Had a bit of a down weekend, and was worried about returning to work today (for the next week). Thought it would be hard to explain to everyone that things had taken a turn for the worse, and that I would be requiring more time off. I was right, and although I was still a little teary this morning, and had spent most of the weekend in a state of denial, shock, anger, pain and disillusionment, I thought I’d be ok. I thought I’d be able to be strong.

Nope. Bit the dust the minute I walked through the door. All it took was a look from one of my work mates. He asked me how it went with the surgeon, and I burst into tears. I got so many cuddles and so much support at work today, it really humbled me. Made me so thankful for the people in my life. My boss is awesome. The people I work with are lovely.

I’m a very open person. There’s not much I can’t or won’t discuss with people. This issue I’m having with my health at the moment has drawn a bit of a line in the sand however, as it is just too sensitive an issue to be discussing publicly. I don’t want everyone to know exactly what my problem is. I allude to certain things here in my blog, and some of you who have had similar issues, have probably guessed. I’m happy to leave it at that. Let’s just say it’s a digestive issue. Also there doesn’t seem to be an effective cure for me right now, so it’s a matter of being patient, sticking to my diet, and keeping myself as fit as possible by doing gentle exercise. All of these things are helping to keep my pain and infection under control. Some of my mates at work however, know the problem, and have been very good in keeping it from becoming common knowledge throughout my workplace. I am so very thankful to them for that.

All my adult life I’ve been hearing the same few words, “you’re so strong”! I hear it from my family, my friends and my associates at work. I hear it every time something happens in my life, and I cope. I cope by laughing it off. By talking it through. By spending some alone time in the bath, contemplating all the other worse things that could have, or could be happening. (The bath being my one stop answer to any emotional or physical upset, my magic cure-all.)

I cope by having the knowledge that I have an exceptionally caring and loving family, who are kind to me, who offer me help and who are always there for me. I cope by having a mother who knows that making me laugh when I sob, is the best way to make me feel better. By having a sister who knows the way I feel and has endless amounts of knowledge and tenacity, almost any situation is made better with her on my side. I cope by having a best friend who is an absolute gold mine of loyalty, compassion and empathy. Not to mention her mum, who to me is like the second mother I never knew I could have, and also a very dear and close friend. I cope because I have faith.

Sometimes I don’t feel like being strong, but it’s a knee jerk reaction. I have to cope, because people are relying on me. I have to go to work, because that’s what I do. I have to keep the house in order, because the kids need me. I have to be strong for Fitty, because he wouldn’t know what to do if I gave up.

You call that strength? I call it LIFE….