To my friends

FB memories reminded me of this post I wrote a couple years ago.  It felt timely and appropriate to repost it here: 
When you have young ones, especially several close together, you may find yourself frequently with sick children. You may feel like you must be doing something wrong (maybe you aren't feeding them right, maybe your house isn't clean enough) or that something is wrong with them. You may even have children who are 'different' or who may have chronic illnesses that only you as the parent can tune in to. It's okay. It comes with the territory. YOU are their parent for a reason, not that person judging you. I've observed patterns for many years (I find it's in my nature and probably why I got my degree in Sociology) and I can very much assure you that although you feel like it is just you and your family experiencing this, that your children are perpetually sick and/or you are perpetually overwhelmed- it WILL get better. And if they are chronically ill and not going to physically get better, IT will get better because you will gain experience and perspective. Just trust and hang in there.
When your marriage is on the rocks, it can feel like you are fighting a silent and exhausting battle that nobody understands. You may find that you suddenly have no one in whom to confide, or that those who you would turn to disregard your feelings. Many minutes of the day can feel like a physical battle being waged in your head with Satan over your thoughts and feelings. It is exhausting and beyond comprehension to one who has not been there before. Unless you know for a fact that they have, your friends will not likely understand and may mistake your coping behaviors for playing a victim. Don't let them fool you. Maybe you have been victimized and maybe you don't know any other way to survive yet. That is okay. Be okay with that and love yourself anyway. Know that you WILL survive this, your views will likely change and possibly friendships as well. If you choose to approach it in a healthy manner then you may have a period of intense difficulty, but you will come out on the other end with a healthier sense of self and relationships. You may feel sad at ones that may have to end as a result. Do not let yourself feel guilty for being healthy. You deserve better than that. True friends or relationships will still be there. That's how you'll know they aren't toxic.
Storms may come and rage. Friends will allow that and support you without judgment. You deserve ones who you know love you regardless, who speak truth to you with love, who support you and hold you up to allow you to walk through your storm so that you can survive to see the sunshine and rainbow on the other side. I know that each life has its seasons. I know that some lives seems stormier than others. I know that some lives are misrepresented (and some individuals as well). I know that life can be good even when it is hard and life can be hard even when it is good. I know that people change, that I have changed, that I am still changing. I know that NO ONE deserves to be judged by their peers (court aside here ;) ) or gossiped about. I also know those may be things that when you feel life is tough, you are probably worried about. If you do, you may find yourself surrounded by people who do it (and likely without thinking). Be better than that. Stop those thoughts in yourself. Speak up for others. Remove those friendships. Because you deserve peace. You deserve happiness. And you can have those even in the midst of your storms.
I write this for myself. For my kids to read in the future. And for you.


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