At the Height of My Husband’s Disease, I was Overwhelmed
When I was in the “thick of it” at the height of my husband’s disease, I was overwhelmed. Pink and yellow late payment notices were flooding our mailbox as our bank account depleted. I was working overtime and could barely keep my head above water with two little children that still needed to be raised.
I remember being at work, and there was a conflict. And someone asked me “How could you not be there for me? You know, girl code?” I thought to myself, “I can barely take time to feed myself. I’m barely holding on. And you’re asking me about ‘girl code’?”
I realize looking back, I should have been honest and explained my truth. I didn’t need to relay the whole story, but I could have shared some pieces to explain why I wasn’t at my best, or coming through for people when I could barely come through for myself.
I was so hurt and vulnerable that I didn’t give people a chance to be there for me. Partly because I had lost faith in people. Also because I didn’t want to be hurt anymore by being rejected from people not understanding. But I realize now I should have at least given people a chance.
Learning and Accepting Your Truth
I had the privilege of interviewing coach and trainer Janet B, the mother of an addict. One of the best things she said in her interview was that “It’s okay to show people you’re human.” Her words have stuck with me since our interview, which is being released January 31, 2023.
For years it was a lot easier to show my tough, strong side. This made it more difficult when I could no longer maintain the armor I had built because it just simply became too heavy. The human side of me began to break, and I was no longer able to maintain the facade of strength.
Listen to the Small Voices
My seven-year-old daughter figured this out before I could. In fact, she even told me. She left me this small gold box pictured above in my car almost eight years ago. I still keep it in my car to this day as a reminder.
She left me four red little messages that each read:
The first: “Be Your True Self”
The second: “Do What You Need”
The third: “Express Your Feelings”
The fourth: “Never Doubt Yourself”
I guess my first grader knew more about what I needed to do than I did. She could tell I wasn’t showing up authentically to the world, and was trying to tell me something. Sometimes the smallest, softest voices are the ones we need to listen to.
The Real You is Prettier Than Your Facade
Over time, I learned the hard way that it took much more courage and strength to show my weakness, which was unavoidably included in my truth. I now live each day allowing people to see my human side. And from time to time, I allow myself to see it, too.