Today is International Women's Day, so I had to at least take a moment to recognize how important this day is. So, here I am a woman, a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister and a friend and on my good days, my great days, I know that I am freakin’ superwoman. I am tough, smart, hardworking and dedicated through and through.
The last few days have been dark, not because I am struggling with not having visited my mother in a while or not getting the article published as I had hoped, but because pain, depression and fatigued have been pulling me down. I want to share with my readers the truth about how a woman can be a warrior. For the most part I have control of my depression and the other demons that attack my body, but there are days of doubt, sadness and the inability to get out of bed. The inability to be the woman warrior that I am.
What does it feel like? That feeling of doubting yourself and wanting to give up can be overwhelming. You feel like no matter what you do it’s useless. Even though you know doubt and pain is playing with your mind, you feel like something is pulling you down, a REAL physical entity is taking hold of you. During the normal motherly things, the normal woman things, the normal day to day life things seem near impossible when this force is present. Things that I need to do like be a counselor for my girls at their GEMS group seems painful. This past week, I was so exhausted, I was barely able to make it and when I did make it, I didn't want to be there. What could make depression and pain and fatigue worse, when people are asking how you're doing and the best you can respond with is, “having a bad day”. It takes time, energy and shaking the shame to explain what is really going on. It’s such an intricate thing to explain that you're in pain, that you feel hopeless and sad, and just want to crawl under the covers and not wake up for a while. Remember folks, I am a mental health professional, so this should be easier for me to do. Nope.
I know that I am a woman warrior, that I am wanted and needed. I wake up and I am needed to make the day start for other people, to deal with a struggling kindergartner who doesn’t want to wake up and make sure two older children have what they need. My husband loves me and needs me. I make things run, I'm important and vital to our society. I have dreams and hopes and plans, but this is the real life of a woman whose biggest fight can often be with herself.
So, on this International Women's Day, I had to take a moment to say thank you to the women who are daily warriors, fighting with their mental health and their bodies. I am most certainly not taking any light away from the women around the world who face terrible and harsh inequality, but I need to shine a light on women who put their feet to the ground. This is a “hey I see you” to the women who do what they can and the best way they know how on a daily basis as a woman, wife, girlfriend, employee, business owner, mother, daughter, sister, and even friend. I am thankful to have a husband who understands that I have mental health issues and can respect when I tell him “it’s been a bad day; the depression has hit hard today”.
Please note that I know my faith is HUGE in my daily life and that God has made all things possible. I also know that God has created us to move and improve, to take care of each other and to find inventive ways to do so. I take anti-depressants as well as other medications to make it through the day. Combine this with the love of my husband and I am a fortunate woman, and I know this.
Thank you, women warriors, you freakin’ superwomen, your faithful woman who make the day go around by placing one foot in front of the other.
Thank You to the women in my life:
My own mother who lives a life fighting FTD Dementia
Shelley McDonald (my other mama)
Grandma Maxine Rice (You taught me lessons I WILL NEVER forget)
Toni Szczepanski by dearest and sweetest friend (even though we don’t see each other often, you are a piece of my heart).
Marin Hann, MA., LLPC co-director of Koinonia Counseling Center
Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids
Today instead of giving attention to another post, I am giving attention to Alpha Women's Center to seeks to build up families of all races and economic status. I love and adore this place and the women warriors I get to be with.