Life can be pretty rough sometimes, can’t it? I feel like my life is amazing 98-ish% of the time. I have an amazing family, I love my job, I love our home and our neighborhood, my friends, and the community that surrounds me. Life is good. But then all of a sudden it isn’t, and that’s the stuff I’m trying to figure out how to deal with right now.
My baby girl (who’s 14 and not so little anymore) has been really, super, crazy sick for the last month and a half. She’s been throwing up around the clock for six weeks straight, with no relief. We’ve been to the Emergency Room, to InstaCare, and to all the doctors and specialists one can fit into the span of a few weeks. She’s missed over three weeks of school (which is like 10 lightyears worth of school in Junior High) and if we were counting how many times she’s vomited we’d be well into the double digits by now. The icing on top is that no one knows what’s going on with my daughter or knows how to treat it.
Life is pretty miserable around these parts, and there’s no relief in sight.
Normally I’m able to deal with huge amounts of stress pretty well. I run a large, popular blog with several employees, parent two competitive athletes/children, manage a household with chickens and a horse and cat, and freelance as a writer and social media consultant all from the kitchen table of my home. Oh, and P.S. I have Lupus super full-time. So when a wrench gets thrown in the middle of my life, things start falling apart really fast.
So what I want to know is … how YOU deal with it all? How do you manage your life when it gets really crazy stressful on top of your regular running of the world? I dealt really well with all of the above for almost a month before it all started crumbling down around me. With good friends I was able to manage keeping things in a normal routine for the rest of the family while my daughter and I rushed from one blood test and late-night Emergency Room visit to the next, until one night I couldn’t do it anymore. All of a sudden, like I was running full speed into a brick wall, it all came crashing down on me. I cried myself to sleep one night and woke up crying the next morning, with no idea what to do next.
I guess I’m not dealing with it so well after all. I’m internalizing all of the stress, piling it on myself and building the internal emotional stressors to the point of breaking. All the usual emotional coping techniques aren’t working and I feel like I’m drowning. Thanks to the aforementioned community of friends I’ve managed to keep feeding my family (a friend showed up late one night with SIX freezer meals after two other friends brought two separate dinners), and keep the spirits of my daughter from collapsing in on her.
I started a hashtag on my Instagram account called #hopeandloveforsofie and asked friends and strangers around the world to photograph hearts to give my baby girl a little something to keep her going day, after day, after day. People my daughter has never met have sent get-well packages from all over the nation to uplift her and keep her busy when we’re at the hospital or doctor’s office or just laying on the couch at home. We’ve been lifted up by love and support in such a wonderful, overwhelming way, and still I find myself just below the surface of the water.
Tell me friends, how do you do it? Sick parents, terminally and chronically ill children, divorce, and all of the hard things in life, how do you cope? How do you go from one heartbreak and frustration to the next without falling down in a sobbing heap among the rubble?