I've been blogging for 5+ years now, and very rarely do I share anything personal. For years it has always been “5 Tips for This” and “How to do This” and “30 Days of This,” and although it does well on Pinterest and keeps the blog alive, I feel like things need to change a little bit.
I want to start sharing real life.
There will always be “tips” some of the fun stuff, but I'd like to also start sharing the real me in my weekly newsletter. Instead of just a list of everything that's been published on the blog that week, I'd like to start sharing a weekly message with you. Updates on realness. And in return, I would love to hear back from all of you!
The online world gets a little morphed sometime, and I start to crave “real.” I once had a friend tell me of her frustrations, and as I went to sympathize, she said something to the effect of “But you're such a perfect mom. I read your blog. I see all the fun things you do with your kids all the time.”
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WAIT A MINUTE.
This was when I decided things need to get a little more real around here. I post fun things on my blog because I've always wanted my blog to be a happy place where moms come to get fun ideas, and encouragement to play and have fun with their children. But my blog is not a representation of my everyday life. I am far from a perfect mom. I'm just trying to do my best like everyone else.
Most of my everyday life consists of surviving. And lots of praying that I'll make it through the week without a mental/emotional/physical breakdown.
Near the end of last year I found out I have Chronic Lyme Disease (watch the documentary Under Our Skin if you want to understand Lyme Disease a little more). Up until now I have been mostly silent, sharing with a few close friends and family.
Although the diagnosis is new, the suffering hasn't been. I've been sick for almost 7 years now, and have never been able to figure out what it was. As symptoms started progressing more rapidly in the last year, I think God in His tender mercy, placed many people into my life to help me figure it all out. What a blessing that has been!
WHY I HAVEN'T SHARED
Even in years of being sick, I rarely share with anyone (including my husband) when I'm not feeling well. And since my diagnosis, my absolute least favorite question is, “How are you doing?”
Don't get me wrong, I totally LOVE and ADORE people for caring, but I don't want to be that person that always shares their health problems. I don't like to think about them, and I certainly don't like to focus on them. I've learned to become the master faker over the years. But in my “faking,” I reached a point that I lost my will to live. That's really hard to admit, and makes me emotional even as I type it. I literally prayed for a way out of this life, without causing too much pain on my family. It was a dark place to be. I didn't want to be a burden on anyone, but I was also so tired of the loneliness that comes from suffering silently.
When I had my first visit with a specialist a few months ago, the doctor went through everything that I was currently experiencing and my mom was sitting there next to me. For the first time in my years of suffering, someone else was aware of what I was experiencing. I went from a place of darkness to a place of hope. Someone was on my team.
WHY I'M SHARING NOW
As I have ventured on my healing journey, I have learned there is so much value in being willing to open up and share. I have learned a TON about life, about healing, about will power and positive mental thoughts. Things that are not just changing my health, but changing my life. The kind of mother and wife that I want to be is changing. I'm changing, and it's a constant journey.
At one point, I almost sold this blog. A couple offers had come through at what seemed like the peak of my health challenges, and it seemed like what needed to happen. But for one reason or another, it didn't. I feel like one of those reasons is that I have a lot I need to share.
I recently found out my cousin also has Lyme Disease. She also has kept quiet about her struggles, but had the feeling to call me. As we talked on the phone, I broke down and sobbed. It felt so good to talk to someone who understood without having to explain anything at all. We went through a checklist and she understood all of it. The liver and thyroid issues, the immense fatigue, the heart and muscle pains, the the brain fog and scary memory loss that most people just respond with, “oh that's just mom brain. We all have it.” –She understood ALL OF IT. And when I got off the phone, I felt like heavy weights had been lifted from my shoulders just from this simple human connection.
And so this is why I've decided to share more from my life. I'm still very uncomfortable talking about details when it comes to my health issues, but I feel very strongly that there's some of you that need to hear about my struggles and life lessons. The things I'm learning that really matter.
There may not be any of you that have Lyme disease, but I bet there's plenty of you with your own trials, relationship stresses, parenting struggles or even chronic illnesses that you are trying to wade through.
Hopefully my “realness” will help, life or inspire someone else, and we can each live life a little more joyfully because of our connections and experiences.
Until next week,