I didn’t know I could feel like this. I didn’t know my partner would look at me with concern in his eyes, asking gently if I am okay. I blink plainly and say I am okay. But I can’t help but ask myself, “Am I okay?”
I have flashes of vision where I am watching myself in my normal grind and I recognize myself but then at times, I wish I could make myself stop moving, and hug her hard, tight, the all-knowing hug. The kind of hug that a loved one gives you when you need it the absolute most, while you collapse from the weight of whatever is holding you back. I know I am happy, at my core, my days are full of joy streaming from my miracle babies, but giving them that joy back is hard to muster.
My friends and family don’t know that I am constantly dehydrated–to scary levels that have stopped me in my tracks, where my partner has had to bring me gatorade x4 as we wait for my heart to stop pounding, when I don’t feel like I am going to pass-out, and my electrolytes to regulate. This is perpetual because when you are dehydrated you need to rest, seriously, after an episode like that. But I barely know what that rest is. My partner tries hard, but we have 2 kids, two little ones, who need us the most at this stage in their childhood. He worries about me a lot. I can see it in his eyes and it breaks my heart. I saw the way my daughter looked at me when I was crying, and it broke me more. I know I am doing my best, but it doesn’t feel very “best” to me.
I go through the motions, and am thinking 4 steps ahead to do, prep, gather whatever is needed for my children, household, etc. I cannot stop my brain, I am hard on myself. This is when I think of that scene from The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood movie, when you see the mom lose herself after the kiddos have been sick and she checks herself into a motel and she does nothing but sleep for 3 days straight. Now granted, she was doped up, and coming off pills but there is a LOT of truth in the overwhelmed, exhaustion shown in that movie that I would bet any mother could relate to in some capacity. Now, I recall that scene and I think about how I need to book that quiet, solitary bed for myself to get much needed rest.
So I guess the answer is no, I am not okay. I didn’t know that I would feel this way as a mother. This level of exhaustion is so much deeper than I realized it could exist. It is starting to consume me. I feel my body shutting down. Everything aches daily. My brain struggles to focus and recall. I feel like I am on the brink of tears all the time. I lie to myself every day a million times a day. I lie to my family, I lie to my friends, I lie to my kids. I am not okay.