But you’re so strong!

Recently someone told me that they thought I am a very strong person. Not the “I can lift a car” kind of strong either. That made me think. Am I really strong? Honestly, I don’t think so. I just do what has to be done. I don’t have a lot of time to sit and cry about things and wait for someone to come rescue me. You see, I’ve been a single mother for 19 years. I know that might night make sense to you given that I have 2 children and the oldest one is the 19 yr old.

Lets see if I can help make some sense of that statement.

When Beauty was born, her father and I had been together for about 2 years. When she was about 3 months old, he left. His loss. He lost out on the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. When Beauty was 5 I met someone and ended up getting pregnant. We weren’t “together” when I was pregnant but after she was born I decided to give it a chance with him. It lasted less than 6 months. To be fair, that wasn’t all his fault. I just didn’t love him the way I thought I should love the person I was planning to spend the rest of my life with. So I broke off the relationship and took my own path. I knew it would be hard but I had to do what I believed was the right thing for myself and my children.

So that’s the cliff notes version. Hope it helps.

Was it my strength that made that decision? I don’t think so. I just knew that I couldn’t live the rest of my life feeling the way that I did. MiniMe’s father now has a baby with another woman and I’m happy for them. I wish them all the best and we love that baby because she is part of our family too.

My amazing brothers have tried to be positive male role models for my girls. For this, I can never thank them enough. When the girls were little they would make “Uncle’s Day” cards for my oldest brother because for all intents and purposes, he was the main father figure in their lives. I don’t know what I would do without my family. They may not agree with all of my choices but they still give me love and support no matter what.

When I was 12, my dad died. I’ve posted about that before. I survived because I didn’t have a choice. I just did what came next. I could have chosen to spend the rest of my life making a long string of dangerous choices and using that as an excuse. I chose not to. I may not be proud of all of the things I’ve done but I like to think that my dad would be proud of who I am today. Does that make me strong? Maybe. Or maybe I just did what came next.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had no idea what was going on with my body. I could hardly move most days and was in so much pain that I would just lay in my bed and cry. I started doing some research online and reading stories of other people who had RA and ended up in the worst depression of my life. Seriously, 90% of the stories I read were about how debilitating this disease was and long lists of things these people couldn’t do anymore! I ended up quitting my job and spent weeks crying over my sad life and the supposed death sentence I had just been handed. But I had one person in my corner rooting for me. Some of you will know who he is but Mister J probably saved my life. I know for certain he saved my sanity! Mister J is someone I’ve known more than half my life. We went to high school together. He’s a great friend, an amazing dad to his 2 girls and a great man. He pretty much told me that I needed to stop crying, get out of bed, go to the doctor, and do what comes next. And stop reading those people’s stories! He was right! I went back to the doctor and insisted on more bloodwork and a referral to a specialist. I got them. Six years later, I still have pain but through some amazing people who I will never meet in person, I am functioning and living my life! Since that time I have graduated from college and landed an amazing job! Does that make me strong? Again, I don’t think so. I had a great friend in my corner who helped me more than he will ever know. I just did what came next.

I could spend my days wallowing in self-pity for all the things I don’t have but where would that get me?

I chose to live each day as best I can and just do what comes next.

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2 comments on “But you’re so strong!

  1. Great story. And that is totally true – you cannot read the horror stories about diseases. Before I had my hysterectomy, I read about all these horrible problems women had and it freaked me out. Then I had the surgery and felt SO much better.

    I’m glad you had someone to lift you up again. I have depression, and sometimes it helps to read about the struggles of others. But you can’t spend too much time there. I use humor to help me through tough times. I love to write it and read it. Laughter is so good for you – there’s even scientific proof. 😀

  2. You’re absolutely right! It’s one thing to share experiences but when all you hear is the bad and have really nothing else to go on, it’s a recipe for depression! I’m loving your blog! Thanks for sharing your awesome self with us!
    p.s. when you’re having a bad day just read that craigslist post and it will totally make you laugh! Works for me every time!

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