Honesty

I would be totally lying if I pretended I was not struggling with my emotional well-being right now. I have had more bad days than I care to say. Honestly, it is not any one thing but many things compounded and maybe I am not the only one struggling. I guess I can begin with the post-divorce healing process. It was a difficult time for me but we are coming up on almost two years now and I feel ok. Of course I miss the friendship and companionship, but deep down I know ending that marriage was the best thing for both of us. I own that.

Second, I had Covid pneumonia just over a year ago and my lungs and breathing are not the same. I still have less than 50% of my sense of taste and smell. I get extremely winded doing things I found easier to do pre-Covid. I find myself taking more breaks during a strenuous task as well. I am hoping that these things will not be the same things I am struggling with a year from now. I am hopeful that with some extra self-care, I can get better.

Work has been both a blessing and a struggle. I am so grateful I have health insurance and a job when many others have lost their job or are still struggling with unemployment and financial stability. I also wish I had been able to work from home or maybe find better ways to work with the public without feeling I am putting myself at risk health wise. I love what I do. It’s been a most unusual process to fall into my job, but it’s been one I have zero regrets about. Am I doing all I can be doing? No. That may be some of the restlessness I am feeling.

One of the greatest struggles over the past few months has been coping with waves of grief and mourning over the sudden loss of our beloved dog, Chance. I was blessed to have the spunkiest and loving Cairn Terrier rescue. He was small but fierce. He was my protector, my best friend, and my favorite little person to be with. His love and companionship helped me begin the healing process post-divorce. He made everything better just by being himself. Coming home was more joyful knowing he would be waiting to greet me. Sleeping was more restful feeling him next to me. He wasn’t a great cuddler, but when he was in the mood, I so enjoyed it. He was my “tricky woo!” I miss him immensely. I struggled trying to absorb why this happened at this time. I did not have a crisis of faith, but I did have some serious discussions with God. I don’t have to understand why things like this happen. I just have to trust that someday, I will see my fur baby again.

The loss of him not being here has affected us all differently but we all feel it in some way. I believe with the pandemic, the stress of illness, work, and the crazy in the world; coping has been difficult. I have had people who say, “Get another dog. It will help.” I cannot. I would not ever say, have another baby to cope with your miscarriage. Get a new spouse if yours has passed. I do not believe they’re being insensitive. I think they have forgotten that grief and mourning are a process that just has to be walked through. It comes in waves and some days the waves are crashing over me and others, it’s just a small ripple. I have struggled with self-care and I am not ashamed to say, I often neglect it. I am working on getting better with it though. I am not the kind of person who stays down in the pit for too long. I am a fighter and a survivor. I don’t get up or give in easily. I know how far I have come and I believe God has more joy planned for my future.

I have come to believe that somehow pain and loss have a way of purifying us. It forces us to get back down to the basics–what is important and what can be let go of. I have let go of feeling guilt for not being more productive or driven right now. I have let go of comparing where I am at with others. My journey has been nontraditional and that is ok. I have given up pushing myself beyond what I know I am capable of for that day or moment just to prove to someone or myself I am worthy. So….if you’re curious about some of what I am doing for self-care during this time, I will share. It is what has helped me and some of these are totally nonnegotiable.

I finally have established a halfway decent morning routine.

  1. Drinking water first thing before coffee is one. Also, reading my devotional or something spiritual and saying a short prayer to begin my day is something I will always make time for now.
  2. I don’t rush thru my favorite coffee of choice. I savor it and sip on it slowly.
  3. Scheduling a regular massage, pedicure, or facial–anything relaxing that I deem to be pampering has become routine. Yes, it’s a sacrifice financially but I have found ways to make it more affordable by going to beauty schools or looking for special discounts.
  4. Making time to read for growth as well as fun. I love to read and I often times feel pulled in so many directions with my responsibilities that I don’t make time for it. Even if all I can fit in is 15 minutes of silent reading. It helps.
  5. Connecting with friends, groups or organizations that are good for my mental and emotional well being has been wonderful. It has helped me learn that we are all struggling in some way and doing our best. Those connections can make the difference between having a bad day and a “I’m gonna get thru this” kind of day!
  6. Limiting time with toxic or energy draining individuals is a must. I have learned so much about myself and how empathic I can be. I have to be vigilant with certain types of people that are energy vampires. This is where practicing healthy boundaries has come in handy.
  7. And lastly, I am just being more mindful of being more of service to others struggling around me. I feel that God wants us to do that now more than ever.

I hope that when you feel like you’ve had enough, you remember that many of us are struggling right now as well–whether it be for something or someone we have lost or because we miss the way things were just a few years ago. I believe God has a plan for us to follow and part of our growth is to be willing to face the hard things with an attitude and mindset of growth….even if it’s painful. In the meanwhile, here is my best boy.

Chance….good boy, loyal friend, and little badass!

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