My regret though, and it is sizable and tender, is that I let myself suffer and deteriorate - body and soul. And it’s naive to think that didn’t have profoundly negative effects on my children and my husband. I know it did. I cared for all (3) of them the best I could. But the person I was dragging back to our home, week after week, was a poor substitute for the wife and the mother I wanted to be. I was not well. But I was very, very productive. And it didn’t occur to me to stop. In a thousand ways you live by the sword and you die by the sword when you allow other people to determine your best choices, when you allow yourself to be carried along by what other people think your life should be, could be, must be? When you hand them the pen and tell them to write your story? You don’t get the pen back. Not easily anyway.
MY WELLNESS STORY
I enjoy a good story. Hearing why people are passionate, what led them to where they are, what’s their why. It’s because of this I’d like to share a bit about my own.. Specifically, my wellness story.
For me wellness is both physical, it is emotional, and it is spiritual. It’s a fine balance of listening to my body, honoring gut instinct, and making decisions for myself and our family based on a lot of prayer, research, and open-mindedness.
This has looked differently over the years and it’s been an ever evolving journey, one that has twisted and turned, surprising me at nearly every corner. I’ve felt both empowered and terrified, strong and weak, but I’ve also come to a place of peace with the balance we’ve created.
The First Loss
When my mom died in 2013 of a rare, aggressive cancer, I was paralyzed with fear. I lost all trust in modern medicine, in most doctors, and certainly in the specific insurance network she had. I read all 1,200 pages of her medical records shortly after she passed, through the blur of wet eyes, and felt the pain of her loss in a fierce and surprising way. Those records were bursting with medical mistakes on the part of her care team and it would take years for me to come out of that anger.
My entire life anxiety has plagued me, though I wouldn’t understand the disorder until I was well into adulthood. PPD was an unexpected guest after two of my three babies, so needless to say, I have been wading in the waters of doubt and uncertainty when it comes to what wellness means to me for a very long time.
EASTERN VS WESTERN
I’ve always leaned towards more holistic choices for our family - turning to things such as colloidal silver, elderberry syrup, essential oils, and good ole vitamin D before jumping the gun to the pediatricians office. We have found and enjoyed discovering all that this earth has to offer, created by a God who loves + cares for us. With that being said, I can appreciate the place western medicine plays in our society, despite the horror story my sweet mama endured in her final months.
FAITH + BALANCE
My faith has brought me out of the darkness of those days, giving me more peace and certainty that the right balance for our family is, the right balance for our family. We have the unique opportunity to do what we feel is best for ourselves and our children - what a blessing!
Since losing my mom, grief has come calling again, not once but twice. In early 2017 my brother died of a Fentanyl overdose, devastating us all. Nine months later, my sister and I would hold our dad’s hand as he too entered Heaven. Medically, a fungal infection took him - but I know the brokenness of his heart was his ultimate demise. Emotionally, the last five years have been the hardest I’ve had to walk through and I’ve been exploring what this new normal looks like. It’s a continual search, but I’m beginning to find just the right pieces that fit this puzzle.
I’m a passionate advocate for mental health, living life after loss, breaking the stigma of addiction, and doing what is best for YOU. Not your neighbor or your cousin, but doing what is the best thing for you and your family. I share a lot about our emotional and physical wellness over on Instagram, as well as here.
My journey towards holistic health and the balance it plays in our lives has been shaped by an assortment of resources: namely my sister, a handful of lovely + incredible friends, and of course some women I’ve only had the pleasure of knowing through a screen - but none the less, I am inspired, educated, and better for it.
Thank you for joining me here. It’s really an honor to speak from my heart, and hopefully, encourage + inspire you as well.