Recently there’s been some challenging times in my life, and through this I’ve learnt about the massive importance of leaning on each other, looking for a light when you think you’re in the dark.
My difficulties have been down to endometriosis, a condition which I’ve discussed before. The present stage of this struggle has meant a constant labour-esque pain, and being off my face on a ton of painkillers. Definitely not the cocktail I would choose…
In each picture from the last few months, although on the outside I appear ‘normal’, I’ve actually been in agony, awaiting relief. Facing the day-to-day dramas of this disease with determination, I have however wanted to slap the helpful individuals who’ve said “well you look fine”.
Knowing how I’ve felt inside, it’s made me think about what those around us may be struggling with on a day-to-day basis, constantly concealing a personal weight which feels insurmountable. They could be Mums at the school gate or couples in the street; people carrying out bog-standard tasks fighting monumental secret pain, whether emotional or physical.
During a hospital stay last month, I sobbed for painkillers and felt totally isolated. Then, a lady in the bed next to me who was recovering from a serious operation, got up and silently walked over. Stroking my hair, she stood with me (which must have been hard enough for her to physically do) until the doctor administered IV pain relief. Hugging me and talking about her family as my tears plopped onto her PJs, I felt like she was an angel in disguise.
Sometimes it is strangers who add kindness and power to our day, through simple yet breathtaking actions. For me this is often just via understanding nods at the checkout, when my three year old has dragged his feet round each aisle of the supermarket. These moments speak the invisible words of, “that’s Motherhood, I’ve been there and I get it”. I’m instantly lifted by such empathy and empowerment, especially as all this usually occurs on a day I’m unwittingly wearing my pants inside out, and the previous wash I did dyed everything pink.
Wonderful Vicki, aka Honest Mum, was not unknown to me as such, because we’ve chatted via email and spoken on the phone. Yet when she sent me the most beautiful bunch of flowers completely out of the blue, I was unbelievably touched. This striking act of kindness from someone I’ve not met amazed me, making my whole week.
At the moment I have days in which I feel like I’m fighting against a constant gust of wind, trying my hardest to stay upright. And thankfully, I have an incredible tight knit group of friends and family keeping me on my feet during this particular onslaught. They are people who don’t ask if I’m better yet, expect an instant solution or define me by this current situation.
But, I’ve learnt it’s also selfless strangers everywhere who can guide us through the storm, meaning whatever hurdle arises, you are never alone to face it. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti’, and I truly believe this is what we should do.