I have given the tip “know your limits” on a couple different blogs. But, do we really know our limits? I thought for sure I did! I thought, “I have all the knowledge a spouse needs to rock this deployment! I know my limits and where to ask for help. This deployment will fly by and just be a distant memory soon enough.” Well, that old friend of ours Murphy had other plans in mind.
Since my husband left it seems like I have been dealt almost every challenge someone could think of (minus a death, thank goodness!). Yet, through all of them I have powered through thinking after this hurdle it will start getting easier.
Well, I didn’t listen to my body telling me I was reaching my limit (ok, more like ignored). Those old self taught thoughts, “I have to be strong for everyone around me. What will someone think if I reach and ask for help?” came up.
I didn’t use my resources and worse, I didn’t take my network of friends seriously when they told me they were there for me if I needed anything. After all, it’s my job to help them, right? Wrong!
So, after pushing past my limits I got a cold and that cold turned into pneumonia and I was forced to listen to my body and it’s limits. I sobbed in the ER worried about everyone around me and especially worried about my boys. Not sure why? After reassurance from friends who kept them for two days and my network of friends through my running club I let the worry go. I had to! My limit was reached and over flowing. There was no pushing through, it was time to rest.
In the wake of the pneumonia I reached out to friends for help keeping the boys entertained, rides to their practices and even hired a cleaning company. These are things I should have done from the beginning. I knew my limits and I kept telling myself I could do more. But, truthfully, I couldn’t.
The moral is, really know your limits. Know what causes you the most stress, the most anxiety, the most of just about anything. Use the resources available and most important, when friends lend a hand by saying, “if you need anything, ask” take it seriously! They really do mean it!
The past can’t be erased and I’ll never know if I had lowered my limits could I have avoided getting sick. But, I do know now that there is no shame in reaching out for help because as military families, we get it.
To all the friends who reached out and helped through the last several weeks I THANK YOU!