I rise in the early morning to begin another day of caregiving, another day of serving. I rise to meet the endless needs of another, I rise to find purpose in this role and in this life. I rise, but I trip, I crumble, I fall. I rise, believing I can do all things, only to sink. I cannot swim against this current.
I cannot swim against the crushing waves, yet I like to believe I can control my attitude, my mindset will make the difference, I am the captain of my ship. I like to believe it's my motivation and my determination that will find the silver lining in all the heartache. I like to believe I am stronger than this mess. I like to believe these things, and yet, some days are hard.
Some days are harder than hard, and I can’t even tell you why. I know I didn’t get the sleep I needed, I know there’s “a lot on my plate” and I know my own expectations of myself are more lofty than reasonable. I know I need to care for myself too and I know I need to be kind to myself. I know what burnout feels like and I know I can’t ‘pour from an empty bucket’. I know I need my own oxygen mask on first; I know all the cliches. I know these things, and yet, I cannot move my feet.
I cannot move my feet, I cannot ease my spirit, I cannot calm my heart, I cannot breathe deeply. The waves overwhelm me, and there is no ground beneath me. Some days I need someone else to take this burden, but I cannot only offload small bits at a time. The burden is not only mine, but it is mine to carry.
I want to rise above. I want to be strong for my family, my tribe, myself. Yet I cannot connect what I like to believe and what I know to the emotions running through my veins. And so I remind myself, on these days, even the strongest warriors need to rest. There can be no rainbows without the rain. I remind myself I will get through this. Time will pass. I will find strength again. I remind myself nothing lasts forever, not even my troubles.
Until then, I will let myself bleed a little, feel this downward spiral, let it run through me and out of me, let myself fall and shatter, for this journey is hard and is making me stronger every day. Even broken, I will hold my head up high, breathe shallow until a deep breath comes. This is not how the story ends. I believe I will be ok. I know I will rise again.
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