There have been many times in my life when I thought to myself, “Oh, I don’t see how things could possibly get any harder.” While I miss the naivete of what was only 10 years ago, I also appreciate the lessons life has taught me thus far. One of the greatest lessons I have learned over the year is how to endure. I discovered just how important a lesson this is during my first time in college. My family suffered three tragic deaths in the same year and, unfortunately, I did not handle them well. I found myself in a depressive state that was so hard to climb out from. I’m thankful that I wasn’t completely alone at that time. I had just started dating my husband and, even though we were still long-distance at that point, his support made a world of difference. I also found myself immersed in the things that I had always enjoyed, only on a larger scale. I did end up skipping quite a few classes towards the end of that year. Instead of going to class, I found myself becoming captivated by new books, shows, and even animes. I tried to do whatever I could t escape from the grief that I felt like I was drowning in. Eventually, I decided enough was enough and that I needed more professional help. While I cannot underscore the importance of that help, I do also believe that having my own coping mechanism was also important.
The second time I found myself needing to endure was almost two years ago after the stillbirth of our Toby. That was, and still is, the most difficult moment of my life. My husband was away for work at the time, so it was just myself and Sprog at the appointment. Somehow, after finding out that Toby no longer had a heartbeat, I was able to collect myself enough to drive Sprog and I home. I was able to push through the tempting fog of despair to ensure that the plans we had made to move cross-country the very next day still commenced. It was difficult, especially because I seemed to have so many reminders of the life I no longer held inside of me. My parents, who were gracious enough to help me pack and then drive our belongings to our new state, constantly asked how I was feeling. I knew they just wanted to make sure I was comfortable and not overdoing anything by being in the car for such an extended amount of time. How could I tell them that I was not, in fact, alright? How could I tell them that their concern was no longer needed because my baby had died? When we finally made it safely to our new home, I collapsed. With my husband there as my support, I told everyone the horrible news and found myself amidst a whirlwind of activity as I prepared to deliver the body of our little Toby. Even now, the hardest part of that time was physically leaving the hospital without my baby. But, because of my husband and our Sprog at home, I endured.
Now, almost two years later, I find myself embarking on another challenge. It’s not nearly as emotional as my past challenges, but it is still daunting for me. It has only been a month since my new semester started, and I already feel myself losing momentum. I knew, logically, that being a full-time student, mom, and caregiver for a disabled spouse would be difficult. I thought that I had prepared myself for the difficulties I would surely face. What I hadn’t realized was how quickly it would feel like everything was overwhelming me. When I’m not in school I find myself vacillating between driving Sprog and my husband to their appointments, being an attentive mom and wife at home, and of course finding time to finish the piles of homework and reading that I have due each week. There are times when I look in the mirror and ask myself, “What the heck were you thinking?!” Of course, I know the answer. I’m ready to finish what I started so long ago. I’m ready to get my degree and show Sprog that it really is possible to achieve your dreams through hard work. The challenge is just enduring it all.
I suppose the point of all of this was to challenge you to endure. Everyone has some difficulty they’re encountering, some challenge that seems insurmountable to them. But, I think that with the right support, you can really achieve anything. Now, with that heavy message off of my chest, I think it’s time to finish catching up on Sailor Moon. I have put this off for way too long!