As the new year came, I’ve had so many “new year, new you” conversations with friends and co-workers. A few years ago I was taking care of a patient on New Years Eve and they said, “Honey don’t you know what you do for the new year is what you will be doing all year?”. I haven’t worked another New Years Eve shift since!
Last year was such a tough year. I have been through some crap in my life but last year was one for the books. One of my sweet co-workers asked me why I had not blogged about all the craziness. I laughed and replied, “Because nobody would believe it!”. It’s literally been one thing after another as if being a single mom was not chaotic enough. The truth is there is something so vulnerable about putting yourself out there. My sweet daughter said, “Mommy maybe there is someone out there that is crying about the same thing but when you stop crying they keep crying.”. Out of the mouth of babes.
When you don’t have the words to say many times tears do the talking. There have been lots of tears shed in 2018 and now I feel like I’m so soft I can cry at the littlest thing that has me in my feelings. No really, have you watched a YouTube video on dachshund puppies? All the sniffles. When I was going through my first divorce I was so broken, I asked God for a favor. I asked Him to help me not have a hard heart. To turn my hard heart into tears. Well He answered my prayers in abundance.
After this past year, I will never be the same. I’m absolutely not going to rehash everything here but the following is a recap of 2018:
- Unexpected break up with someone I really thought I was going to grow old with.
- The death of my best friends husband.
- My son decided to go live with his dad. (Ok started tearing up just typing that).
- Found out my other son was involved with the wrong crowd and had his hand in drugs. (NEVER trust a teenager).
- My other other son was arrested for fighting his brothers bullies at school. (Oh the repercussions such as court hearings, community service, therapy, alternative school).
- Then on top of all of that, I had to have a hysterectomy and went into instant menopause.
Can we just say holy anxiety attack? Any number of these things piled on top of all the day-to-day stuff like Kelby breaking her wrist or having to pay for braces could be enough to send someone over the edge……………………… well it almost did. Something I have never experienced in my life until about 4 months ago is anxiety attacks. Mental health is such a touchy topic and nobody wants to really talk about what they’re really feeling, including me. However, here we are. Hitting your max of what you can handle is a very unsettling feeling. I was already at the point of “I cant handle anything else” and then boom. The cops show up to take my son away in handcuffs.
The littlest thing would feel so overwhelming. Like what do you mean you’re out of Publix fried chicken? What are my kids going to eat for dinner? I wasn’t planning on cooking and now this?! PANIC! Sounds crazy to even say but when your anxiety is at an all time high things that seem so easy feel like road blocks. I knew something had to give because my poor kids were freaked out. My oldest son said, “Mom I don’t know what’s going on with you but I really need you to chill out”. I needed to hear that. So I had to lean in and dig deep and get through this.
So here is how I survived the hardest year to date:
- COUCH TIME! Snuggling up on the couch with my comfy comforter and just laying there. Sometimes the girls would snuggle up and we would watch You Tube videos about slime or painting squishes. Other times were when the boys would hang out and watch a movie, or two, or three. Being still and being together was everything right. (Disclaimer: single moms usually get little to no couch time ever).
- Journaling. Writing out my feelings has always been something I’ve turned to in hard times. There is something about it that helps you clear your head and leave whatever it is on the paper.
- Music. I always try to have music on because is calming and can set the mood.
- My dogs. I don’t feel like a crazy dog lady but I might be. Even after a long shift I will snuggle up and pet the dogs til I fall asleep.
- My soul sisters. I can’t put into words what it means when your best friend shows up with cake and flowers. Then another one shows up with dinner and cookies. One of the worst anxiety attacks my sweet love stayed on the phone with me until I calmed down enough to fall asleep. The unconditional love received by my friends has always seen me through but this past year meant everything.
I’m so thankful to be out of such a dark time. Everything that I was met with and had to go through was hard but looking back all of it made me stronger. Break ups are tough but you always learn from them. Losing someone to death only made me stronger in my faith. My son deciding to go live with his dad was hard but was an opportunity for my son to go to a better school and now our time together is even sweeter. Showing my other son tough love and seeing him through making better choices than a lifestyle of drugs made our bond even closer and taught him a lot about self-worth. My other other son has learned that being arrested doesn’t define you and has taken away so much from therapy. The time home recovering from surgery helped me have time off from work to deal with everything.
If you are going through something hard find what calms you and do ALOT of that!!