So this weeks F-word is a little heavier than I would normally post, but I like I had mentioned in Mommy Moment and Baby Basics this weeks I was seriously ill these past few weeks and it brought me to a realization that I need to make some changes. I was inspired by a fellow blogger The East Coast Mermaid who wrote about how her health scare inspired her to take an honest look at what she has been doing and oddly enough I am in a very similar boat.
On December 29, 2016 I was diagnosed… came down with… I don’t really know how to phrase it with shingles, a diagnosis mostly for those over 60; you can’t even get the vaccine unless you are at least 50. So needless to say when I went to the doctor about a patch of what I thought was a resurgence of teenage acne I was shocked to discover it was shingles and that I should have come in earlier because it was very close to my right eye and there was a risk of vision loss. It was recommended that I not allow Monkey near my face and I could not breastfeed under any circumstances due the medication I was on. So not only was I fearful for what may come between now and when these powerful drugs kicked in hard enough to stop the virus but I also worried about what my sweet baby was going through as he isn’t old enough to uderstand that Mommy is sick and that’s why she cannot play with you like she usually does. Thankfully with the help and support of my husband I was able to spend the majority of the time in bed, sleeping and allowing the medication to work to its fullest, and stopped the virus from spreading to my eye and only went as far as my eye lid. My doctor said that I should make a full recovery but advised that stress management is what will help it from returning.
While this allowed for Monkey and Michael to really bond over the last week it also allowed me to think about myself and what needs to change so I can be the best version of myself. Reading blogs and watching vlogs of people I have followed for years to pass the time it got me thinking about what draws me to them, and what makes me come back. What do I admire about these people that makes me take time from my busy day to check in, and the thread that I discovered was they are all really honest. They lay it out there good, bad, ugly and don’t worry about what the world says about them, and when it does get to them they address it. And this is what I intend to do from this point forward.
I have always struggled with social anxiety, I never know quite what to say and when I do I always question how I said it. I often prefer to stand off to the side and people watch when there is more than just one or two others in a space and regularly worry about the impressions I make. This was exacerbated when I became a mother, especially one who had multiple appointments a week with professionals in and out of the home assessing Monkey’s development and how I was doing as moving him along towards his milestones. The anxiety I would have about someone coming over without enough time to clean the house top to bottom was overwhelming and with all the well wishers coming around to see him only made the stress worse. I laid all this stress on myself to be the best, to provide the best stimulation for my son, to provide him with the best food, to ensure he lived in the cleanest home; and because of that I wasn’t being honest. I was putting on the face that it was easy and that it was doable for the long term, but it isn’t, because all that anxiety and expectations culminated into this strange diagnosis. And for that I am sorry, because my friends and family got the worst instead of the best of me because it was more important to me to show that I could do everything than it was for me to exist as myself and enjoy those around me.
From this point forward I will be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend I can be, but that might mean I didn’t vacuum or do the dishes today, and that if you stop by you will have to be ok with that, because I went to the gym, played with my son, and I’m partaking in great conversation with you instead. I am going to take more time for self care because a sick Mommy is no good to a growing Monkey. I will continue to organize my life in lists because it makes me happy but I will ask for help in completing them so the weight doesn’t fall all on my shoulders. And lastly this year I will take on the word FEARLESS, not because I wont ever be scared, anxious or worried about things but because I wont let that anxiety overwhelm me to the point I am not honest about where I am at and who I am. And for those who decide that the honest me is not who they are interested in caring for, then I will let them go without worry of what I should have done or been differently to maintain that, because I have two very special people right here beside me who see and know the honest me, and love me anyway.
I hope that by talking about this and setting these goals I can inspire others to take a step back and love themselves a little more so that they can make the changes they need to make their lives a little brighter. This is a difficult lesson to learn but one I am sure I will be forever thankful for, and I hope you join me on this journey to self discovery with a sometimes messy kitchen.
The “F” Word is a weekly post about all the fun things. On Fridays we will talk about food, fashion, family, friends, faith, fitness and other f words that make life a little brighter.