I get this all sounds dramatic, but this was my experience. It was a very time in my life, and I was terrified. I don’t scare easily, and I was scared.
I had to make significant changes to my personal and professional life to keep myself from going under and taking my kids with me. I decided to get back into therapy and talk to my doctor about going back on meds. I opened up to my parents about what I was experiencing, and they were supportive, as always.
I needed to walk away from a relationship, and I also made immediate changes to the business and pushed back the launch of the new podcast. I slowed my life down and turned my focus to self-care.
The relief came quickly, and I could breathe again, but it wasn’t a permanent fix. I still have work to do, and I’m doing it.
I’ve been spending more time with my kids instead of being holed up in the office working. I’m trying very hard to create a better work-life balance. I’m also forcing self-care to be the priority right now.
If you’ve been around for a few years, you might remember how important walking every morning was for me. I stopped doing that a while ago. I honestly believe that walking every morning has helped me maintain my sanity over the years. It was a time just for me, and I spent it in nature. I don’t know why I forgot about that, but I started back about two weeks ago now. I walk three miles at the park every single morning, even in the rain. My goal is to work back up to five miles a day. In the afternoon, I hit the gym for about an hour and a half, Monday through Friday. I strength train for about an hour and then do cardio for the remaining 30 minutes.
I’m fortunate that I have a great deal of control over my work schedule because, right now, these things are vital to me, and I can’t skip out on them.
I’m also making sure I get at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night.
Since I’ve been so focused on self-care, I’m waking up in the morning feeling rested and ready to start over again. I’m thinking more clearly, and my ability to focus is better. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect because it’s not. I’m stressed out, and I’m still overwhelmed, but that’s because my life is hard. Being a full-time single parent is hard enough, but add things like autism and my own ADHD diagnosis into the mix, and things get even more challenging.
My goal for the short term is to rebuild myself. I want to grow and become comfortable – simply being who I am. I want to get the business flowing again and help my kids find their path in life. I’ve been meditating, reading, and trying very hard to let go of the burdens I’ve been carrying around with me. I’m rediscovering my love for things and setting small, reasonable goals for myself.
It’s not perfect, but I don’t need it to be. Much like me, life is a work in progress. I’ve learned a great deal from this experience, and it was a painful reminder of the importance of self-care. We all need to make ourselves a priority. We have to put back into ourselves, so we can continue to give of ourselves. As much as I talk about self-care and the importance of avoiding things like caregiver burnout, it can still sneak up on me.
I’m looking forward to finding my footing and making some serious progress in my life. Things are are getting better but there’s still much to be done.
I don’t expect everyone to understand, but I know people out there can benefit from reading this. Maybe they will be inspired to take better care of themselves. That would be amazing.
I wanted to share this because I think it’s essential to learn from our mistakes, and sometimes we have the opportunity to learn from someone else’s. Please learn something from me and take care of yourself. It’s much easier to put back into yourself daily than trying to dig yourself out of physical and emotional bankruptcy. Trust me on that.
A little bit can go a long way. Be kind to yourself, and if you find that you need help, ask for it. Not everyone has a solid support system but find help somewhere. I’d love to have you in my special needs parenting support group. It’s totally free and you can find it here. It’s a place you can go when you need to talk to people who get it.
This was exhausting for me to write because I really tried not to downplay anything and open up a window into a little bit of what I’ve been struggling with. I’m going to call it a night for now. It’s been a long day and I’m ready to put it behind me.