The struggle is real.
One of the newer sayings to hit social media and I'm seeing it everywhere. All I can say is, word sister. Word. I've been pondering this term the past few days as the struggles in my life have felt particularly difficult and almost unmanageable. I try not to compare my hardships to others, but I do. We do. However, I have learned that just because someone is going though something "harder" than me, doesn't mean that what I'm going through isn't hard too.
We are all different. Our struggles are different and the way we struggle is different. Comparison kills.
I know that we've all seen this "the struggle is real" while scrolling though our social media feeds and we've all done an, "amen, sister!"
But, do we really believe it? When you look at your life do you really believe it?
I want to change this perspective a bit. While this rings true, I want you to know that YOUR struggle is real. Your struggle is just as real as your neighbor down the street, or that person on social media that has been through something horrific. You are allowed to say that being a mom is really hard. You're allowed to say that it is hard that you're not where you want to be in life. I feel like when we give ourselves permission to admit that what we are going through is hard, it takes a little bit of weight off our shoulders. That personal validation can give ourselves a little break. It will help us accept that maybe our best that day, was getting everybody fed even if it was cold cereal for breakfast and pizza for dinner. It may even help you get more done when that allowance to struggle lifts that heavy weight off of you. And maybe it will help you realize that you need extra help and what you are dealing with is more than a lot of bad days.
This post has come from my own struggle. It has become clear to me that my daily overwhelm may be more than just adjusting to 3 kids. I'm surrounded by mothers who have multiple children and they seem to be handling the struggle. Because let's be honest, sometimes all we can do is handle it. For me though, I wasn't handling things in a healthy way at all and haven't felt in control of my reactions. The more I tried to hold it in, the more tears would come and my anxiety would sky rocket. I didn't understand what was wrong with me and why I haven't been able to keep it together. And then came the comparison trap. It wasn't until I had 2 full on panic attacks and a handful of near ones that I started to consider that I might have a problem. My anger, agitation, irritability and anxiety may be postpartum related. I didn't know that could show up 6 months postpartum.
I haven't been diagnosed or anything, but I'm giving myself permission to admit that my struggle is real. We don't need clinical depression or a diagnosis to have real problems. We can still be depressed and not have "depression." Life is hard. Some things are harder than others, but the struggle continues in different ways thoughout this life and if we can be kind to ourselves, I truly believe our load can be lightened.
So, admit it. Your struggle is real. My struggle is real. Our struggles are real! Give yourself permission to go easy on yourself. Give yourself permission to get help, to ask for help. And please, please allow others to struggle and be understanding of their problems even if they seem small compared to yours. They are hurting too.
Much love and validations to you and your struggles my friends.