As I contemplate my life and where I am at, I am struck by the number of people who report feeling "alone." As a mental health therapist, the number of folks who come in for counseling with anxiety and/or depression is astounding. Many of these folks feel as though they don't have anyone to talk to, to vent with, problem solve.
Sometimes I feel curious about the validity of this, wondering if it is accurate as to how many people really are disconnected. I am struck by this problem more recently, as I have found myself in a different place in life. It is true when people say that everything changes when your parents die. I am finding that out more and more.
It has been just over 2 months since my mom passed away. My dad passed coming up on 8 years this January. I do have 2 siblings but we have never been very close. In this season, I have been very surprised at the lack of connection people offer. "Friends" who don't check in to see how I am, or if I survived part one of the holidays without too much grief. Or drama. People who don't realize that any conversation is better than nothing, just to feel connected and not forgotten.
While I have friends, I consider most of them aquaintances. I probably only have about 2-3 people that I would call "close" and I can add one more for my husband. I see other people talk about their "tribe." When I think about a tribe, I think about a group of spirited folks running and fighting and living together. As a strong woman, I would consider myself a warrior of sorts. However, I don't consider myself having a "tribe." I am solo, running the race on my own. In battle, on my own.
Man, am I tired.
And no wonder! We are meant to live life in community! To be with our Tribe who has our back and helps us fight the battles that need to be fought. However, when the battle that needs to be fought, is depression or being lonely, it is a lot harder to fight with no one to help. Eventually, we all have a chance of running weary and we desire for the battle to end.
But, then what? When there is no one there to help us through the fire? To help us pick up a sword? To even be a cheerleader to encourage us, when sometimes the only weapon that can be lifted is our own? What then??
I am seeing this concern arise more frequently. I suppose in some ways, it is good for me in the sense that it provides me job security in the midst of being that cheerleader for someone who needs it. Someone who can help provide tools and support where others don't.
It makes sense why others are so depressed and weary and often giving into the seemingly never ending battle. They are tired. Alone. Weary. And Tribe-less.
I am feeling that Tribe-less more and more. The few people I connect with are limited in their wanting to be engaged. I get it. We all live busy lives. We have our own struggles. It is hard to engage and potentially take on someone else's. Yet, here we are, struggling to keep up the fight and wondering where our Tribe is.
I have gone through seasons in which I have had a wonderful tribe to help provide me with support and love and strength. Yet, life ebbs and flows and things change. People move, grow apart, marry, have children. Life changes and tribes can change. However, there are a number of wonderful people who have been in my tribe who may never know how important they were to my seasons of life in which they were my people, my tribe.
Today is a dreary, dark and rainy day here in the Southern parts of Oregon. Not the best day for a birthday.
Not to mention that the past week has been filled with sleepless nights and a LOT of coughing. Then, of course, last night we had a puker. Figures.
Another year, another year older. I am not impressed. I have goals that I have not accomplished. I have projects and books not completed. I am working hard to get my health back on track. Yet this week, I have felt like Failure. Yes, a Capital F failure.
Sometimes that is how mom life goes. Goals and things that are not always on my time frame. I mean, those little humans require attention and care and all. Sometimes I feel bad that I want my own time. I feel selfish. Yet, I also want sleep. I want to function and feel human and not give up my life and goals completely. Sometimes it feels like all or nothing. Lately, it feels like nothing.
My birthday has been sitting near my little sickie while being a dull mombie all day. Doing NOTHING. At. All. Feeling like the day is wasting away and the possibly fun that I could have had is now a distant glimpse of what my day could have been. All I wanted for my birthday was time with my husband and time at the gym. Self care. Neither happened. It is now dinner time and nothing. *Sigh*
The reality, mom life is HARD. Some days are discouraging. It is a battle to keep going and keep the enemy from stealing the joy. Especially when there is not always much joy to begin with.
But, I am alive and breathing and have a beautiful family that are amazing. When they are not puking.
I have oils and healthy tools. I have knowledge and strength to survive this season, however long. As long as I can get a night of sleep, I will keep on truckin'.
What do you do when you are at the end of you, struggling to keep on?