Monday, June 27, 2016

Surviving and Thriving When Things Get Tough

Last week was tough.  It was exhausting, heart-breaking, joyful, and tough.

On Monday, I spent almost 8 hours in the car driving Katie to her very first week of summer camp.  As I dropped her and her luggage off at her cabin, I had to ask her for a hug before I left.  Then she was all, "Love you, Mom. Bye." before she walked into her cabin without a backward glance.  I stood outside for a minute trying to absorb what had just happened.  Did my sweet little 8 year old really leave me for a week that easily?  Where were the tears?  Where were the extra hugs as she tried to keep me there as long as possible.  Was this really it?

Surviving and Thriving When Things Get Tough

I peeked through the window as I walked away.  There she was, bouncing on her bunk and talking excitedly to her new friends.  Okay, then.  If she could do this, then so could I.  I drove the 3+ hours back home alone and gave the other three kidlets extra hugs when I saw them as I silently pleaded with them to stop growing up.

On Wednesday, the three younger kids (you know, the ones who didn't abandon their dear mother to go to camp) and I made the 1 1/2 hour long trip to see our geneticist.  During that chaotic and loud appointment, we were all officially tested for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  Nano and I both received the diagnosis which wasn't at all surprising since I'd been unofficially diagnosed at Davy's March appt with the geneticist, and Nano is very obviously hypermobile.  Davy couldn't be formally diagnosed since he's still so young, but we pretty much know he has it so he'll be tested again in a few years.  Thankfully, Anna doesn't appear to have EDS.  Since Katie wasn't able to be at the appointment (the little traitor...) she'll have one in July, and we'll find out then if she's affected.

On Saturday, I was up at 4 am to go pick Katie up from camp and impressed myself by not getting lost on the way there.  I arrived home later that afternoon to the news that my cousin had eloped earlier that day (congratulations Emily!!), and the tortoiseshell kitty that my siblings and I shared for 18 years had suffered a spinal injury that morning and had to be put to sleep.

Surviving and Thriving When Things Get Tough

So yeah.  It was a total rollercoaster of a week.  But you know what?  I survived, and I didn't fall apart.

At one time, I wouldn't have made it through a week like that.  But I have spent the last few years cultivating friendships and finding support from online and real life sources that have given me the courage to get through things like this.

I've also learned how to draw on my inner strength.  I had no idea how strong I was until Davy was born, and now I'm using that strength to survive.  

How I survive and thrive during the tough times and you can too.

I hear what you're've had worse weeks than that.  I believe you.  I wish I could reach through your computer screen and give you a hug.  But it's not about who has the hardest experiences in life.  It's about supporting each other because your anthill may be someone else's mountain.

Here's a free printable for you to remind you to never give up.  No matter what happens, keep going.  You're going to make it, I promise!

I'd love to hear how your week went?  Good, bad, or something else entirely?