I lay my head against the car window, it’s not as cold as I wish it could be. I don’t know where we are exactly but I know where we are going. I’m dozing in and out, my breathing is shallow, I can feel the fever raging. I am still rationalizing how I could probably sleep this off at home as I have done all week well… because I think I am indestructible, sadly I am more fragile than I’d like to believe.
I stand trying to control the dizziness but I still refuse to sit in the chairs, sitting would be accepting that I’m here, I hate being here. I hate asking for help and being in the ER is the ultimate plea for help, it is the admission that you can’t even take care of yourself. Yet here I am second guessing the refusal and obsessive denial of the ambulance- if only because I know I would already be laying down away from all these complaining people, I don’t do well with complaining people, it’s toxic. Between the pain, dizziness, the irritation with myself and others plus the fatigue, laying down in the dark would be the only reprieve right now.
My best friend drove me here, she’s stuck to my side despite the several times I have told her that I am here now- that she can go home to her family. She’s not leaving because she is my family, nor has she ever left me. She has celebrated with me, danced with me, cheered me on, picked me up off the floor, sat with me in the dark, in the silence, in the rambling, in the silly, and defended me raucously, mostly though she has loved me unconditionally. I have a few of these gems in my life. They have never left me.
My toes twitch in the intensity of the pain, but it doesn’t matter because there’s a woman screaming in the room; ironically with practically the same issue as mine; screamers get more immediate attention but absolutely don’t get the same respect. I stay quiet, while I writhe in pain convincing myself it’s merely discomfort.
The bells ring, and the people yell, I stay calm, I hold it in, I don’t speak my truth because that’s who I am. Stronger. Strong enough to bare the truth while others need to scream for attention.
The nurse can’t get an IV in me I’m too dehydrated, she gets pulled away after poking and prodding into my arm several times I patiently wait again. My best friend looks at me with a seriousness I have rarely seen from her, she hits me with a wave of nauseating news that my kids are with my sister instead of my ex-husband at this moment. I am numb. It’s not the first time I have been ill and yet abandoned by my him even in the simplicities of just managing our children while I am sick. We have done a beautiful job at co-parenting, our children are joyful and happy and kind but right now I feel defeated.
I eventually get care, I eventually am well enough to walk out on my own two feet. I sleep a lot in between moments of pulling it together for my kids, and admitting that mommy is unwell, taking her medicine, taking care of herself and is doing her best. Mommy forgot to take care of herself while she was taking care of everything else. It’s a painful thing to say to your kids, but they give so much love and zero judgement and there is a lesson in knowing that mom is human and they have permission to be too.
I bought my own home and moved my business location within 30 days each other, both spaces looked immaculate within days of the moves. I volunteer for three non-profits, and my kids school, I run my own business overseeing multiple staff, I go to the gym, I eat well and cook nutritious food with my kids, I do hours of hours yoga and meditation, I biked 65km in one day last week because my kids wanted to bike to school, I showed up selflessly for my friends going through their own life struggles and I also convinced myself this was all self care. My entire world was put together with a beautiful bow on top while my body collapsed.
I share the last 48 hours with you today-especially the strong women whom are holding your cheek against the car window for two reasons.
1. Your true friends- they will be beside you in joy, in pain, in fun, in love, in hurt, in fear, in tears, in highs and in lows. In fevers, in staggered breathing when you both don’t know where you’re going but they will never turn the other direction on you. They will never hurt you, never cross you, never speak ill of you and they will always show their true colours don’t be too quick to colour them with rainbows because you’re lonely. These people will always support you regardless of your decisions. They will be honest to a fault but with a kindness that is stronger. They don’t fill a void in you- they add a element you never knew existed. Never give yourself to anyone who won’t do the same for you as you will for them. Never. This is unquestionable. Love doesn’t hurt. I am blessed with the gift of true love from a handful of people, more than most get but it’s because I am authentically vibrating true love and so are they. As they say your vibe attracts your tribe so start emitting a love so deep for yourself that you only attract those who respect that.
2. Self-care is eliminating the toxic relationship between you and perfection. It’s settling healthy boundaries. It’s allowing the humanity and fragility in you to leak out. Its honesty even when it’s ugly. It’s walking away from the things and people who aren’t present for you in the worst of times. It’s admitting you love yourself more than the image you’re portraying. It’s putting your needs first, before the kids, before the house, before the business. It’s ruffling feathers and being strong enough to handle the rebound because you know how the truth feels. Self-care isn’t working yourself to the bone and putting a bow on it, it’s falling apart at the feet of your true friends and accepting help back up. It’s being alone instead of with someone who doesn’t love you for who you are. It’s loving yourself enough to say no and to fill that void without expecting someone and something to fill it for you. It’s graduating from people pleaser to peacefully living. It’s doing the right thing for you even if it’s the wrong thing for someone else and knowing it’s not your responsibility to save them.
This is for the strong ones.