One of the realities of life is that we never know what is around the bend. Sometimes it takes great courage to deal face what we are handed. Like many women, I bought into a lot of the myths of motherhood. If I did things the “right way”, I would be fine and my children would be healthy and happy. Twenty-one years ago today, I gave birth to my first child, a boy named Brendan Patrick. Fairytales seemed to lie ahead with this little angel baby in my arms.
The one gift I wanted him to receive from me was self-confidence and a love of himself. What I didn’t know was that just because I did all the things a “good mother” does, there were no guarantees. I won’t go into the details because my cross is no heavier that anyone else’s. It’s how I dealt with it that is the point of this post. But it had to do with family health battles, and a rotten disease – Crohns.
I let worry and angst take me over. Without realizing it, I stopped nurturing myself and my own soul. I depleted any emotional reserves I had in the bank and fell hard and fast into an emotional breakdown prefaced by a panic attack. I nearly took my family down with me when I went.
I have built a career on talking to other women about the importance of nurturing themselves, taking time to creatively express themselves and inspiring them with articles and books. But, I myself had lost the balance and instead focussed on many things I could not control. Because I didn’t honor the signs my heart, soul and body were trying to give me. Because I didn’t stop to listen to, the deciding was done for me. I was knocked flat out, physically and emotionally.
It was time to enter into a period of deep introspection, circle the family wagons, and make some changes. I developed a Wellness Plan. A component of it is to nurture my creative side, and get back to walking my talk. That has put me back in my craft studio. And back to writing. I was writing for everyone else, but not for me.
I think that is why I particularly enjoyed the Blogging for Bliss blog tour party that launched yesterday. I got to look into the creative souls of many wonderful women. Some of whom I am sure have had similar experiences to mine. (And then there are those better-balanced women who know that you don’t let up on the things that nurture you when the going gets rough.)
Happily, the Birthday Boy is doing very well after a wonderful wilderness therapy program. Our daughter is serving as a junior counselor at a camp for young people with Crohn’s Disease, where she is sharing her story that while you may walk in the valley at times, the illness is manageable and life moves on. And so do I. Wiser than before, back at the keyboard and putting in time with my jumbled array of ribbons, papers, buttons, baubles and other craft supplies.
Whatever you do, don’t stop creating!