Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Real Me

I don’t usually get this personal on this blog, but I shared this on my family blog and got a lot of responses. It seemed to resonate with a lot of my friends and family. I’m sharing it here just in case I still actually have any readers, and in case some of you can relate also.

I recently read THIS POST on a blog called Finding Joy about New Year’s resolutions for moms. I was having a bad day, feeling tired, lonely, and overwhelmed. When I got to her #7 resolution, I started to cry. This was the #7 resolution:

I will share my heart in this journey. And this means being real. It means admitting when we don’t have it all together and allowing tears to fall and having that friend that we know that we can call at 2:19 am when we’re just afraid or tired or dealing with anxiety. And speaking of anxiety – there is no shame in admitting that one deals with that either – none. Sharing our hearts with [each] other honestly breaks down the perceived walls of perfection and makes us human. I mean truthfully, we’re all probably pretty deep down grateful for that mac and cheese in the cabinet but sometimes we don’t admit it. Being real means celebrating us.

This is my struggle.150106_0006

I have friends here in Illinois. Maybe not as many as I had in Oregon, but I do have friends. My friends have told me to call them whenever I need to, even on the bad days. I even have had people from church I don’t know very well offer to help me out. Have I called any of them?

Friends—rarely.

Others—nope.

I could probably even call some of my friends back home, but I don’t. I’m too afraid they’ll feel like it’s oddly out-of-the-blue for me to contact them other than on facebook because I haven’t maintained a “random phone call” relationship since I moved. If I can get past that hang-up, I talk myself out of calling them because I need to forge friendships here where I am, with people who can maybe actually lend a hand if needed.

But then I don’t call anyone here.

I’m not being real. Or at least, not when I can help it. Sure, there was one day at church when I just couldn’t hold back the tears any longer, and I sat and sobbed to my friends until the tears ran dry. But they only see me like that when they catch me.

It’s SO HARD to call someone when I’m right on the verge of tears or already a blubbering mess. It’s so hard to expose myself like that, to trust, to share the messy, anxious, emotional side of myself.

But that’s what I need.

Most of the time, if I can just find someone to talk to, or cry to, I can get it out and move on. Sometimes I just have to know I’m not alone. Sometimes I just need to let all that emotion spill over, relieve the pressure.

I know I need to let people in, but I have so many fears, so many hold-ups. I don’t want to be the “Debbie Downer” friend who is only a burden. I don’t want to drag anyone down. I’m not very good at making casual phone calls and maintaining friendships over the phone. I’m afraid if I start calling when I need help, that will be the main time that I call, and people won’t see that I have normal times too. And then they might be tempted to fix me.

But I don’t feel like I need to be fixed. I don’t want to be diagnosed. I don’t want to be doctored. I don’t want to be drugged. I just want to be me, even if I’m a little messed up.

MAYBE I have just a touch of depression or anxiety. I don’t know. I have good days and bad. Some of the bad days are really bad, but I get through.150108_0005

But let’s face it, this motherhood gig is tough! I’m still adjusting to dealing with four instead of three. Most of my days are days where I just get through the day. I try to enjoy moments here and there, but it’s not one big, pinterest-worthy, memory-making, endearment-filled journey. I’m in a tough stage right now. I’m always exhausted. I spend so much of my time changing, dressing, feeding, caring for, and cleaning up after people. 150106_0001I can hardly make a dent in the cleaning up after people. 150106_0002And while I try to teach my kids to help with the cleaning up, that can be more work than doing it myself. Sometimes it’s just more peaceful to leave it undone until I can get to it.150106_0003

And I know I’m struggling more with this baby than I did with my others. I have pretty good reason to, if I say so myself. I’m really far from where I call home. I am trying to call this place home, but even when I do, it has an asterisk by it that indicates “temporary.”

That’s the only way I can stand being here.

I miss the moderate climate of Oregon. Some of the worst days in Oregon look like a picnic compared to this place! I miss my family. I am so often in regret that I don’t have any family around to fawn over and enjoy my baby with me. They’re missing it. Cecilia is our last baby, and by the time we live near family again, she’ll probably be just past toddlerhood. They’re going to miss all her baby stages. That breaks my heart over and over and over again. I could go on and on about how I miss my family, but maybe that’s another post on it’s own.

_ _ _

But it’s not all bad. My life is not all bad, and I do not see it as all bad. Little things keep me going. Like the wink Phaedra gives me when I pass by the family room door and the other two big kids are staring at the TV. Like the sweet smiles and snuggles of my baby.150106_0009 Like hearing my son say, “I wuv you, Mom,” out of the blue. 150107_0007Like Eleanor cleaning her room without being asked. Like the happiness we all experience when Daddy comes home. We may have chaos, but we have a lot of lovely chaos.

150107_0003(Reading scriptures)

Like the feeling I get when I know my prayers have been answered. I think my testimony is growing being out here. I love my calling teaching Relief Society, a calling I never thought I could handle doing. It teaches me so much, and brings more of the spirit into my life. I know I have a Father in Heaven who loves me, and I feel that love, even when I’m having a bad day.

I’m trying.

I may not have it all together right now, but I’m trying.

I’m learning.

I’m growing.

And I’m going to try to let people in. I’m going to try to share my heart. Because I need that friend I can call anytime when I’m falling apart. I need as many as I can get.

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