I am not someone that enjoys focusing on the hard things in life. They are there. They exist. This is not a happy tale, but instead a sharing of how I have chosen to live.
But in the last 6 years, I can truly say that I have lost more than I have gained.
Yes, I can go through and count the blessings. We all can find them. But I was going through photos and it showed me in graphic format, the losses I have dealt with.
About 6 years ago, I realized I needed to go to work full time, homeschool my children still, and keep up with my home. I got my certification as a property manager and business licenses. I began to work that job, as well as a myriad of others, knowing that I could feel it destroying my health. I worked to be healthy though.
An animal allergy popped up, causing me to struggle being around people that own certain types of animals. I lost a dear friend in a tragic accident, then that spring, my grandfather, and a few years down the road, my grandmother. I was living through abuse in my own home at the hands of someone I thought should love me, but wanted to avoid divorce. I put up with it. I had grit. Determination. I would make this work.
I got counseling. He got counseling. I worked harder. I dropped things that were simply for my enjoyment. I had to give up some of my writing goals, for which I have paid for. In 2018, our divorce was final. He still lived here for another year with us caring for his needs, doing his grocery shopping, appointments and others, until he chose to move to MN in 2019. It was for the best, but a huge loss for myself and my sons.
Last January, I started not feeling right. I had friends that I love end up fighting with one another, which broke my heart. It isolated me, and so when Covid hit in March, the verbal attacks online were too much. I have struggled with trusting people and with any faith in humanity to be honest.
There were good things that happened too. I got to do one job online, I quit two other jobs I had. Property Management could be done from home more as people didn’t want you in their homes. I had more time to take a walk or read a book.
But my nerves couldn’t handle watching a TV show that I have always enjoyed. Stories that I loved, I couldn’t sit still long enough to read them. Since everyone in the world had so much going on, I further pulled into myself.
I fell behind on housework in an effort to keep up with making a living. I have children at home, but they were all either working, doing school or occupied. The frat house effect seemed to happen, which is hard to come back from. As someone that has always kept a fairly clean house, it has been a nightmare for me the last few years.
This April, at my physical, I found I have some health issues that explain a lot of the impact that all the stress of previous years has had on my life. I have sat with my own mortality for the last while.
So, what is choosing to live?
I will admit that this is not my favorite thing. I would prefer to not have anything wrong with me, to sink back into a corner, work hard, keep busy and when I had time, read, write and enjoy life as it came.
But instead, it felt like pain upon pain had been heaped upon me. Bringing me to my end.
In the last months, I realized what they mean by a breaking point. I have never wanted to admit I was there, and avoided it.
I am headed on an uphill climb now, learning to care for myself, still working hard, but at the same time learning to say no.
What has been something you had to say no to this last year, while learning to live?