It Is Well

It Is Well

It’s like a seesaw. That’s always my answer when they ask me, “What’s it like?” There are ups and downs, and no shortage of highs and lows. My health and so much of my life mirrors a giant, unpredictable pendulum that’s wildly out of my control. But through the ups and downs, and amidst the swinging extremes, I’ve learned the simplest peace of this: “it is well.” 

Twelve years. That’s how long I’ve been sick and in pain every minute of every day. That’s how long I’ve struggled through doctor appointments, specialists, tests, trying different medicines and treatments, left with no answers or medical hope for my situation to ever change. After twelve years I’m no stranger to ups and downs in my body, my emotions, and even my faith. 

 All of Laina’s photos are courtesy of our friend  Kelsey Butcher Photography .

All of Laina’s photos are courtesy of our friend Kelsey Butcher Photography.

My physical seesaw began right as I was starting high school. I started having pain in my hips that limited me physically. My doctor assured me that, with rest and Ibuprofen, I’d be back to my normal self soon. But I wasn’t. Within the span of the school year, the pain spread throughout all my major joints and muscles. For several years I tried different doctors and tests hoping to figure out the cause of this immense pain. The answer was always the same, “There’s nothing we can find, just rest.” After three and a half years I received a phone call that I had been praying for yet simultaneously dreading at the same time. My latest test results came back showing the presence of an autoimmune disease in my body. The pain I was experiencing wasn’t just in my head. It was being caused by my own body attacking itself. It was a mix of emotions as this discovery finally meant validation and hopefully would give some direction as how to treat my pain. Yet at the same time, the finding also robbed me of the hope that one day whatever was causing me to hurt would be gone and I would be pain-free again. Seesaw up, seesaw down. 

The pain I was experiencing wasn’t just in my head.

Emotionally, the years of living in constant pain had left me tired, drained, and hopeless. My outlook on life was negative. I was mad and frustrated. Mad that it happened to me, someone who had always followed the rules. Frustrated that no one could understand the battle and suffering I was enduring or even seem to care. I began to view the world and those around me through lenses of jealousy and bitterness. Each day I was throwing the pity party of the year for myself, and I was shocked when no one else wanted to attend. One day a friend pointed out to me how much I was complaining about my pain. In that moment I swung my emotional pendulum from one extreme to the other and decided I was going to just keep it all to myself. I bottled up all my feelings inside which in turn only made things worse. I felt like such a fake because on the outside I was projecting that everything was okay, but deep inside I was miserable. Pendulum left, pendulum right. 

I felt like such a fake because on the outside I was projecting that everything was okay, but deep inside I was miserable.

Even my soul hasn’t been immune to the ups and downs. My life changed forever five years ago when I decided to commit my life to my faith in Jesus. Surrendering my life over to God filled me with a sustaining peace unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I wish I could say that in that moment my pain disappeared forever, but life is messy and that’s not my story. For several years I struggled with how my faith and my sickness could coexist. How was I supposed to maintain this hope I had found when all of my external surroundings were telling me otherwise? I thought things would be different now that I was a Christian. I trusted and believed God could do what doctors said was impossible and heal me. But nothing changed. I gave up and just accepted that I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life. 

So much of my hope was invested in something that was completely unstable and constantly changing. I was basing hope on a seesaw that changed within minutes without warning.

It was through that rollercoaster ride of trying to process acceptance of my disease that I started to take a deep look inward. I realized that while I had placed some of my hope in God, I also had a lot of hope invested in the state of my health. So much of my hope was invested in something that was completely unstable and constantly changing. I was basing hope on a seesaw that changed within minutes without warning. For me, I needed something solid to base my hope in. Something I could always count on that would never change. Instead of turning my hope towards things that were constantly shifting, I began to fully turn my hope towards heaven. As a Christian, I believe in the promise of heaven. I believe that, because of Jesus, I can look forward to the promise of eternal life, free of tears and pain and sickness. I can confidently say that today, this is in whom I’ve wholly placed my hope. 

The seesaw hasn’t changed; my chronic pain is a constant battle of ups and downs. I have good pain days and bad pain days. Sometimes it seems like the bad pain days will never end. When I’m in the middle of a long, painful flare it can get really overwhelming, and it’s hard to think that this is something I have to live with for the rest of my life. It seems impossible. That’s when I turn my focus to Jesus and to the promise of the healing that will come one day in heaven. This focus has helped me to make peace with my disease. The ups and downs remain, but so does that ever-sustaining peace. 

I still wonder “Why?” Why me? Why doesn’t God heal me? I don’t know the answers right now. What I do know is that God has a plan for my life. I may spend the rest of my time here on Earth in pain, but I believe I will spend eternity in heaven free of disease and pain. Because I have shifted my hope to heaven, I’m at peace with whatever may happen here. 

I still struggle everyday with wanting my pain to be gone. I struggle with wanting to be “normal” and be able to live and enjoy my life like every other average late twenty-something. Each day I miss the way my life used to be and I grieve the plans I had made for my future before chronic pain entered into the equation. But I look to the future with hope. My life is still full, meaningful, and valuable with chronic pain. Adopting this new viewpoint has empowered me to live a life I’ve always dreamed of. 

The ups and downs remain, but so does that ever-sustaining peace. 

There’s an old hymn that says, “it is well with my soul.” Should I wake up tomorrow with my pain increased, it is well. Should I wake up and my pain be gone, it is well. Should my health continually get worse and worse until I lose it all, it is well.There’s no way for me to predict how my pain is going to affect me in the future, or to know where this seesaw, pendulum life will take me, so I choose to focus on what I do know and walk forward. What I know for certain is an eternity free of pain and disease awaits me in heaven. What I know will not shift in this seesaw life is this — God is for me and He is with me. He has promised healing and victory. God is my constant, and the peace that comes from having a personal relationship with him is sustaining. When I live my life in the mindset of “it is well,” the ever-shifting reality of life with chronic illness is far less unstable; my heart is anchored. I have no idea what the future holds for me and my health but whatever it is, it is well. There is peace, there is an unwavering hope throughout the ups and downs, and there is a constant for my soul. It is well. 


Written by: Laina Matocha

You might already know that Laina is one of the courageous FIbro-Warriors in our Tribe, but would you have guessed that this girl considers “any form of potato” to be one of her fave foods? Us either. You also might be interested to learn that Laina’s a bit of a thrill-seeker (read also: bucket list includes cage diving with sharks), her guilty pleasure TV show is 90 Day Fiancé, her happy place is Paris, and yes, we’re spilling the beans that her secret talent is that she can lick her elbow. But let’s get serious, this girl has a major heart for anti-human trafficking. And somehow her heart for justice and advocacy that cares so deeply for the oppressed outshines all of her sweet, relatable quirks. She can kick it with us any day. 


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6 Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Doctor Visits

6 Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Doctor Visits

As I sit in the waiting room, for what seems like the hundred-millionth time, my stomach is tied up in knots. Of course, my doctor is running behind. I try not to get agitated, as I know he is more-than-likely spending valuable time with other “complicated” patients like me, but the increased wait time is agonizing. A medical assistant’s footsteps are heard echoing down the hall. With a chart in her hands she calls a patient’s name. My heart skips a beat, and as someone else’s name is called, my anxious heart pounds away. After what seems like a decade has passed, my name is called and my husband and I follow the medical assistant to my assigned appointment room.

It is well-known within the chronically ill community that the appointment room is just another waiting room in disguise. I sit in the exam chair across from my husband with so many butterflies in my stomach it feels I might take flight. My mind is buzzing with thoughts, questions, and, of course, worries. Will Dr. such-and-such take my symptoms seriously? Will he believe me when I tell him that healing can be achieved, and we just need to keep digging? Will he throw his hands up in the air and quit on me, like other doctors have in the past? Am I prepared? Do I even know what to say or ask?

Dodging my husband’s gaze and staring at the wall in front of me, my eyes begin to well up with tears. Then I remember what I just asked myself. Am I prepared? This is what I aim to help you with today: being prepared, feeling confident and achieving a good outcome at the end of every doctor visit. Since the day I asked myself that all-important question and formulated a game plan for each appointment, my confidence has grown, and I no longer obsessively fear the waiting rooms in my future. These are the 6 tips that took me from underprepared to professional patient.

1. Ask Your Q’s, Get Your A’s

Last year following an appointment, I found myself sitting on the floor of an AirBnB as I threw my head in my hands and wept. It had been an exhausting and disappointing day at the specialist’s office. My mother and I had traveled to Massachusetts all the way from Oklahoma for five days of appointments, and this was the end of day four. It wasn’t looking hopeful. I had tried all week to communicate my symptoms and thoughts to my doctor, and had seemingly gotten nowhere. Each time I would try to say something intelligent and thought-provoking, it came out as desperation in the form of an ugly blob of feelings — not much for the doctor to work with. After a good cry I decided to write out a script for my next morning’s visit. I made sure to include every question I had for my doctor, as well as every idea I had to contribute concerning my treatment. Script in hand, I walked into the exam room confident that my voice would be thoroughly heard.

If the name of the game is preparedness, then making a list of questions is the resounding chorus! Whether you’ve got the memory of an elephant or a houseplant, we all need to be able to use our appointment time wisely. So before you even venture to your local hotspot (read also: clinic or hospital), make a list of all of the questions you want to ask your doctor. Do you have any symptoms you want to ask about? Any questions about a medication? Heard of a new treatment that you might want to consider? Take time and really think this through because, as you very likely know, your face-to-face time with your doctor is the time that you have his or her most focused attention. Emails and phone calls after the fact are a last resort, and coming prepared will save you time, confusion, and the emotional anguish of sitting on the phone listing to awful hold music.

And for bonus points (aka: your sanity), pack a pen and paper or a handy cell phone app to jot points down during your visit. With chronic illness it is common to cover many topics during one office visit, and receiving so much information at once can be overwhelming! Let your doctor know at the beginning of the appointment, that not only have you written down thoughts to share, but that you will also be taking notes during your visit because you greatly appreciate his/her willingness to hear your voice concerning your care. Which leads me to...

2. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

As the old saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” the same goes for each doctor visit. Your doctor starts his or her days early, probably ends his or her days late, is rushed in-between, and cares for patients who are desperate for healing all day. This would weigh anyone’s cheery disposition down! When your doctor opens the door to your appointment room, have an attitude of gratitude. Letting them know that you greatly appreciate their willingness to hear you out, answer your questions and treat you, is more likely to lead to a successful visit. I have found that telling doctors that you value their time goes a long way! Praising them for what sets them apart is also crucial in fostering a good partnership. For example, I always make a point to tell my specialty eye doctor, that I greatly appreciate his understanding of the fact that I know my body best, how he trusts that I am well-versed concerning my disease, and how he allows me the opportunity to tell him my thoughts on possible options for treatment. Be genuine, offer a gracious tone, and you will see how much more you can achieve out of each visit.

3. Speak Up: Positive, Polite, Professional, Persistence

Okay so we’ve got the gratitude thing covered, and now it’s time to self-advocate. When diagnosed with a chronic illness, you are in it “for the long haul,” and learn quickly that self-advocacy and persistence are both key in managing your health. This is no less true before, during, or even after your doctor visits! And persistence can look different from one patient to the next. Whether it’s positively and politely asking as many questions as you have, offering your insight into new treatments that you might want to explore, daily calling to check on a waitlist to get in and see your next specialist, or calling your insurance company with the determination of a champ, your persistence is going to make a huge difference in the care that you receive. Remember, you know your body best, and your doctor has studied and worked tirelessly to earn their title, so together, there’s potential for a great partnership. The key to healthy self-advocacy is persisting with a positive, polite, and professional disposition. This type of persistence during and even after your appointment will yield beneficial results.

4. Bring Your Quarterback, Not the Whole Team

Like many of you, my chronic illness is so “special,” that I travel many miles to see a specialist. Going solo to visit a doctor in your hometown is daunting enough; let alone across the country! Add the element of facing air travel and possibly weeks spent separated from the ones you love to the mix and you have a recipe for quite the breakdown. For these reasons I always bring my closest companion with me on my medical trips and doctor visits. For me, this is either my husband or mom. Bringing “your person” adds a sense of calm, familiarity, and sometimes most importantly, a healthy distraction.

This trusty companion also serves the all-important purpose of being another ear in the room of your appointment, as well as an advocate for your care. Many times my husband or mom will catch something I missed during the appointment or will be able to speak for me if I am overwhelmed in the exam room.

Now, a single confidant in the exam room is one thing, but any more folks than that could create a sense of “ganging up” on your doctor. Don’t open your appointment up to too many differing voices creating an air of confusion. This is not to say that the rest of your team does not play a valuable role in your care! I may travel to my doctor visits with my “quarterback,” but the remainder of my team is at home praying for me and encouraging me daily with check-ins, encouraging texts, and hopeful social media posts...I’m looking at you, #peoplehopetribe!

5. Sing “Bye, Bye, Bye” As Necessary

While some doctors are so knowledgeable, genuine, and caring that they deserve to be praised with the adorations of an *Nsync love song, you might need to jam out to “Bye, Bye, Bye” with a few underwhelming docs in order to get there. They’re not all winners who will welcome your list of questions or meet your attitude of gratitude with genuine care. Some will become frustrated with your persistence, no matter how polite or appropriate you may be. So at the first roll of the eyes, look into changing to a new doctor. There are other specialists and doctors who might be a better fit for you, and if you’re able to venture out to find someone new, don’t hesitate!

This isn’t always an option, and sometimes, between insurance restrictions or just the lack of specialists in your area, you might have to “Love the One You’re With.” In this case, keep using the other tips, and might I recommend keeping Selena’s “Kill ‘Em With Kindness” on repeat?

6. Have Some Fun While You’re at It

As mentioned earlier, many of us travel to see our beloved specialists. Being away from home can make you feel uneasy and vulnerable, adding to the anxious undertone of your visit. Instead, make your out-of-town experience memorable and fun! One benefit of seeing an out-of-town specialist, is that they are often located in large, interesting cities offering plenty of free parks, gardens, and museums. Even if you are only in this new place for a day or two, you can still hit up a few “must-sees.” Often, “my quarterback” and I will ask my doctor or nurse where the best restaurant is or where the best walking trails are. These are two great options of things to do in-between my appointments, allowing me to de-stress before my next one.

Allowing yourself this down time, even if just to eat lunch at the best burger joint in town, will give your mind a chance to decompress and lift your mood. Changing your perspective and choosing to see the positives within your unique chronic illness will open your mind and will allow for a positive exam room atmosphere!

And just like that you’re ready to hit your local clinic, fully prepared to maximize your visit and rock some confidence while you’re there. I’ll be thinking of you the next time I sit in that waiting room next to “my quarterback,” armed only with my list of questions, pen and paper, an attitude of gratitude, and a determination to have some fun. We’re in this together, and now we’re all a lot more prepared, too!


Written by: Tarah Foster

Who doesn’t love a personal trainer whose fave food list includes pizza and ice cream? Yes, Tarah’s a girl we can all relate to, she’s an incredible member of our Tribe, and we love her for it! You can find her with a cup of herbal tea, cozied up with her cat, Bernard, while she paints abstract art, but her real “happy place” is anywhere near the ocean where she can be closer to the dolphins and marine life that make her heart soar. Through her journey with Corneal Neuralgia and severe dry eye, Tarah’s learned to live with chronic pain and is wildly passionate about sharing the lessons that she’s learned along the way! We’ll listen to her beautiful insights any day, and are honored to stand in the Tribe with this awesome chick!


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Mark

…I just made the assumption that there was something wrong with me.

About Mark

Mark Meier is the Founder of The Face It Foundation, an organization that exists for one simple reason: collectively, we need to do a better job of helping men who battle depression. For many reasons it’s difficult for men to acknowledge their struggle with depression. Many won’t seek the help of a mental health professional, leaving millions of men in pain, consumed by anger and fear. Far too often they try to cope with their depression by drinking, using drugs, having extramarital affairs, disconnecting from their families, and acting out in other reckless ways. The most recent data shows that in the U.S., we lose over 35,000 men to suicide annually, and this number is increasing every year. This has to change. Today, with his Master’s degree in social work, Mark spends his time teaching and lecturing on depression around the United States, and running weekly support groups at Face It to connect guys in their mutual fight against depression. There’s no doubt that his personal experience and passion to help others has specifically equipped and empowered him for the work he does today. We’re grateful for his life, and honored to share his story.

We can get better, and we can feel happy.
And we can feel sad, too, and not be overwhelmed by it.

You are not alone.

If you’ve spent much time at all around People Hope, you know we say this a lot because it’s true. If you’re struggling with a mental health issue, you’re not alone, friend. So many of us are standing with you as we also walk through our own challenges. Your feelings are valid and they matter. And it’s because we care about you that we’re telling you — don’t struggle on your own. Reach out and talk to a trusted friend, seek out professional counseling from people who are ready and waiting to walk with you through this, or even reach out to one of the resources below. Whatever you do, reach out for the help that you need.

If you’re in the United States and need help, call 1-800-273-8255, text the word CONNECT to 741741, or call 911 if you’re in immediate danger.

If you’re not in the United States and need help, talk to a trusted friend, reach out to a counselor, or call your country’s emergency telephone number if you’re in crisis.


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To My Friends Who Have Been Told To "Pray More"

To My Friends Who Have Been Told To "Pray More"

Too often in my office, I hear a very familiar story. You've finally worked up the courage to talk to someone you love and respect about how you're really doing. In a brave act of vulnerability, you talk about how your deep sadness or numbness has made even the smallest acts, like getting out of bed, incredibly difficult. Maybe you finally told someone about how debilitating your worries are lately and how confusing and exhausting your thought-life has become. Despite the fear of being judged or perceived incorrectly, you spoke up and shared, and you were met with this:

"Find your joy in the Lord." "Ask God to take away your worries." "I knew someone who felt like you and they started praying and reading their Bible more and then they felt better." "I think you just need to have a better relationship with God.”

Oh, friend. I hear you. I see you. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry that your vulnerability was met with dismissive, trite words. I'm sorry that you were told that suffering is indicative of a poor relationship with God. I'm sorry that instead of hearing and entering into pain, confusion, and messiness with you, someone instead tried to put a pretty bow on your experience and send you off with a prayer card. I'm sorry you did not experience Jesus through your friends and confidants. 

I’m sorry that you were told that suffering is indicative of a poor relationship with God.

Here is what I wish you would have heard: "Tell me more about how you're feeling." "Thank you for trusting me enough to share your true thoughts with me." "Help me understand what it's like in your head right now." "This world is full of devastating pain and suffering, isn't it?" "How can I support and love you well through this process?" "I've been there, too. We'll get through this together.”

Too often, I think, we as Christians forget that we were meant to share each other's burdens. That we were meant to experience suffering as a group, rather than as an individual. Too often, someone else's pain is so deep, confusing, and unfathomable that instead of entering into that place of unknown with that person, we become panicked by our lack of answers. We become like Job's friends, who were well-intentioned, but also completely missed Job and his current experience in their search for the "why" of his suffering. We become like Jesus' friends in the Garden of Gethsemane who fell asleep while their friend was so deep in anguish that he sweat blood. 

Too often, someone else’s pain is so deep, confusing, and unfathomable that instead of entering into that place of unknown with that person, we become panicked by our lack of answers.

To my friends who have experienced this deep disappointment of being dismissed or not fully heard, please know that this was not the right way to respond to your suffering. That your pain is deep and complex and requires time and space to fully understand. That this is not how Jesus would have responded to you. My hope is that the next time (and, with all my heart, please let there be a next time) that you are met with validation, more questions, and solidarity. My hope is that next time, you will encounter a friend who can say "me too" and you can be sojourners together. My hope is that you can experience Christian community the way it was intended.

To my friends who are not currently in the midst of suffering, but know someone who is, please be curious. Please take the time to crawl into the messiness with someone and ask them to describe the place they've been living in lately. Seek to know the walls, the shadows, and the landscape of your friend's pain. Enter into that room, but also step out of it, and offer words of hope that there's a world outside. In short, be Jesus to one another and "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”


 

Written by: Katie Marsh, MA, LPCC

In case you didn’t catch all the extra letters at the end of her name, not only is Katie a Minneapolis/St. Paul member of our Tribe, she’s also a phenomenal Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She’s the real deal. She personally “gets it,” as she battles Chronic Migraine, and it’s literally her job to help empower others with hope and lasting life-change. In her free time you're most likely to find her baking, wandering museums with her husband, running, or sorting through a stack of books that she admittedly keeps telling herself she’ll read.

 


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Moms Get Sick Too

Moms Get Sick Too

I was a brand new mom when I started “feeling funny.”

I had a rough pregnancy, a traumatic delivery, and a long recovery. So at first I chalked it up to motherhood. But as time went on, my daughter was getting older and I still felt that funny feeling.

I was: 

Tired (make that exhausted).

Heavy (make that 50lbs heavier in just over 2 weeks).

Weary (make that feeling “crazy” because no doctor could tell me what was wrong). 

Anxious (make that scared because I started losing my hair).

Sound familiar?

It took almost 2 years of being sick before getting a diagnosis of chronic renal failure. I was a new mom, just 26 years old, and told that I would probably be in complete kidney failure by my 40th birthday. I was afraid, confused, so ill — devastated! It was definitely a low point for me.

It took some prayer, weekly doctor visits, bi-weekly visits to the lab, some misdiagnoses, thousands of pills, and newfound faith; but I am 39 years old and living well. 

When I was first diagnosed, one of my biggest fears was not being able to see my daughter grow up. It’s been thirteen years since that day, I have a son now, and I can say that being a mother with a chronic illness has not been easy. I wasn’t able to bathe my daughter because bending down near the tub was impossible with edema. I couldn’t play outside for too long because I couldn’t be in direct sunlight. There is a 6 year age difference between my 2 children because the medication I was taking could’ve negatively affected a fetus. I waited until I was stable enough to go unmedicated for 9 months before conceiving a second child. I experienced debilitating stomach pain, more hair loss, and other symptoms as a side effect to some of my medication.

...one of my biggest fears was not being able to see my daughter grow up.

My children experienced a sick mommy. One who would eventually also be diagnosed with anxiety. They would ask, “why are you always so tired, mommy?” They would cry when they witnessed me vomiting uncontrollably. My babies experienced chronic illness in a very real way.

They also saw me recover. They witnessed me push past the pain. We’ve laughed out loud together on the couch many nights after dinner. We’ve splashed in the ocean. We’ve taken thirteen hour road trips as a family. And I have come to cherish every one of those moments, even the bad ones.

My babies have learned that moms get sick, too. We have fevers and headaches. We have good days and bad ones. We get scared and moody. We experience fear, while holding onto our faith. These are the lessons we get to not just tell our children about, but give them the opportunity to witness, firsthand.

I see things much differently now. I don’t worry about not being able to see my babies grow up. I fear not leaving them with the most meaningful lessons of all, before I leave this earth. 

Sick moms get to teach their children how to deal with bad news.

Sick moms get to teach their children how to handle bad days with grace.

Sick moms get to teach their children that they don’t always have to be perfect.

We get to teach our children how to honor their true feelings, how to engage in self-care, how to manage disappointment, how to recover after being knocked down, how to push past pain. We get to show our babies how to heal.

Being sick has given me a whole new perspective on motherhood.

 Photography courtesy of our friend  BethCath .

Photography courtesy of our friend BethCath.

Things I’ve learned about parenting through my own chronic illness:

1. Motherhood looks different for everyone. This was a moment of freedom for me. Realizing that I didn’t have to do motherhood like everyone else gave me the freedom to things my way — a new way. I created a whole new vision for me and my family. There is a lot of rest and self-care in my vision. There are also moments of grace and strong faith in my vision.

2. Bad news makes good lessons. At first I tried to hide my illness from my children. It became exhausting and caused more harm than good. When I started being honest with my family about how I was feeling, it became an awesome bonding experience. It also empowered them in ways I hadn’t considered. My children show unbelievable grace to others. They are kind and concerned when it comes to people who are sick or different than them. They are caring and generous with their time. Keeping it real with them has helped them become better humans.

3. Perfection is boring. Perfect went out the window the moment I was diagnosed. Being the perfect mom was just not going to happen. For one, I was too tired to even attempt perfection. And, I found creative ways to compensate for the things I couldn’t do. Eating leftovers isn’t a bad thing when your kids research how other countries eat chicken or rice or veggies. “Fort Night” is an amazing excuse for mom to sit on the couch (I mean “fort”) for an hour. Sick moms embrace peace over perfection.

4. Balance doesn’t exist. In order to achieve balance, there must be equal weight on all sides. That may not be possible with chronic illness. You may have more sick days than well this week. You may need to sleep in more days than you have in the past. You have limits. Your life is unpredictable. Balance is just not something we can maintain. Let yourself off the hook and create harmony between you, your family and your illness. Allow everything to come together and support you in a way that doesn’t make you feel guilt or shame. Be unapologetically unpredictable. Embrace your off day because your good day is just around the corner.

We don’t look sick. We throw on our capes and rescue our babies when they fall and get hurt. We use of bodies, our hearts, and our will to shield our families from whatever tries to come their way. We are brave. We are resilient. We are also human. We don’t feel well sometimes. We need rest and special care. We need tenderness and attention. We are vulnerable. We are needy. And that’s okay, too.

We are brave. We are resilient. We are also human.

No need to retire your cape for good. But take it off for a little while.

Take your moment, mama. Collect your thoughts. Recover from a bad day. Pray through tears. Scream in a pillow. I totally get you.  


 Photo Courtesy of  Beudeeful Visual Storytelling .

 

Written by: Nakeia Homer

Nakeia is a bright light in our community, representing the People Hope Tribe in the great state of Georgia! She’s the first to tell you that she’s “just a girl from the projects who decided not to settle,” and she’s committed to helping others find that same determination. Nakeia is a social worker, turned award-winning songwriter, turned inspirational writer, speaker, and mentor. She’s one of our MVP volunteers on our Support Team and our Connections Team, and she’s a superhero mama and wife. You can find her on social media @nakeiachomer, on her blog, but caution…you’ll never find her settling for less than she deserves!


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People Hope is 100% donor-funded by people just like you, and we need your help to keep publishing hope-giving resources like this one! You can make a gift right now, or even sign up to join our Core Team of monthly supporters for as little as $10/month!