Be Patient With Yourself When You Are Struggling

I’m going through a lot. Please be patient with me.

Going through this experience with my mom’s cancer has changed me. In some ways, it has taken things from me. One of those things is often my positivity. In some ways, her diagnosis has made me stronger and made me appreciate life more. But in more ways, it has unfortunately emotionally damaged me. This past week or so has been one of the most emotionally damaging after my mother’s surgery, where for a short time I felt what it would be like to not have her here anymore, and it has been hard for me to shake that feeling.

My therapist told me that I am going through “extended trauma”. I have to pump myself up to even just walk through the hospital doors, reminded with every step of the news we heard in each all too familiar department and the tears I cried silently in bathrooms I wish that I’d never see again. The doctors who I have learned to love and trust with my mom’s care, but also at the same time wishing they were part of a really bad dream.

But yet, somehow, I still have to show up, at least that’s what society says. So many schools are looking to work with me now, which is amazing, but that means I have to find a way to show up despite this pain. I had a speech last weekend that I know I didn’t do my best on. My head wasn’t clear, I cried before and I cried after. The whole time I thought about my mom, rather than the words coming out of my mouth.

Please be patient with me.

It wasn’t the easiest to sit with myself, as a recovering perfectionist, knowing in my heart that I didn’t do my best and my message that I care so much about didn’t come off as clear as it could.

But I’m only human. And I can’t put pressure on myself to show up every time because it just isn’t possible. I have to be patient with myself as much as I’m asking all of you to be patient with me. I have dozens of speeches coming up just in the next month. I am reminding myself to just take a step back before those speeches, center myself, and remind myself that my mom has always wanted and will always want me to just go out there and have fun. My pain is real, but the advice of my mother has always been healing, and I am trying to hold onto that. And by using that advice for myself, I was able to be patient with myself and show up for several other presentations this week.

I am pretty sure that not every speech I do moving forward will be a slam dunk; that’s just the nature of the beast. But I do know that I will try my best to be patient with myself. I will remind myself that it’s okay to mess up and that I am truly going through a lot right now, and that’s okay. The beauty of working in mental health is that I can share how I feel, and know that it’s okay.

I hope that if you are struggling right now that you can be patient with yourself. You might get angry more easily. You might do or say things you regret, but that is life. I say we vow to put less pressure on ourselves and simply have more fun. I am constantly reminded that life is incredibly fragile and that we need to spend more time doing the things we love. And I can’t do the thing I love without learning to be patient with myself and this emotionally exhausting process.

Please be patient with yourself. I’m doing the best I can. You’re doing the best you can. Let’s lean on each other during these hard times and provide comfort to each other rather than making someone feel bad for messing up. If we can be comforting to each other and patient with each other, then it can feel a whole lot easier for us to be patient with ourselves.


Be Beautifully Simply You