It took me an hour to get out of bed today. I heard the rest of my family begin their day as I laid there, my heavy lids wide open and my face pinned to my pillow.
The intoxicating smell of coffee filled my room and my daughter’s giggles floated down the hallway like music. The sun shone through my master bedroom windows and twinkled off my bright walls.
Everything about it was beautiful.
But I couldn’t move.
And I hated myself for it.
Literal, gut-wrenching hatred for myself, filled every inch of me.
I wanted to be out there. I wanted to participate. But I couldn’t. The fatigue that pinned me to my mattress overwhelmed every fiber of me and stole the joy I was so desperate for: The joy of a beautiful morning with the ones I love.
And that’s how most mornings are for me. Mornings are the hardest. And the worst part about that is that mornings used to be my favorite.
There is something magical about a sunny morning. The way the light filters in slowly and signifies the beauty of what is to come. The darkness of the night before is overtaken by the radiance of the coming day. And as the sun rises everything is bright and renewed.
Except me. I am not renewed. My body is still broken. And my heart is still bitter over it.
And I am not alone.
There are so many women, and men, who have their mornings or their entire days stolen from them by things they can’t control. And so many of those things are much worse than mine.
In the beginning I told myself that because I am lucky that what I deal with isn’t worse that I’m not allowed to be sad about it. I swallowed my sadness and pushed myself to prove that I’m ok. I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to be upset about my ailments because so many are worse off.
But I’ve learned a very important truth through my struggles:
We all have mountains and we all have molehills.
My mountain compared to someone else’s looks like a molehill and someone else’s mountain looks like a molehill compared to mine. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t both struggling. We are both struggling with whatever hurdle we each have to overcome.
Have you ever climbed a mountain? I’m not that brave. But I did try rock climbing once. And I took a very interesting perspective away from the experience. Rock climbing was something that, going in to it, I would have considered a solo sport, but I was surprised to realize it actually required two people.
Now I’m sure there are many methods of rock climbing but all I can speak on is what I experienced and what I took away from it and that was this: I couldn’t climb without having support on the ground. The cord that was attached to my waist was tethered to someone else’s below me. It was an experience of a physical life line.
But the truth is, we have those every day. Or at least we should. We need them. Because whether we are climbing mountains or molehills we need that attachment to a lifetime. We need someone on the ground that gives us the security to brave our climb. I hope you have that. And if you don’t, I hope you can find that. But I can tell you, you will never find it if you hide how much you need it.
Don’t be silent. Don’t feel like your climb isn’t worth acknowledging.
Today, after an hour, I finally started my day. It was slow, and sluggish, and required medication that I used to be so afraid for my daughter to see me take. Embarrassed that she would ask me questions and one day realize I’m not “perfect.” But by the afternoon I stood on top of my molehill, that felt like a mountain, and my day began.
So if you are out there. If you are reading this and you are struggling… Keep climbing. Mountains and molehills feel exactly the same. The climb is hard but the view from the top is worth shouting about.1