time, and the countless other things that have happened. makes me question…am I really cut out for this? Mark my words, this is completely illogical and I love my son more than myself and I would never wish for a life without him. He is my purpose and my inspiration. But am I doing the best I can? I don’t even know what my best is anymore…
As I look at the evolution of my new normal, I see that I have never been able to cope because it moved so fast. I feel like Giles Corey, slowly being crushed by the responsibilities that were placed on my shoulders. The struggle is VERY real. But the truth is the weight will remain for the foreseeable future. So I guess it is time to tighten that belt and put one foot in front of the other. Push hard each and every day so strength grows and the grief feels lighter. Notice I said feels lighter… see the grief we carry throughout our life never vanishes. We carry them throughout our entire existence, but the longer we do the stronger we become. Although I know this is the truth, it is still a difficult pill to swallow.
For those of you who are struggling, know this…You are stronger that your circumstances. You are capable of overcoming all you worries. Do not measure your progress by anything you see or hear. Progress is not seen is it felt. Your soul speaks to you and will always remind you of your progress, as long as you are willing to listen. Don’t let you doubts, fears, anxieties, or other aspects of you life crush you. Channel your inner strength, and walk forward each day with the knowledge and hope that you WILL grow stronger. You WILL overcome!