Goodbye July

Deep Breathe. Now do it again.

 

Focus.

Remember that God only gives you what you can handle, and you are a warrior and a survivor.

Fill yourself with the strength to take one step and one day at a time.

I used to have to tell myself this a lot. For what felt like an eternity, one negative life event after the next just kept happening. I however, kept landing on my feet.

One of these days I will have enough vacation time to take off the entire month of July. You see the bulk of these events, as well as the most impactful happened in July.

July 10, 2008, my world was shattered when I was told to get home in a hurry. I came around the corner to find a driveway full of familiar vehicles as well as a marked state police SUV. I knew something major had happened and nervously rushed the door.

My mother, sobbing. My brother looked so angry. My dad pacing and on the phone. I asked what was wrong. My mother struggled to gather her words but couldn’t get them out before my brother spoke.  “Eric hung himself.” I will never forget those words. Everything became blurred as I screamed in disbelief. I spoke with the officer and sunk into my own thoughts. I could not believe that my big brother was gone. It took us years to become friends and while I knew he was struggling with life and feeling like a burden to the family, I felt that he knew he could come to me.

After living through these events, I learned that you really, truly do not ever know someone and that if they are determined to take their own life, they are going to do so.

The years that followed were difficult as my mother never came to terms with my brothers passing.  As a mother myself now, I could not imagine what I would feel if I lost my child.

It is something that she never recovered from.

As her will to fight decreased the lupus she lived with grew stronger, continuing to weaken her immune system. She developed pneumonia in 2014, and on July 28, 2014 she passed away in hospice care.

Being a young mother without your own mother is a difficult time. There are so many things I wish to ask her how to handle. My divorce, co-sleeping, starting this blog, career changes. There are so many things I wish I still had my mother around to advise me on.

With all of that being said, and weighing heavy on my heart for many years, there is still  without a doubt a certain amount of stress that overcomes me this time of year until the month passes.  Always waiting for yet another catastrophe, but it never comes.

But ( and I know you shouldn’t start a sentence with “but”) I remember that I am important and that I can survive the stress that comes my way.

Do you ever feel that way? Lost? Broken?  It is ok to stop and feel this way. Just don’t stop and live there.

Sometimes the things you see in my life are a direct reflection of how I am feeling inside. An outward portrayal of emotions. Dirty dishes in the sink, baskets of laundry everywhere, several projects started but not complete. My house appear to be overloaded, which is exactly how my brain feels.

How do you resolve this? There is just so much to get done and only so many hours in the day. I am just one person.

I have heard all of the excuses, I have come up with a few of my own. However, when I find myself allowing those negative thoughts into my mind I refocus.

Take a step back and remember that you are important.

You are not alone

Take it on, one task at a time.  Before you know it they will all be accomplished.

Most importantly remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish. It is necessary to take care of yourself or you will find yourself unable to care for others.

 

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