9
Mar

Five Minute Friday - tired

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on tired.
Go.

I have MS.
I was diagnosed when I was 23 and yesterday was my 16 year anniversary of getting the call that confirmed my fears.
It has been 16 years.
I can't even say they have been long years
because we have been "lucky".
We caught it early
we got on meds right away
I have setbacks here and there but all in all, we are so "lucky".
Fatigue is my biggest challenge, I am so damn tired.
Mom tired.
CEO tired.
Starting a business tired.
Having a disease that makes me tired tired.

Yesterday was also International Women's Day, is that a coincidence?
A day to celebrate our strength, our grit, our determination.
So let me start by saying I wasn't "lucky".
This is my year of different so let me say, I am good at this.
I fight this.
I battle this.
I look at it in the mirror every day and I tell it to go to hell.
I caught it early because I knew something was wrong.
I advocated for me when they told me nothing was wrong.
I fought for all the tests.
I called every day to find out if there was a cancellation for the MRI, I refused to wait the 5-month time frame.
I got on meds early because I didn't mess around.
People were good to me and opened doors for me because I connect with those that I care about, and people wanted to help me.
I cried in his face telling him I can't do needles anymore, he looked at me and reminded me that I'm strong.
I took the meds every day. I fought and battled all the side effects.
I had the flu every week for three solid years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had bruises all over my arms and legs for 2 years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had 2-hour treatments once a month not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I lost my hair for 9 months not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I did get tired of it, I did want to quit, but I kept going, not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I fight fatigue, a tired I cannot explain, not because I am lucky, but because I am strong.
It isn't a silent disease to me, I look at it, I worry about it, I connect symptoms and I battle on.

I did what so many women do, I told tired that it doesn't have a chance here today and I womaned up!

18
Dec

Tired

Around my 8th month of pregnancy, for both kids, sleeping was getting 30 minutes at a time because both of my kids decided pressing directly on my bladder was good fun.
I remember that last month and thinking that newborns can't even be this bad.
And, thank goodness I was right, because you both came out knowing that our family had a love affair with sleep and you fell right in.

But as you grew, and the more sleep we all got,
the more and more my mind, my body, everything actually hurts from exhaustion.

I think it starts with all the feelings that come along with raising tiny humans
and then you add all of the concerns
and as you both continue to grow so do my feelings and those concerns.

I don't remember moms talking about this amount of exhaustion.
Every book, every mother I talked about the experience, all of the advice I got about cherish each day and you'll miss every stage,
no one ever said,
listen to me, the second you are able to actually sleep through the night is when every part of you wants to cry because you are so tired, you feel like you can't do it anymore.

But somehow we all manage to find the strength to wake up at 1am because someone is sick
or find love and patience somewhere to ride out a storm
or find love and patience somewhere to watch you tantrum
or find love and more patience somewhere else to always be able to love you.
Because that too takes energy,
the one thing we are lacking at this time.

Because this level of exhaustion has a way of killing your joy
and your ability to feel love.
This level of exhaustion takes away your patience and your ability to remember how small they are,
how little they know
how much they need you during the storm.
And god, this level of exhaustion pushes love out of your heart.
And still, we find a way to keep going.
Keeping putting our arms around you and we keep pulling you in.
When, if we are being a little honest with ourselves, we would be better off to go away,
and scream into the storm, you are not taking me with you!
I can't be a part of this right now and I just want a time out too!
But we find this never ending energy, for you.
And that is because we don't get a time out.
We are allowed a day off from you or this.
And it isn't that we didn't know that going into this journey,
it's just that we didn't realize how much of us would be this so very tired.

But, what if we did allow ourselves that time out?
What if for once instead of leaning in to the storm, we just walked away,
took 10 minutes in our own blanket fort and found an ounce more of us.
A clear thought so that our words can be gentle.
A clear mind so that our arms extend out to bring you in, not push you away.
What if we all allowed ourselves to say, of course we will always love you,
but that never meant I had to lose me in the process.

Little ones, you don't even know this, but my love for you is so intense it keeps me up.
You don't even realize this but, my worry for you, like my love is never ending.
And that can make for one tired mom.
But she promises to find moments of quiet,
so that she can be the person you set out to find.
Your tired mom promises to sit in that quiet, pull it over her like a warm blanket so she can find the energy for you and her.

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