I just added a new badge to my site and I’m feeling a bit kick-ass about it.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent my Saturday morning exploring Postpartum Progress, a site that is quite new to me but it always reminds me that I’m not alone and, what’s more, each article I read leaves me feeling empowered and determined.
Feeling like spreading the word about this resource, I scrolled through the badges sections, looking to find an appropriate one I could add to my own blog. The various “I Survived…” logos are definitely not me.
Survivor. That word is for those who have been through a battle with unspeakable illnesses, been up against horrible people, or have been stranded somewhere in the elements and managed to find their way out again. Survivors are amazingly strong. I devour survivors’ stories with every part of my being. These people are the people I look up to, where I draw my inspiration from. To call myself a survivor, to claim to be in the same league as them, would be to belittle their amazing feats.
I am not a survivor. Of that I am certain.
Then the next one:
I was crying. An absolute mess. From a badge. I sat in front of the computer and sobbed big loud, chest heaving, animal sounding, sobs. I turned the computer off and walked away but my mind hasn’t stopped turning this phrase over and over in my head.
I am surviving.
The thoughts (or the demons as I’ve come to refer to them) have flooded in, trying to drown this phrase out but somehow, a little tiny whisper of hope has been answering back.
It’s so hard to even get out of bed.
“I’ve managed to get up each and every day.”
I cry so much and just can’t seem to stay happy.
“Months ago I was struggling to feel. Sadness is progress.”
Sometimes I still wonder if I should be a mom.
“My little girl’s face lights up every time she sees me.”
Surely they are better off without me.
“I know our family unit is at its strongest when we’re all together.”
I can’t handle anymore. I want to give up.
“I’ve made it this far.”
As you can imagine, the list goes on, but now the whisper is there.
Surviving has been a horrifically ugly affair. While I’ve actually had long periods of okay days and several stretches of good days, I know my battle to beat this illness is far from over. I struggle almost every day. Things have been especially tough lately as I realise I haven’t recovered and I work to face it so I can get better. If I look back at where I started from, I know I’m getting better. Slowly. I’m beginning to accept that nothing I do will speed up the process of recovery. The light at the end of the tunnel is still not in my sights. I am trying instead to focus on making it through each day, to continue to provide a loving environment for my daughter, to mend and maintain the connection with my husband.
I am trying to keep my goals small. Once an over-achiever, I am trying to find little things that might make me feel good, if only for a few moments, and be okay with that.
I wanted to tell you all that after placing that badge on my site, I felt proud to call myself a warrior mom but I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet. But I’m working on it.
One shaky foot in front of the other. One day at a time.
I am surviving.