When you are the parent of a toddler and a teen ager going through many challenges and trying to do everything you can to help while working 40 hours a week, time is something in short supply. The only thing that is more scarce is energy. There isn't the energy to do all that needs to be done nor is there the time to do it.
And forget about taking care of yourself. There is absolutely no time and no energy for that. Five minutes of a bubble bath, a walk, a book, a bit of writing, even meditation... there just isn't the time. If you give that five minutes to yourself, then someone else doesn't get that time. They need that time and energy more than do you.
So you suck it up and deal. You give your heart, your time, and all your energy to everyone around you. And for some, this might be fine, but for you, the one who lives and thinks and feels fully from your heart - for you who needs to write and process all that is happening; for you, this is a challenge. How to find the time for you without the guilt? How to find the time to read the books that will help to point you in a direction of peace? How to nurture yourself when you are so busy nurturing everyone else?
This is not me; this is not my story. Although I relate a little to all that my friend is facing, I don't pretend to have ever experienced all that she is. I am not sure how to help though it is what I want to do. I want to tell her about wonderful things that she can learn from other parents who have experienced similar if not the same challenges. I want to remind her that she is an amazing parent and is doing all she can for everyone; that she needs to stop for five minutes, just five minutes, and give some of that love and energy to herself. I want to gently take her hands off the wheel allowing someone else to take care of things for a while.
And yet I can only be there. I can do research, I can listen, I can find networks... but I can't take the responsibility off her shoulders. She is not ready to take her hands off the wheel; to give up control of the situation. He is not ready to take five minutes or to remember that sometimes quieting the voice and giving control to another brings about change; often solutions.
We hear what we want to hear and see what we want to see until the time is right - until we are ready to hear and see something different. There is that point when we realize that this is not working. We realize that we need help, we need people, and we need to let go and trust. No one can take us to that point; it is one we must reach on our own.
I don't understand the situation in which my friend finds herself. I am thousands of miles away, unable to sit with her and talk. In some ways, we have each experienced her challenges in varying degrees. Sometimes I need to remind myself to take time for me and sometimes I feel guilty about doing it. Sometimes I need to remind myself to say no and respect my desires and work rather than letting others have that time. I am learning though. Slowly but surely, I am learning.