Fuck guys. Talk about having to stare my own lessons I teach people directly in the face right now.
This week has sucked. We found out late Tuesday night that we may have been exposed to COVID. Seth and I made the call to leave the kids at his house until we knew for sure. Testing was behind but my stepson felt sick on Thanksgiving morning, so Billy and I tested Friday. I have never missed a holiday with my kids. I feel like I got sucker-punched in the gut. They were at their dad's for 5 days prior to all this happening so it has been already over a week and I have not seen them.
It was a week of not knowing what the answers are. My brain spinning in confusion of what the plan should be and cleaning everything in the house. Focusing on work has been impossible although I have to figure it out somehow because, I again, am the only in the household who can work from home. Billy’s test came back positive, mine was negative.
I was so sad when I realized I can’t see my kids for two more weeks. Through everything I have gone through these last few years, they are always my light at the end of the tunnel when they come home. They always take my mind off things and remind me why I work so hard to keep myself healthy.
Now we are in this weird space where they can’t come home and Billy is quarantined to a room. After two years of being his caretaker, this feels so wrong on so many levels. I want to be next to him. I want to hold him. I want him to comfort me and remind me everything will be okay. Last night I went to bring him food and he said, “Babe it could be worse”. I immediately answered “You’re right. I watched you almost die twice last year. It could be worse.”
I decided to look at my journal entries from last year and I found one I forgot about. It was a letter to myself written on my 40th birthday, May 3rd, 2019, the year before COVID. To give you a picture of what life was like that day, Billy had been in the hospital for 35 days since the end of January. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. He came home with a feeding tube where I had to track his calories in hopes of getting even 600 calories a day in him. He had been deemed to unhealthy for chemo (the actual words were, you will die if you start chemo now). Finally started chemo the month before my birthday, but it was making him incredibly sick, because we hadn’t figured out how to keep his nausea under control yet.
A letter to myself:
Take the time today to appreciate what a caring, loving person you are. You have fought through so much and this is just a little bit more. Remember that the chaos will come to an end. This will all feel like a nightmare in the future.
This may not be what you planned. You may have thought your 40th would have been different but it is what it is. You are healthy, your kids are healthy, and Billy is still here. Celebrate that and leave the rest behind today.
Happy Birthday! You are beautiful.
What a profound journal entry to read, considering where we are now. All things I need to remember.
Today, I am tired. Mentally, physically and everything in between. The stresses of this year piled on top of last make me feel like I am suffocating sometimes. I was hoping I could cry yesterday, and I would wake up today ready to work and focus but I didn’t sleep so here I am still just bailing my eyes out.
I am writing this because it is okay to cry. It is okay to say you feel like shit. It is okay to reach out to friends and let them know how you are feeling. You can be surrounded by the most amazing support system and still feel completely alone at times. Isolation from your loved ones is an unnatural feeling. I miss my kids. I am not sure what will unravel the next couple of weeks.... I have never gone this long without seeing them.
I am going to try to remember this will all just be a nightmare soon. For now, all I can do is acknowledge my sadness. Acknowledge that my heart hurts. Acknowledge that I am tired. Use my tools and hope it this time passes quickly. Life has kicked my ass these last few years and all of these feelings are valid.
- Amanda ( @luxhealingarts ❤️ )