We are only human, and we can only handle so much, right? Right! So why is it that as a mother, full time employee, wife, daughter, sister, and friend I feel like I have to be perfect, I have to achieve, I have to say all the right things, I can’t be wrong? I just want people to like me. I want to be liked, and in an effort to be liked, I achieve and I do things for people so they will like me. Can you imagine how exhausting the past year has been for me when I am constantly trying to please everyone? I can tell you what I have ended up doing, I’ve skidded, fallen and failed so many times this year. I’m trying so hard to hold it together but at times I just can’t do it all. My whole life I have been an over-achiever. It isn’t because I want to achieve, it’s because I want to be liked. I learned at a young age, that people that do good things are generally looked up to and most people like them. In that desparate need to be liked, I did my best to achieve and over-achieve at everything. I did well in high school and college, played varsity sports, I’ve been a star performer at work and promoted 3 times, and all of it was because I wanted to be accepted. Now a year in to this illness, I’m floundering at work, cannot maintain social relationships, and feel like I’m walking blindly through the world. Plain and simple is that I’m not used to under-achieving, and I feel like I’m doing that in so many places because I’m stretched so thin.
I’ve had so many break downs about work, and I’ve become absolutely paranoid that the Katie they are used to is completely gone. My production has been down, and my ability to focus is lagging. My boss is amazing, and she is constantly reminding me that I have it in me, that she believes in me, and that she knows in time I will get back to where I was. As great as that feels to hear, I can’t help but feel like a failure most days. When I look at my production compared to those around me, I feel like a failure. Then finally today I broke down, and I told her how thinnly stretched I feel. Again she reminded me and said to me “you are only human.” I really, really needed to hear that today. It was a moment when I needed to hear that she believed in me, and that she knew I was capable. Being this incompetent is so foreign to me, and my brain is constantly preoccupied by medication schedules, doctor appointments, specialist appointments, and the day to day monitoring of this strange disease. The hardest part is I’m horribly disorganized, and I would much rather not plan my life and fly by the seat of my pants. This diseases grounds me firmly to the floor, and I feel like I have no wiggle room at all to make mistakes. It’s a feeling that is incredibly suffocating, and I know that I am being way too hard on myself. Now is the time that I really need to let that go, and I need to forgive myself for using my energy for my son versus my career. My hope is my friends understand that it isn’t that I dont’ want to speak to them, but more that I don’t know what to say. Certainly talking to someone about their sick child is a downer, so it’s simply easier for me to not say anything.
I know that Todd is going through so many of these emotions as well, and finally the two of us talked and made the decision we cannot remain this disconnected from the world. We made the really big decision that in July we are going to travel to Chicago to attend a conference through the Magic Foundation which is for parents and children that are effected by PHP. I am so excited, and it seriously gives me something to look forward to. Knowing there are others out there struggling and basically tredding water through this really difficult disease, gives me a sense of hope. I cannot wait to connect with other parents, learn from them, and connect to their experiences. Mostly, I want to feel normal for a minute.
I hope the end of this week finds you all well and staying warm. I will be back this weekend with tons more to share about PHP. Until then everyone, just breathe because we are only human 🙂