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Overwhelm.

This was Dustin's first call since the kids and I have been back home and overwhelm was the biggest emotion I felt.


It appears as though I am complaining about lupus, being as this is the second blog and the first one was pretty heavy. I don't mean for it to come off that way. It's just a bigger adjustment than some might think and unless I verbalize it, or you're experiencing it personally, one really won't understand.


The top symptoms I experience are: exhaustion, joint pain, and headaches. Thankfully, the medication regimen I am on has helped my joints tremendously. I am "sore" more than I am not, still, but I am able to function {with limitations}. A month ago I was hardly able to function in every day life. So, credit due where progress is made {albeit, small}.


I think the hardest part of it all is I can't just lay down when I need to. I have 3 children; 3 young children. And a business. Thankfully when Dustin is home, he doesn't question me when I say I need to nap when the kids do, or go to bed shortly after them at night. As for the last 7 days, however, Dustin has been gone more than he has been home, leaving me to power through migraines and exhaustion, singing Baby Shark, washing 17 loads of laundry, and act as a race car track as if there is nothing wrong because kids don't stop for nothin'.


We are incredibly blessed for his job, but as I said before, this is an adjustment for me. His calls and storm jobs never use to be a stressor on me (besides my petty ass just being ... petty ... because I miss him) but since the onset of symptoms, I have really had to dig deep to just make it to bedtime it feels like. And I hate it. I feel so overwhelmed with trying to not become a monstermom or show my exhaustion to my kids {because they don't need to experience that, not now} that it bottles up and I feel as though I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop.


I don't complain much, contrary to what the last two blog posts have portrayed, because all I'd complain about are the same symptoms that are affecting my day to day life and I, frankly, don't want to be annoying. So, I write about it; in my journal. I intentionally journal every morning to process how I feel upon waking, gauge what I feel is feasible to accomplish that day, and what I need to relinquish (the hardest thing for me to do). It helps alleviate the pressure I put on myself to "do it all" or be "normal"but I still feel this nagging I'm not doing enough voice when I don't actually do everything on my "feasible to accomplish" list.


Maybe that will change with time or age, but what I will say though is Dustin is picking up on when I am struggling and will tell me to go take a break, because I am an incredibly stubborn human and will run myself into the ground before admitting I need help. My Achilles heel. Clearly.


I just don't want to give up my busy nature. I like to feel productive. I like to be able to move with my kids. I like spending quality time doing activities with my husband. It's selfish, maybe, but I don't want to have to stop doing as much because of lupus.


I am learning my hard limits though. If something takes me down for the rest of the day or into the next, I face the music. Strength training was really impacting my ability to function in the rest of my life. My training looks completely different these days. As mentioned in my last blog post, I workout for functionality and overall physical strength to be able to still live in my preferred busy nature (for now) but that was hard to adjust to. The level of intensity I exercised before would leave me feeling crippled in my joints, unable to walk without feeling like an 80 year old man, and hardly able to function due to exhaustion. So, that was forcibly changed through silent tears in the shower coming to terms with my "new normal." Running has been a blessing and the relationship I am building with my run coach has given me an outlet, a safe space to be honest about my training without feeling judged or as a failure. The experience has been incredibly therapeutic; even if the realization of how limited running will be is beginning to set in...


Anyway, I hope there is someone out there who is experiencing a hardship, an unexpected transition, diagnosis of any kind that found this a little comforting. We all have our battles; our Achilles heels. But, it's how we face them that makes us who we are. It's not pretty at first. It's actually a mess. One day it's all handled with grace and the next is monstermom and tears behind closed doors. It happens to the best of us.


I'm praying for you. I'm praying for healing and relief of the overwhelm you're experiencing. Just as I pray for relief myself.


Much love,

Samantha

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