I am exhausted.
I am tired.
I am weary.
I am struggling.
These words are hard to write, hard to see on my phone screen, hard to experience.
These words are also liberating, comforting, and exhilarating.
They are my words, so let me explain.
2020 came in like a flood. Our family experienced a significant loss. My aunt Renea was a quiet strength we loved and were so thankful for. She and my uncle Chris had been together since they were teens. Then she became sick and slipped away from him, from us. Shortly after, my sister-in-law’s husband, Karl, passed on after a valiant fight with sickness. Both losses were like a torpedo to our families. Renea and Karl were integral in the lives of our circle. But you tell yourself that we can’t control every aspect of life. You try to move on, trust God and keep living.
Then COVID-19 followed up with a helluva right hook. More change, more adjustment, and fear galore. Aaron, who had just gotten comfortable in his new position just months before, was laid off. I became concerned about his emotional well-being. I constantly asked him if he was ok, if he was happy. Persons on the autism spectrum rarely work. I knew Aaron enjoyed his job, enjoyed being productive and loved the staff. I didn’t want him to become depressed about not working.
My youngest son, Bryant, was happy to be out of school, but struggled with virtual school. The “Type A” personality in me was put into overdrive. I made sure he had the resources he needed to succeed and was constantly reminding him to do his work.
During this time, I am learning more about what I want to do in the next phase of my life. Coaching became a regular part of my routine as I had to learn more about providing telehealth, better define my passion/niche, and prepare for the next leg of my journey. I became more determined to get back on track with my physical health. Thankfully, I was able to establish a fitness routine that was working. Weight was coming off, albeit slowly. Working out with my sons was a daily joy. Things seemed to be settling down a bit.
Then July brought unexpected pain that drove me to my physician. What I thought would be a routine “give me some meds and go home appointment” turned into “I’m gonna make an appointment for your surgery tomorrow.” Good bye “KP’s Perfectly Crafted Schedule.” Hello weeks of bed rest and no working out. I told myself, “ KP, you can rock and roll with this. You’ve been through worse.”
Worse came in August when my hubby Paul and I contracted COVID-19. Now that I look back on it, we probably should have been hospitalized. We definitely felt like we were not going to survive. We were so thankful for our family and friends. They looked out for us and prayed for our recovery. There are still a few post COVID-19 concerns we experience, but we survived this ordeal. And in KP fashion, I pushed forward.
Bryant’s senior year started in late August. The virtual school struggles returned, exacerbated by his ADHD. Add in senior year financial responsibilities, college applications, senior projects, honors classes, my post COVID-19 issues (anxiety and COVID 19 brain) and a perfect storm was brewing.
A birthday trip to Myrtle Beach was a perfect opportunity to rest a breathe a bit. We had so much fun. The four of us had intimate conversations that will always stay in my heart. We returned home….and to the rat race.
Last month, I started experiencing familiar emotions: overwhelmed, weary, fatigued. Then I started SAYING how I felt. Those that KNOW me know if I start saying, “I’m tired, I’m exhausted, or “This is too much”, that’s my red flag. I became more intentional about rest. I called my therapist (yes KP has a therapist!). Paul made sure I rested as well. After 30 years together, I think he tolerates my drive until it starts affecting me or our family. He’s always honest about his feelings, but firm. And I appreciate it.
Life has not slowed down. If anything, life is progressing quickly and there are many things that need to be done. But my perspective has shifted. I am realizing everything doesn’t have to happen at lightening speed. God’s plan and timing is much better than any plan I can come up with.
My biopsychosocialspiritual wellness is very important to me. I understand the importance and having mind/body/spirit balance. Every day is not a perfectly balanced day. I still have periods of “How is this going to get done?” or “Lord, what’s next?” or “Man I forgot my meds today!” But I’m learning not to beat myself up over those things. I’m picking myself up, dusting myself off, and moving forward; moving slower than before, but forward in faith.
Why am I sharing my experiences with you? I want people to know it’s okay not to be okay. It is okay to share your feelings, seek help, and take steps to restore balance in your life. Do not be afraid to take that first step and say, “I am not okay.”
Peace and Blessings,