I called my boyfriend to tell him the great news. “Babe! I got test results back and looking at them it appears that… I am slightly anemic! Isn’t that awesome?!” First, please imagine for a moment what it’s like to date me. Special indeed. Second, he’s all “hey babe, pro tip? Start with ‘everything is totally fine’ and then roll into test results, k?” Good talk.
For the last several weeks I’ve just been feeling BLAH, foggy and sort of not me. I couldn’t put my finger on it entirely but I haven’t felt motivated to run, have had a really hard time concentrating at work, there’s not enough coffee on the planet and I just have not been able to do ANYthing. Except work full time, single parent two kids, have a role in a musical theater production, and contribute weekly’ish to an on-line site for Moms. But not with the same gusto. I am typically the energizer bunny and the past month or so? A sloth. I mean, the cute kind who works at the DMV like in Zootopia, but a sloth nonetheless. I started off with the obvious: my deviant thyroid who is the asshole that keeps on giving. Nope, TSH levels all good. Pregnant? Also in the clear. So, only two obvious remaining choices: 1) I have cancer or 2) I am a failure who cannot handle life. I very effectively talked myself into believing that I had finally reached a point where I’ve given up and there’s just too much wrong with me and my crazy life to make sense anymore. I may as well just throw in the towel, gain 30 pounds and happily eat all the chips and ice cream I’ve said no to for years (ok, that last part is some serious creative license, let’s be real, I’ve never met a pint of the cold stuff I didn’t like). Forget writing, forget performing, forget being supermom, SLOTH it IS!
Hi, you still there? Yup, it’s me Sally Self-loathing. Nice to meet you.
I mean what the actual fuck right?! I went from, potentially clinically ill to, if not that then just MUST NOT BE WORTHY. I went straight into shame-filled failure-mode, where many of us modern moms who try to do/be/have it all just loooove to live. I mean we throw PARTIES in this fun-filled land of not-good-enough! Usually with wine and low-carb snacks. We’re ironic that way.
So when the test results came back (yes, I went back to the doctor because I did have those tiny baby cancer cells in ye olde thyroid last year, so you have to check all the things when you suddenly feel not so great) and it showed a little bit of anemia I was LITERALLY ELATED. Like, pumped. There was an actual reason! It was not me! I was not slipping into a pit of dark stinking failure! Best day ever!
And then I realized the awful self narrative I’d been dancing around. Ugh.
Here’s me on paper: I am currently pursuing dreams I had hung up in a deep, dark closet as a young adult by writing and singing again. I ran a half marathon last year. I am trusting with my whole heart again even after it was shattered to bits. I show up day in and day out for my boys. I manage a team of really successful people at the top ranked company to work for. I have a community of people around me who are so incredible and support me in myriad ways.
Yet. I assumed that when I was feeling tired, I was just actually a failure. That the truth was coming out and my jig was up.
Friend, who are you on paper? Please write it down. Please see the worth in all of the monumental things you are doing every day. Please also take care of yourself when you’re tired and acknowledge that even superheroes need a rest now and then.
I promise to (try to) take my own advice.
And to take my iron and kelp pills. Cause I’m that lady now, with the pill organizer featuring the weird green ones nobody wants to ask about.