Underacheiving

Mother. Wife. Daughter. Friend. These are all titles I claim. They say something about who I am. For the past 16 years I’ve been a mom. It occupies a lot of my time, devotion and finances and for a long time I identified solely as a stay at home mom and was proud to do so. I had 3 little ones at home who needed me to provide for their every need. I now have three independent sons who remind me daily they don’t need or want my help or input. The tides have turned. As they boys aged I sought out outside sources for my identity. Friendships, community, and eventually a career.

For the last two years I had people rely on me for their needs and I was known for more than being a mom and wife. It was great. I got every morning and I knew I could get up and out and actually have a purpose. I knew I was needed. I developed friendships and found joy in my job. Unfortunately the stress and weight of my illness became too much for me to bear and working became difficult. It’s now been more than a month since I’ve worked. At first it was a much needed reprieve. I needed the time to refocus on my physical and mental health.

While I still need time to attend to my health and am working on getting well, I feel lost. I wake up and face the day with no agenda other than maintaining order in my mind, my house and my family. Some days that’s easier than others, but some days its hard to even get out of bed. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t long ago that I was living life at full speed and seemingly doing it all, haphazardly and not at my best of course. I long for simpler days, pre-diagnosis. I don’t think it would make things easier, I would still be sick I would just be pushing through without the excuses. I don’t let excuses stop me most days, I just now allow myself permission to heal which in the past I never granted myself the grace to do and always led me further down the road to increased sickness.

I’m in an odd season. I am still a mother – with boys who don’t need her as much as they once did. I am still a wife – with a husband who is trying to keep living his life despite having a wife who is limited by her physical and mental constraints. Besides those things most days I don’t have much purpose and it’s taking it’s toll. I long for days when I was needed and there was more purpose in my day than loading and unloading the dishwasher or washer and dryer. While I know this season is temporary it’s still painful.

Stripping away the stress to show you the simplicity in life can be good, but sometimes too much simplicity can be bad as well. I am longing for a better balance. I’m desperate for something greater than the confines of these four walls day in and day out that doesn’t stress me out to the point of worsening my symptoms and therein lies the difficulty I face on a daily basis. Finding a delicate balance between overdoing and underdoing, I’ve always been an overacheiver. In this season of undoing years spent taxing my body and mind, there’s bound to be some growing pains as I learn what it looks like to love the stillness and serenity that’s found in just being present.

 

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