When the Sh*t Hits The Fan
This is going to get a bit personal, but as many of us are in the same boat, maybe sharing my story can be of some benefit.
Side note: I know this post’s picture is a bit on the humorous side, but when things get heavy, sometimes we need a good laugh.
So, let’s get real
We can’t ignore the situation that’s happening. We can’t ignore what’s going on in our world, with our economy and inflation, the division, violence, and polarization in our country. And this on top of Covid, lockdowns and feelings of isolation. It can be all very frightening, depressing, and anxiety-provoking.
And then there’s what may be happening in our personal lives. So many of us have seen job loss, illness, loss of loved ones, and the list can go on and on. It can make us feel hopeless, afraid, and so very alone.
I know what it’s like to feel completely alone.
When my husband was really ill, everyday brought challenges. It was up and down from day-to-day and even hour-by-hour. I was nose-deep trying to figure out what he should eat, the supplements he should take, the doctors’ visits and tests. And I was filled with so much fear and stress that even taking on the additional chores, such as taking out the trash, putting oil in the car, or filling up the gas tank, became so overwhelming.
I couldn’t turn to my family as they were facing their own troubles. During this time, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer and ended up having a double mastectomy, and on my side, my mother, who has late stage dementia, doesn’t really remember who I am. And so I felt turning to family wasn’t an option, as I had to be strong for them, as well.
Supporting my family, and my husband’s, during their difficult time, while also caring for my husband, left me feeling totally crushed by the weight of it all.
Sure, I had my kids. But my son was getting ready for deployment out of country, one of my daughters had 2 little ones to take care of, and my other daughter was busy with work and school. And I felt, as their mother, it wasn’t their place to take on my burdens.
And yes, I had friends. But many were dealing with their own problems that I didn’t want to add to, and I didn’t want to be pitied. You know how friends can be. In their efforts to make you feel better, they can end up making you feel worse. God love ’em.
So there were days, feeling so tired, scared, and devastated, I would sit in the car just to cry as I didn’t want my husband to see how hard it was on me. The fear I saw in my husband, the despair, was heartbreaking. Some days he could barely walk and when asked how he was doing, he’d reply, “Just sitting here useless again.” It was so hard on both of us.
While I did pray, I felt I had no person to turn to. No one just to cry to.
I share this story because maybe you can relate to feelings of hopelessness and fear.
Where I found help
Let me preface this by saying that this is not a sales pitch, but during that time, I thank God for my coach. While most of my calls with her were usually around goal setting or strategizing and planning, during this time, she would allow me the space to just talk and cry, offering nothing more than just making me feel seen, heard, and like I mattered. And I didn’t have to feel guilty about it. I could just share my heart without feeling like I was burden.
She helped me to remember that I needed to take care of myself, to not give up on myself or my loved ones. Or give up on my dreams. I remembered who I could ask for help. I also remembered to have hope and trust that this was all in God’s hands.
Through our chats, I had the space to come up with ideas on the next steps I could make to help my family and myself. She also helped me plan how I could control my anxiety and fear. How I could take the small steps necessary and not feel like I had to do it all.
She offered me strategies not pity.
Don’t go it alone
When the Sh*t hits the fan, it’s important to reach out to someone. And if you don’t have family or friends to turn to, think of someone you can trust. Maybe it’s a pastor, a therapist, a qualified coach, a support group, or hotline.
Find someone who will listen to you and help guide you through your process.
Don’t go it alone. Sometimes we need an outside perspective to help us see through the mire. Someone caring but who can remain objective and can take a bird’s eye view of the forest while we feel blinded by all the trees.
Someone to stand by our side as we take it step-by-step.
We will get through difficult times, and we can become stronger and better than we were before.
And we don’t have to do it alone.
As I said, this is not a sales pitch, but a post from my heart.
However, if you are going through a dark time and need someone to help guide you through, please feel free to reach out and learn how I can help.
For immediate help
If at anytime you feel you or a loved one are in a crisis situation, please don’t hesitate to call suicide crisis lifeline by dialing 988.