Do one brave thing today. One.
One day after Christmas I finally decided after being awake a while to sit up in bed and make my feet find the floor. Sitting there, folded over, and wondering how I was supposed to get up and take care of my kids. How I was supposed to get dressed. How I was supposed to make breakfast. And wondering if this is how my mom felt every day. Wondering if this is how I will feel for the rest of my every days.
I got up and made my kids breakfast. That was my brave thing that day. I got up though everything in me screamed for me to just go back to bed. Screamed that there was nothing worth doing, at least nothing that I could attempt to do that would be worthy of doing. Screamed that I just couldn’t fry the eggs or toast the bread. I made breakfast while everything in me screamed I couldn’t.
So easy to get lost in the abyss, wondering further down to see what the well may find.
I’m not sure the words are in existence to express the despair I experienced, experience. The pull to be with the ones you love the most and that love you most contrasted with the unrelenting push to stay down. The longing to be enough mother, wife, friend and the fear that mistakes were made in making me mother, wife, friend. The fear that the children, husband, friends would find me lacking and leave me in my confused and restless state contrasted with the hope that they would love me the same, without judgment or fear.
Live. That’s a brave thing to do. Alive. That’s a brave thing to be.
I remember my mom making me breakfast and packing my lunchbox for school. I got nervous buying my lunch and she made the best ham and cheese sandwiches. Or celery smeared with cream cheese. And I would always find a napkin note in her tidy handwriting. She did brave things when she wanted to lay down and never get up again. And she drove me to school that year I was teased and bullied relentlessly. She was teaching me what brave does and I didn’t know.
Today I got up and did my school work. I did my real job work. I did my fun job work. I switched the laundry from the washer to the dryer. I took mail to the post office. I fed my family dinner. I played at the park.
I did all of that with a fist of stress clenching my chest. The anxiety burning an orb through my ribs. I did the things I thought impossible with a mean fist fighting me for breath.
And it all started with one small-big brave thing: making breakfast and packing my mini diva’s lunch for school.
There is light though it may seem far and fleeting.
Today I will do one brave thing. Join me? —we are braver together. And for the record: you are brave. You are significant. You are so strong and I am very proud of you my friend.
Three of the many who bring me back from the depths. I’m grateful.