Supermom

I was messaging with a friend this morning who is suffering from a migraine. She has had it since yesterday morning and still went into work and accomplished a full day. Last night it was at a point where she was considering going to get something stronger from the hospital to help her manage the pain. But like a lot of people that I know (myself included) she pushed through it, ignoring the brutal throbbing in her head. After a full day she went home and made dinner for her children and got ready for today.
We spoke for a little while last evening and she did manage to lay down for a bit but that did nothing to ease the pain. I am assuming that she thought that this morning it would either be gone or have subsided.
Fast forward to my waking up at 3:58 a.m. and ready to start my day. I made myself coffee and as it brewed sat on the couch sending my good morning texts and gif’s to my circle. I do this every day for those of you who may not have read the previous blog. Well within minutes of sending the good morning gif to her, my friend was messaging. She feels awful. Her neck and back and shoulders are all stiff. Her head is not any better. Maybe on the way to work she will stop at urgent care for something.
First I suggested that she take the day off and allow herself the time needed to get through this migraine. Well nope that was not going to work because she could not afford to miss a day of work. I did point out to her that only a few months ago she was getting by just fine on less, one day would not make or break her. She agreed but than messaged back ‘But Jay, as single moms we have to work.’  First I asked her who she sounded like right there? And than I sent her a message saying that I had something really important to tell her so I was sending it all in capital letters, not yelling at her. I am going to put it here word for word in capital letters because this is something that all mothers not just single moms need to hear/read and realize:
IF AS (SINGLE) MOTHERS WE DO NOT TEND TO OUR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL/MENTAL WELLBEING FIRST WE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO USE TO THOSE AROUND US. (I copied it word for word although I added in the mental for this post.)
Really what use are we? Cringing in pain. Near tears. Short tempered with our children and loved ones. We are useless. I am worried that working in front of a computer will only exacerbate her pain. And finally because she has told me her boss is a fairly decent guy I said he would not have any issues and if he did the Wicked Witch of the North (a.k.a. me) would fly down on her broom and have words with him. Takes too long to drive and besides my passport has lapsed so broom it will have to be. And she said that he most definitely would have a problem.
This lead to me thinking about the differences between a boss and a leader. When one works their butt off, getting everything reorganized and up to date, fixing the errors of others, a leader will see the benefits in allowing a worker to stay home to recuperate. They realize one day in the grand scheme of things is better than having them end up taking off a week or more if the illness continues. . But if he/she makes you feel guilt, as though you must come in when you are clearly ill and/or in pain that does not a good leader make. Making people overextend themselves and push through illness/pain is the sign of someone lacking in compassion and empathy.
Bosses who lack in compassion and empathy, they are people who are looking at the bottom line and not putting their employees well being first. Happy employees are efficent employees and generally long term employees who can be counted on to be reliable and willing to work hard at their position.
I use to be that boss. I myself would push through illness or a bout of depression because my bosses have made me feel that I needed to be there. That it was my responsibility come hell or highwater to make my shift and do a good job. This despite having six to seven supervisors on my team who could easily cover for me. So when my staff would call in sick I would get a little tense and snappish about it. (I do have a policy that staff are can call in 3 hours before their shift if feeling under the weather. I have had people try to call me at 7 a.m. for a shift at 6 p.m. and ask them to call back because sleep sometimes does wonders.)
Now though, and I started doing this prior to my latest bout of depression, I do not sweat it when someone calls in sick. I have more than enough people who can and want to pick up extra shifts. If they are scheduled to work the next day, I will call and check on them. Urging them to stay at home if they still are feeling under the weather. I do not want to be that person that is considered callous and insensitive. And reality is all it took was a simple shift in how I thought and priorities. Happier staff I have discovered leads to more productivity and people who want to do a good job for you.
As moms I think our focus is generally outside of ourselves. Children. Parents. Spouses. Friends. Being a good employee. We fall through the cracks because we believe that we are Supermom and can manage everything and anything.  Truth is even Supermom can be felled by the flu or a cold or an injury. The list goes on and on. We need to learn how to take the time to recuperate. There is no one else who will insist on in.

Birthday Eve

Today is August 28th. In slightly more than 24 hours I will be 45 years old. I did not actually arrive in the world until 8:20 p.m. so am not “really” 45 ’til than. 

I am looking forward to turning 45. I am not the same woman I was when I turned 44 last year. I am by far a much better and stronger version of her. I have taken my life and where I could have continued along the path of destruction I was on I changed. Slowly at first. But as the changes became good changes, as my outlook and feelings became harmonized and less disjointed I welcomed the changes.

I have documented my cycle of depression and how I had to claw my way back. I have an amazing support group who have been with me since I started on the new journey to me.

A journey that has seen me rise high enough to realize I was in an unhappy marriage and find the strength to leave. To my mistakenly believing all my problems were solved by the dissolution of my marriage and I went off my meds. I began to rely on alcohol to get me through the days. 

My crash, which scared me so badly because I had allowed myself to be tricked into believing I was okay. Our brains are wicked when presenting one with deceptive illusions.

Even after I resumed taking my meds I still continued to self-medicate with alcohol. Finally July 1st I decided to stop. I went six weeks without drinking. And when I did, I woke the next morning disappointed in myself. 

I have had some again but there is a difference. One that I can see and feel. It is no longer a need. There is no desire to negate the feelings I did not want to face. 

So tomorrow I am turning 45. 

 I am eating better. I am sleeping better. I am exercising. I have quit drinking to self-medicate and find that I do not miss it. 

Best of all I am writing again. I am more secure in the voice I have. I am letting those wonderful words combine and emerge like a waterfall from my finger tips. I believe in magic again. 

At 45 I am beginning to emerge from the cocoon of the past. I can see my present but the future….that is a dream still waiting to be dreamed.