Embracing the Ride, Even Though I Hate Roller Coasters...
I'm going to be extremely honest right now. I'm tired. And, I'm not talking about having one of those weary moments that inevitably occur because I have four little people living under my roof. I manage to navigate about 350 days out of the year with my head held high, my game face on and my glass half full. But, I will tell you that it never fails... at some point, over the course of every year, I hit a wall on this food allergy road that I'm on. And, I want to bang my head against it.
Sometimes it's comes following a reaction. Scares, from minor to more serious, set me back 100% of the time. In these moments, my worst fears come rushing to the forefront of my mind, and I simply lose my footing. Other times my wall comes in the form of people - people who don't get it, or don't want to get it. There's a distinction there, but both rock my world. Sometimes I just wish that people could see how hard it is for me to push against my peace-loving DNA and fight. I can teach my kids to be assertive and speak up all day long, but I'd be lying if I said it was ever easy for me. Most often, my emotional exhaustion is simply a collapse under the weight of too many days of being on heightened alert, never letting down my guard. It's insane to think that this level of vigilance is healthy for anyone, let alone on every single day that his or her child has to eat.
So, that is what the wall looks like for me. And, this week it came in the form of hiccups with both of my food allergic boys. While one was medical in nature and one was more emotional, both related to our allergies, and both set me back.
What now? I know I have to take this week, put it behind me and move ahead. I don't regret taking a few days to feel sad and frustrated and angry. I think it would be dishonest of me not to acknowledge that this road is hard sometimes. But, I also know that the only way to stay positive on this bumpy ride is to look around me and acknowledge that there is always sunshine trying to break through on those cloudy days. My sunshine this week came in the form of a tribe of incredible friends...those with food allergy kids and those without... who listened to me vent, talked me off the ledge, encouraged and lifted me up. Then there was my faithful allergist, who sat with me in his office for close to an hour, navigating through my lengthy list of questions and concerns, all while making me feel normal, understood and hopeful. And, then there was an unique ray of light - all the other food allergy moms and dads out there, many of whom I may never meet out of the realm of social media, who encourage me with stories of their own fights. For all of this, I'm so very GRATEFUL.
Now, as I close this week and move on to the next... continue to have tough discussions for the sake of my boys' safety and the protection of their hearts... and put a smile on my face and lift my head high... I will remember that I'm not alone. I hope that you know that, too.