I Keep Going

I’m no poet, but I’m sure as hell going to try and be one. 

I became a mom at 25.

 

I became a single mom at 25.

 

I became a single mom who was self-employed at 26.

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy and was self-employed at 27.

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy and continued to run a business at 27.

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, and started my master’s degree program at 28. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, and took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son at 28 ½. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, and started a new relationship at 29. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, continued my relationship, and volunteered at a non-profit 29 ½. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, continued my relationship, volunteered at a non-profit, and started dealing with my PTSD at nearly 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, continued my relationship, volunteered at a non-profit, kept dealing with my PTSD, and tried to take on more at 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, continued my relationship, volunteered at a non-profit, kept dealing with my PTSD, tried to take on more, and got sick at 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, continued my relationship, volunteered at a non-profit, kept dealing with my PTSD, and was still sick at 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, took on extra work to pay for extra therapy for my autistic son, continued my relationship, kept dealing with my PTSD, and was still sick at 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my master’s degree program, continued my relationship, kept dealing with my PTSD, and was still sick at 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued to run my business, continued my relationship, kept dealing with my PTSD, and was still sick at 30. 

 

I became a single mom to an autistic boy, continued my relationship, kept dealing with my PTSD, and was still sick at 30. 

 

I am still sick. I am still trying to find a way to keep going, but my body is struggling. 

 

I am struggling but I keep going. 

 

I keep going. 

 

In this world, we are told that we are only worthy if we balance it all. This is an unspoken rule. I feel it, you feel it, and my kids will sadly feel it. After going at life 100 miles an hour, working 60-70-80 hour weeks, neglecting myself, and whatever the F*** else I was doing, I drove my body into oblivion.  

 

At least, that’s what it feels like. 

 

My brain wants to keep going but my body just can’t…it won’t. It almost feels like I’ve been hit by a train that won’t move off my chest unless I sleep for 16 hours. But the issue with that is I can’t do that or I lose more clients, more of my professional life, and am less of a mother to my kids, less of a wife to Ted. I’m torn between pushing myself harder and harder and taking care of myself. 

 

This inner conflict I’ve been dealing with since April of this year has been soul-destroying. Sometimes I lay awake at night wondering if I’m worthy of this life. If I’m myself anymore. I question my identity. The identity I had created for myself on the basis of being a go-getter. I drove myself into the ground trying to take on the world alone. 

 

As a woman trying to be an entrepreneur, a mother, a supportive daughter, and a friend, I felt I had failed. I feel like a failure, even still. 

 

It’s been eight months since I entered the ER with heart attack symptoms, only to find out nothing was wrong with my heart at the ER, but the pain persisted. 

 

In May I kept up with as much as I could. I started intensive mental health-focused EDMR therapy. I began to REALLY chip away at my PTSD. I saw my doctors for acupuncture, Bowen therapy, massage therapy, anything really to help the pain stop. I couldn’t keep up with walking, the room began to spin fast when I tried to work harder or push my body even just a little bit. 

 

In June I saw a PCP (primary care physician) to get a referral to a cardiac doctor so we could ensure nothing deeper was going on with my heart. After three months, four appointments, and $1400, nothing was wrong with my heart. 

 

In the midst of seeing a cardiac doctor, I became pregnant. I lost the pregnancy and was devastated. I blamed myself and Ted supported me emotionally and continued to ensure me it wasn’t my fault and listen, and told me how much he loved me, and how we would get through this. He helped me cope. 

 

In the midst of these doctor visits, losing our baby on vacation in Michigan, Ted proposed to me. Not out of pity, not out of duty, out of love and knowing we were one another’s forever. 

 

After spending close to $8,000 on medical expenses from April to August, we eloped to protect our financial future and still plan on having a wedding, but it is not a priority because we still don’t know what’s wrong with me. 

 

In September I was diagnosed with chronic mono, I had shingles in the summer, kept having back pain, chest pain that feels like a heart attack, severe nausea, I can’t stay awake, there isn’t enough sleep in the world to help me feel rested, my eyesight has become worse, my self-worth has all but diminished, and I’ve been putting on an “I’m doing fine” front for months and I’m so tired of it. 

 

In September and October, I decided I was done with putting on the “I’m fine” front and started getting honest on social media, Instagram more specifically. I had become withdrawn from my social life because honestly, I was trying to hold onto as many clients as possible, sleep when I wasn’t working, and attempting to be a good mom and step-mom to my kids. 

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For some people in my life, they think or maybe thought I was, am faking it, and I have some kind of mental disorder that makes me lie. These accusations and assumptions have negatively impacted me and forced me to make cuts to the cast list in this life I feel at times is more of a show than life itself. 

 

Despite this emotional setback, I keep going. 

 

Throughout the rest of October and November, I saw the doctor three times. I tried taking something called Duloxetine which is a generic version of Cymbalta. This medication is typically used to treat individuals with depression and can give depression symptoms to those without depression. Knowing this, knowing my pain levels, I decided to try taking it. 

 

Three weeks in I was fine with no longer existing. This wasn’t coming from an emotional irrationality I had developed. This was coming from an apathetic, emotionless place in my brain. 

 

Being off this medication now for a few weeks, reflecting back on how I felt with those thoughts I find it pretty scary that medication can get people to this place. And for me, it was just getting back to how I felt in high school about living. In addition to this fearful realization, I feel all the pain again. 

 

I don’t know why this is happening to me. But I’m still fighting for an answer. Yesterday I had an endoscopy and hope for answers in a few weeks based on tissue samples taken. 

I’m desperate for answers. I’m desperate for some aspect of my life back. 

 

In spite of this desperation…I keep going. 

 

In December 2019 I had an endoscopy. It hurt, it sucked, and resulted in Gastritis. Another pill added to the shelf. Christmas whizzed by and I found myself still in pain, wondering if I could ever return to normal. I had so much I wanted to accomplish and had not yet given up on a sense of normalcy. Then New Year’s Eve came and went, January was at my feet and my long awaited appointment with a rheumatologist was upon me. 

 

January 10, 2020 they diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. It didn’t come as a surprise; it felt more like a relief-an end to the testing, the pokes and prods, the needles, and the unnecessary cameras being shoved into my body. Getting this diagnosis has given me back the ability to plan a family with my husband and get my life back in order with a focus on sustainability. 

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