Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tomorrow won't be so hard.

I've been thinking about trials tonight. A close friend called me today to tell me that her sister in law's cancer is back. The doctors are saying "it's aggressive". When we talked, she wasn't sure what that meant. Needs aggressive treatment? It's terminal? I guess time will tell.

So my hard days and weeks don't seem like much in comparison. I could weigh the invisible trials in my hands. Rough day? Or possibly terminal cancer accompanied by financial burdens and all of the stress, heartache, etc that tag along? Hmmm...which would be harder?

It's nearly eleven and I've finally stopped comparing. The cancer wins. Hands down. They are dealing with something much worse. I'm grateful we're not trading places.

However, I've also come to the conclusion that this doesn't mean that what I'm going through isn't hard. I may not be fighting a terminal illness or dealing with losing a child or loved one or any of the other things that are completely worse. But that doesn't mean that today was easy.

I hope this doesn't sound like a pity party. It's not meant to be. This really is just me working things out in my head and throwing them out there. Maybe I'm symbolically releasing the negative from my brain or something crazy like that. I don't know.

What's so rough about my life anyway?

*Yes, my husband is gone. Has been for a long time. Will be for a long time still. So? At least he's alive and healthy and I will see him again soon.

*Some days, my kids are really hard. Lately, Jack clings to me a lot. He tends to do that when he misses his dad. I spend most of the day doing things one handed. (I know this is true for most moms, it's just multiplied for me on days like this). And he yells. And yes, Payson hasn't been as obedient lately as I'd like. I'm sick of counting to three and giving time outs and taking away privileges. At least my children are happy and healthy and here and as well behaved as they are.

*I don't have a home. Most of my things are in storage. I share a room with my children. I even share a bed with one of them. The closet is crammed with clothes for three. There's no space for anything. I feel guilty when my children play with toys because it's a mess in someone else's house. I feel guilty getting in the shower because the kids may get into something they shouldn't or pester someone they shouldn't and I'm not there to stop it. I feel guilty when I have to put the kids in the bath and to bed after dinner, because that means someone else may clean up after us. If I were in my own place, I would just clean up when I was done. Instead, someone else may clean up after me and may then be frustrated that I didn't clean up after myself and my children. When the kids are loud, they aren't just bugging me. They are driving people crazy in a house where it would otherwise be calm and quiet. The three of us can be a very big nuisance. I have a laundry day. There are too many people in this house who use the machine. Get your laundry done in the allotted amount of time or wait until your day rolls around again next week. In my own home I wash laundry on a specific day. I do laundry on my scheduled day and then as needed during the week to keep things from piling up too much. One day is not enough. Here, I don't have more than a day. But at least I have my family. At least they are willing to share their home with me. I have a room and a bed and food and family. I am SO grateful, as I should be, that I am surrounded by loved ones instead of alone in this situation.

You'd think living with family would ease the physical burden. I guess it can in some situations. I just don't choose that. My family does not watch my children. My husband works full time. My full time job is them. That is my choice. I am burdening the family enough being here. I don't need to make them raise my children too. I bathe them, I feed them, I dress them, I change diapers, wipe bums and noses, etc. If I need a sitter, I pay my sister or call someone in the young women's, just as I would if I lived in my own space. I want my family to enjoy my children, not view them as something they have to put up with while I'm here. I am happy to do it. It would simply be added guilt to ask someone else to do it for me.

These are simple trials. Basic. And temporary. I know they will all disappear soon. Hopefully replaced by easier trials. :) (A joke! I just emoticon smiled!! Working things out this way MUST be helping!!) In the mean time, I'm trying my best to endure. And with a good attitude. In August, when someone asked how I was, I could answer cheerfully, "Good!!" Even on a hard day, I was still handling things well. In the last few weeks my answer has been with a smile, "I'm getting through it" or, "It's almost over!" It was hard, but I could do it. This is the final stretch.

Today, I have broken down. I don't share this so that you'll feel sorry for me. Like I said before, I'm working out my thoughts here. It's helpful for me. Also, I don't want everyone to have pictures of me in their head of someone who is strong all the time. I think I'm generally a pretty strong person. But I'm definitely not always that person.

Today I'm definitely not that person.

Today my depression and anxiety (yes, I suffer from severe anxiety, which causes depression. I'm very open about it. If you ever want to ask me about it, feel free. Talking about it makes it easier for me.) have turned the hard things into really, really hard things. They feel like too much. Every tiny thing feels magnified. I'm tired. My eyes are tired. My feet are tired. My arms are tired. My back is tired.

My soul is tired.

I'm ready for this to be over. I'm ready to refresh and reboot and start something new. I don't want to face this same challenge any more.

I know, I know. Endure to the end. I keep reminding myself. I have not endured well today. I was not patient enough with Payson when she didn't want to put her dolls away. She just wanted to play. And I wasn't understanding when Jack wanted to be held. He just misses his daddy. And I took a lot of my frustration out on an underserving Jason. I'm sure he wishes he hadn't called to see how things were going.

I cried. Like a little baby. For a long time. I didn't know how else to make it all stop. I guess I didn't get all of the tears out. They're still coming. I'm just so tired. And there's still a ways yet until moving day.

I'll go to sleep. I'll wake up and get Payson off to school. I'll get things done for work. I'll finish folding my laundry. I'll enjoy the ward Halloween party. I'll try to be better with the kids. I'll read a little more in my scriptures and stay on my knees a little longer. I'll try not to think about how hard today was. I'll try to handle things better. I'll remember the sweet comments of friends letting me know I'm not alone and that I can do this. I'll remember the delicious rocky road ice cream that was brought by tonight, along with a much, MUCH needed hug from a true friend. (I love you, Erin. I really do). And I'll just keep going until I feel better. I hope that's soon.

I'll remember that I do not have it that bad. I'll remember to pray for those who are dealing with so much more. But I'll also recognize that it's okay to feel like life is hard. Even if it's nothing big. It's okay to have hard days.

I'll be okay. I'll be more than okay. I really will. Tomorrow won't be so hard. And really, a month from now, I'll probably laugh at myself for thinking that today was such a hard day. I'm really looking forward to that day.


Megan said...

You've very eloquently and clearly stated how we all feel sometimes. I'm sorry your day is today...but tomorrow it will be someone else's turn. What's important is that we remember each other and lift each other up when we go through those times. I'm reaching out to you from China...sorry it doesn't really help. =)

Kristin said...

It's ok to have "bad" days then you enjoy the good days more! Also ditto on at least the house thing. I hope I can be a good friend to you right now because you were my rock when I was having way too many bad days and depressed. So look towards the future and lets start making fun plans for moving out and what you will need to buy to decorate YOUR house!

Sara said...

Although it can be comforting knowing that other people have struggles in their lives, just remember that what you are going through now may just be the toughest thing that YOU have ever gone through - so it's stretching you just as much as a "bigger" trial might be stretching someone else. It's okay to be sad. Really, it's okay. We're not the first to ask "is there another way?" ...nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.

Tabitha said...


Anonymous said...

Hey i would love to talk to you about anxiety and depression. email me... mandeemore@gmail.com i need some help if you can and have any advice. I hope your having a better day.

Griffee's said...

I hear you. All I can say to the emotions of your day is AMEN! I hope your day gets better and I hope for myself that mine does too. Call me if you need to talk!

The Lund family said...

Reading your post just brought me back in time a little over a year ago. When I was pregnant with my third child I had several serious complications with the pregnancy landing me on bedrest for almost 6 months. I was unable to work and a week after my son was born my husband, myself and my three kids all moved in to my parents house for 6 months. I felt the same way you did that I should take care of the kids myself and the enourmous pressure not to be an inconvenience to my family. It was an extremely difficult time and I completely empathize with how you are feeling. I got through it by doing what you were doing in your post and reminding myself that this is temporary and that I am blessed to be in the situation I was in because things could be worse. And sometimes when I felt really down it helped just to get out of the house. Even if it was just to the grocery store. I think that experience made me that much more appreciative of the situation I have now. Hang in there! I will keep you in my thoughts.

Brian and Nicole said...

Oh this post is exactly something I needed to hear today- I'm sure I will refer back to it in the future too. You are so amazing, thanks for being able to write how I feel sometimes- you put it better than I ever could. Things can always get better, just as they can get worse, but we just have to hope for the best, or make the best of what we have been given. I hope your days are getting better. :)

Lindsay said...

It helps to know that we are not alone in feeling the same way you do now. I and I think we have all had days where we just cry and don't know how to stop it. But I dont know you very well but I do know that you are one of the strongest people I know!! I really mean that. Reading your blogs I found that you are emotionally and spiritually the strongest person. You give me hope somedays when I need it. Motherhood is hard. Being a wife, sister, friend is hard. And you help us all through it. So I believe the Lord will bless you emensly for it. And when that day comes we will be there sharing your joy! Heads up. hearts up, knees on the floor and it will all be better. Love you!!

Randi said...

You my friend are a big mean jerk! all I ever do is say nice things to you and then you go and curse me with spider babies!! What gives??
They are coming tomorrow afternoon, that was the soonest they could be here.

A. ShaRee said...

I didn't think I would read through that whole thing, but I felt myself pulled in. You have such a way with words. Anyway, I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time lately. I have no idea how you manage. That's a lot of tough responsibility on anyone, but crying really does help sometimes. I've been too scared to get on Facebook during work lately. What a bad time to have a conscience. Forgive me?

Kyle & Jill Revell said...

I'm sorry to hear about your rough day...or days. You are enduring well already...I like how you're recognizing your blessings even when you feel so low. It is temporary and you'll get through it. =)

Anonymous said...

Oh McKenna, I am so sorry. I too suffer from severe anxiety and depression and I also know how what others might consider little problems seemed magnified when it is a 'day after day' thing. I will pray for you to find comfort and if I was down there, I would come sit with you and let you just talk, I know how it can help. Thank-you so much for posting this, it helped you I'm sure, but it also helped me. Thanks!

Addicted Fisherman, SlingShotGirl, and Ms. Drool-bug said...

Babe, you are amazing. I honestly don't know what it is like to have severe anxiety; I wish I did in a way so that I can empathize with so many of my friends that seem to have it.

You are amazing because you have common courtesy. I am not sure why, but Jared and I have had the hardest time dealing with people who don't have common courtesy. Like the people in our complex that didn't care that they were waking up 20+ people with their stupid car alarm in the middle of the night 2-3 times a week for a month (and it took that long before anyone had the guts to call on them). One more example and is the ultimate example-Jared's siblings. I am absolutely disgusted with how they treat each other and especially Jared as the scape goat because he points out their problems when it effects us(one of his brothers wouldn't pay for his date he brought on a fishing trip with food and stuff because he knew jared would offer or wouldn't pay for anything he lost, etc). Anyway, what I'm getting at is you are so incredible because even with family, you are not taking advantage of them and you will always be respected for having that unique(not many people seem to have it now days) quality. Luv ya lots!

Jason & Kelli West said...

McKenna I think everyone out there can relate. You said that all so well. I remember having days where I knew it was just a rough day. Not as bad as other might have, but you still are having a bad day. You know that book "no GOod, Very Bad Day" ...yeah they happen. I hope you are having a much better day. And I hope that You, Kristen and I are still doing dinner tonight. I left a message for you on your phone. Take care girl, and hopefully I will see you tonight.

The Brandt Clan Fam! said...

McKenna, I love you!!! :)

Jess said...

We ALL have our days (weeks) that we feel like life is just too hard... you are allowed to have those "brake down days." Sometimes, you NEED those days to build yourself back up and bring yourself closer to the Lord. He is the only one who TRUELY understands what you're going through. Lean on him, he'll carry you. I'll keep you in my prayers! Just take each day one at a time and remember it won't be "okay" in just one day.

camille said...

Mckenna, I admire you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us bloggers. We all have different trials, bad days, weeks, months...and I think it is so awesome that you are so open about them. I'm sure you give alot of people hope in knowing they are not alone. You are such a good example!

Emily said...

i love that you post abou these things. i have the same feelings, especially the living with other people one. i live in my parents b-ment and it's harder to be here even with the free rent and all. i have the anxiety leading to depression too and it's SOOO hard some days but i always tell myself that I am in control of me and that i just need to find peace in myself. you are great!