Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Long Road

This road hasn't been an easy one. Life continues to challenge me in ways that are hard to handle. But it seems as though I have come a long way from the past. It's not that it's any better or Lily's health has improved. But with each "cough" and each "illness" we make it through. And with each doctors appointment we make there is a glimpse of hope. But I am careful to not put too much investment into the doctors appointments. No one has been right in over two years. Everything they want us to try with her never works. And at the end of this, if there is an end to this, we may never know what causes her symptoms. Maybe this is "just how she handles being sick".

I know I can't control her health (I can control her "care", but not her actual health). I try to do my best with cleaning and hand washing and general hygiene, but any mother knows that that kind of behavior only gets you so far. So the sickie bugs come, we get through them, and move on. My days are easier than they have been in the past. I survive the cough, as does she. When it gets bad we get through it, and it's kind of scary and upsetting, for both of us. Or maybe even more for me than her.

And I think to myself, that to others, what we go through isn't all that bad. And of course there are people out there who have it worse than we do. But it's impossible for me to think of that amidst it all. My husband wonders why it is still so hard for me, it's been years and he thinks I should be used to it. It's not that easy.

But now, I am in a better place than I have been in the past. I am more aware of my thoughts and reactions. I lean on my husband more than trying to fight it alone. I even found an article in the most recent Parenting magazine called "Xanax Makes Me a Better Mom" I encourage you to read it, whether you take a medication for a psychological condition or not. I truthfully relate to a lot of the things they talk about. I can't agree that it makes me be a better mom, but I can say it makes things easier for me to handle, which in turn allows me to take care of myself and my family better than before. I would never hide the fact that I do relay on a medication to make me a better person. The stigma behind taking medication to handle things that other's can handle without it isn't something to be ashamed of. Just recently, at a press conference regarding her Oscar win, Jennifer Lawrence spoke of the stigma behind this exact thing, she stated it very eloquently,

"It's just so bizarre how in this world if you have asthma, you take asthma medication. If you have diabetes, you take diabetes medication. But as soon as you have to take medicine for your mind, it's such a stigma behind it."

Jennifer Lawrence addresses mental illness in the beginning of her interview, but watch all of it, because she is super cute and funny. ;-)

I am confident in the mother I am today, and the mother I was a year ago, two years ago, 5 years ago. My medication makes it better, and I am sure my family would agree.

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