Some days everything just feels so hard. When the sleep deprivation and the toddler tantrums and the chronic illness and anxiety and all of it pile up on me all at once. Every day I get up a fighter, ready to put on my best face and go another round. And so many more days than not, I end up face down in the ring with a crowd of onlookers.
It’s just one “next hard thing” after the next.
I try to keep a positive attitude and I do most days if everything aligns and the kids don’t melt down 9 times out of 10, only 7, and I get maybe six hours sleep or even seven instead of 2 or 3, and the baby isn’t teething and all 4 kids got to bed on time and didn’t wake up all night, and the pollen isn’t too high and I haven’t spent too much time outdoors today to give me an asthma attack and I got a short text out and back from a reassuring friend yelling, “You’re not alone,” and a twenty minute nap while both babies slept instead of a 5 minute attempt at a nap while they took turns staying awake…on those days, I feel like I could do anything. I feel like I could fly and conquer the world and change it, too.
But, most days I feel like some level of shit just like I have for the last 2 years fighting chronic illness, depression and anxiety…and most days my 5 year old who is a highly sensitive kid starts his day by taking all his anger and rage out on me just because I asked him to put his shoes AND socks on. And most days my three year old yells, “I don’t like you!” and, “You’re not my parent!” while I put on clothes for him and take him to school for the whole hour he can handle there. And most days, I have never gotten enough sleep, even if I have slept a solid eight hours in a row (imagine THAT miracle!), it will never begin to make up for the consistent state of utter EXHAUSTION I have lived in for the nearly nine years I have been a Mother who has been recovering from a million smackdown moments in her life.
I want more than anything to just be a normal Mom. I want to just run my kids to and from activities and play dates and meet the girls for coffee and breakfast. On those rare days that I feel good, all that and more seems possible. I hatch up dreams for how I will change the world and I work on my book and I feel like I’m making a difference somehow.
But, it’s days like today that I need more than anything to just be honest about how hard it really is, how hard it’s really been. How much I try to meditate, pray, 12 step, affirm and believe my way through it all…only to feel that stinging sense of a smack down like Ronda Rousey again and again.
It’s ok to not feel like a prize fighter 24/7. It’s ok to struggle and fall. I think maybe life is just a series of knock outs and drag outs and get-back-up-agains.
I don’t live in the past and I’m not identified by my story of 21 deaths in 5 years, an addict husband, almost divorce, postpartum depression and so on. But, no matter how hard I try to move on, my body and heart tell the story of the pain and unimaginable stress and trauma they have been through. No matter how hard I try to push on, they continue to stop and remind me that it takes time to heal. That recovery is a process. That there are no magic pills or quick fixes – only time and only love.
We all love the conquerers story, don’t we folks? But, I’m wondering, can we maybe also cheer our fighters on when they’re flat on their faces in the ring? Can we tell them how much we love them for reminding us we’re all human? Can we not set a limit on how much a person is allowed to feel, grieve, bleed or struggle? Can we maybe just send more love and love and love no matter how long they’ve been laying there, til they find their way back up again???
Can we let it be ok to be human? Can we tell everyone we know, how STRONG AND beautiful they are for the falling down parts too…because those are the hardest parts to get through? Can we be cheerleaders for smack downs because that’s when people need us most, not when they’re holding the winning prize?
I don’t want your pity. Just today, I want to be honest and not tie it up neat with a pretty red bow about how I will survive or overcome or conquer. I just want to lay here on the floor in the ring for a minute and cry because life smacked me down again and I’ve been going 18 rounds now and I AM TIRED. Tomorrow, you KNOW I’ll be back in the ring fighting again…but today, I just want to hear it’s ok to be down. Do you still love me, when I feel defeated? When I’ve forgotten I’ll get back up again soon?
I want to tell you something…yes, YOU. Wherever you are in the ring – getting sucker punched, knocked out, going round 20, or throwing punches or dodging blows…I’m cheering you on, because I know you’re going to get back up again when you’re ready and keep fighting, too…and dammit, I love you for falling and for getting back up again, too.
Thanks Ronda Rousey for showing us how to fall with grace, truth and honesty this week. ♡♡♡ Yes, maybe you were meant to do more good by losing this time than by winning again.