It’s humbling to admit life is not working the way you want it and things need to change.
We are moms. We want to be able to do it all. We want everyone to like us. We want everything to run smoothly.
For the past three years, our lives here at Chez Forsyth have not run smoothly. It’s been one episode of chaos and upheaval after another due to family issues, severe illness, issues with one of our children’s schooling, and an unexpected move. We have lost family members and a lot of friends due to those situations and how all involved handled them. Trying to be a normal family and put the pieces back together has not been easy, especially since I have still required hospitalization and medical care on a regular basis.
In recent months, I have consciously decided to make a change to some of this. I may not be able to change everyone in the house, but I can change me. I figure my mood and vibe sets the tone for a lot in this house, so maybe my reaching some kind of peace will trickle down to the rest of my family.
So I have set out on my journey.
The first part is my health. I’m recovering from the loss of four of my organs and an islet cell transplant due to pancreatitis. I’m now a Type I Diabetic due to my pancreas being one of those organs that was removed, and I now have severe fibromyalgia due to all of the shock and trauma to my body from being so sick the past three years, and additional pain/adhesion from my surgery last year. Being incredibly active usually leads to a pain flare and sometimes a hospital stay. Not surprisingly, I see a lot of doctors, everything from endocrinology to pain management. I’m also on quite a bit of medication to try and stop any pain before I land in the nearest emergency room.
I am making an effort to eat better, which is extremely difficult for me, but I am trying. Due to my condition, I am obviously not able to go to a gym and work out, but I am able to do light exercise, so I have enlisted the help of friends to try and get me out a couple of times a week for either walking around the neighborhood or taking a yoga class. Peer pressure in this situation is fabulous! I am also trying to do some things on my own as well, but again, I have to be careful not to do too much or I will end up doing more harm than good.
Speaking of friends, that is the second part of recovering me. When I got sick and was going through difficult times, I either lost or got rid of many friends I had at the time. I became a different person through that journey, and they were not the right people to take with me. These were the people in my neighborhood and in my school district, so I figured I didn’t fit in and I needed to look elsewhere for people to hang out with. I thought the people here just weren’t my people, so for a year I went all around the Pittsburgh area, and I met some really amazing individuals. Some have become friends. Good friends. But I was still missing a regular, simple connection. I was still missing people I could just talk to regularly. People I could just go over to their houses. Where my kids played with their kids. Where I could go places and just hang out. Or go to yoga classes or on walks. Or they were at my church.
Then I realized there were moms in my school district that had girls my daughter was friends with, that I still spoke to regularly, that I got along great with, that were right in front of my face the whole time. They were cool and fun and down to earth, and I really needed to reach out to them. So I did. I’ve gotten a couple girls’ nights, people to go to church with, and some other hangouts out of it. Also, some really cool friends. I need to keep it up now.
The final part of my recovery is my faith. We were usual churchgoers for a long time, but got away from it while I was sick. Not sure if it was distance, needing a change, or no longer feeling a connection to where we were. Whatever it was, our entire family needed to reconnect with God. Through one of my wonderful friends in the paragraph above, we found a church closer to our home with a message we loved. We also discovered many of our other friends also were members, they had amazing youth programs for our two younger children, and there were some other great opportunities for us to get involved as well. Having that faith and hope in hard times is what has gotten our family though these past three years. It’s what we have taught our children to hold close. We have held hands and prayed as a family over many decisions and trying issues. It’s what we want the kids to remember as they look back on this time, and look forward on better days ahead.
Will this recovery make any major changes in me or my family? That remains to be seen. I will have to write another blog in a few months and update you. The point is, moms, we have to take care of ourselves before we care for anyone else. We are the rock. Not much gets done without us. We deserve to be at our best. We deserve to have good health, good friends, and some kind of faith or peace. Make the effort to go get it.