It’s been hard lately. Emotionally, mentally, and physically hard. The cumulative stresses – especially the trauma over our younger son’s cancer – and just plain burnout have caught up with us with a vengeance.
Our buckets are empty. And when current day-to-day stresses and challenges smash into an empty bucket, nothing good can happen.
We desperately need a vacation, and we have no idea when we’ll ever get one. We’re fried. And we’re not sure what to do about it after over two years of through-the-roof stress and trauma on top of years of challenges. In addition to that, now that our younger son is in remission, the adrenaline that kept us going has crashed.
I know we need to ramp up regular self-care practices, but when you’re this toasted, it’s hard for that to make a dent. You just don’t feel like doing anything.
I once came across a daily readings book from Narcotics Anonymous called “Just For Today”. There it’s more a rule to live by than a title. In this particular case, the lesson is that sobriety and a better life comes and is built one day and one step at a time. You take each day as it comes and just do the right thing for this day.
There’s a lot we can learn from that. Lately, I’ve been reminding myself, “Just do today.” There’s so much going on and so much burnout to recover from that I can’t comprehend it or even stand it if I think about its enormity.
But perhaps I can just do today. And perhaps time will be my greatest ally and healer.
For now, I’ve learned that today I can ask for help. I recently sought out a new coach to talk things out with and learn some strategies for coping with everything. None of us can do all this by ourselves. We have to learn to ask for help for ourselves, every day if we need to, if we’re going to be the parents and people we want to be.
I also learned that accepting where I am – right now – is such a huge part of it. Right now, I can say to myself that things are really damn hard. Not only is there nothing gained by sugarcoating that, it would only make everything much worse.
Say to yourself what’s true for you today. If you’re tired, burned out, angry, sad, depressed, lonely, or whatever else, if you feel like giving up, like a failure, like things are never going to get better, just admit it. There’s no shame in it.
Say it to yourself, and then decide you’re just going to do this day. Nothing more. Ask for help. Imagine tomorrow is forever away.
Today is the only day you can live. Just do today.