It is becoming obvious that my fantastic wit and charm are not going to get me out of this Lyme disease debacle. I am shocked and offended by this, really. The truth is that Lyme has me so sick and tired that finding the gusto to even use adjectives these days is tough. What I really want to write to you every morning is:
Yo. Sick. Tired. Enjoy day. Love, G
But then I think of all the wonderful messages and well wishes you’d send me after a post like that and it feels excruciating for some reason. It’s like that quote from William Blake that I read in one of Lamott’s books,“We are put on this earth to endure the beams of love.” Beams of love are tough to endure, though I’m not sure why.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about all of you mothers out there who are sick and raising your babies in the shadow of exhaustion and hopelessness and darkness and pain. To you, I just want to say hello. Hello. Thank you for existing. Thank you for making it through the long days. When I’m feeling bad, thinking about you both breaks my heart and encourages it.
It’s hard enough to be a healthy mother, but when you’re sick, there are all these layers of guilt and anger and fear piled on top of the normal mommy layers that make things very, very heavy. When a mother becomes sick, her vulnerability makes her love her children even more, but her weakness makes her unable to care for them the way she wants to, and this feels a bit like torture.
All I have the energy to do these days is hug and smell and squeeze my children. I am so needy, but I can’t give them what they need. I can’t play. I can’t be patient. I can’t even be kind on my bad days.
Last week was so tough that the four of us just sat on the couch and watched TV all day, every day. Morning till night. Show after show after show after God forsaken show. I did nothing but try my hardest not to look weak and pathetic and to smile at them occasionally. I felt guilty and worthless. I also felt panicked that because of my sickness I was missing chunks of their childhood. In the midst of the guilt and the panic I thought… Well, at least things can’t get any worse. But then I got sicker and I stopped feeling guilty and panicked…I couldn’t even find the energy to care. And that was worse.
It’s like how a month ago I felt so guilty that I couldn’t summon the energy to make out with Craig and now some days I can’t even find the energy to smile at Craig. That’s worse.
It’s like how I used to spend so many of my healthy days wishing someone would help me take care of these damn kids and now I just want more than anything to have the ability to take care of my own damn kids. That’s worse.
So anyway. Today is just one of those Keep it Real Momastery days, Sisters. Life is tough. Nobody ever told me otherwise. I can take it. I can stay hopeful. I can do hard things. But it’s important to say it sometimes. Life is tough.
There’s good news, too. All this drama has led to some big decisions. Some big, life-changing decisions that I’ll share tomorrow. And I remain hopeful, as always. I’m comforted by my belief that if I’m in a valley, and I just keep walking, I’ll eventually find myself atop a mountain. Yeah, I do. I really believe that crap. I have good reason to.
To all of you mommies who are sick or tired or depressed or angry or alone or in some way feel like you’ve got one arm tied behind your back… Thank you. Thank you for keeping the faith. Thank you for getting out of bed each morning and putting one foot in front of the other out of sheer will and hope and love. How do you DO IT? How do we do it, ladies?
We are warriors, we mothers.
Love to you and to your babies,
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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