I Am Not Superwoman

Nope. I am not.  I have no superpowers.  No super speed or strength and I sure I can’t fly.  Therefore, I am not superhuman. I am not Superwoman but yet, it seems like I am determined to be her.

I need to remember that I am only human and I am not capable of doing it all.  Maybe, once I did, but not anymore. I can’t spend a long day at work, come home and cook dinner, and then clean.  I can’t spend a Saturday shopping, cleaning, doing laundry and everything else in between.  Once upon a time, I could but I no longer can.

Why do I keep trying to convince myself I can? Why do I keep doing it? Why do I think I can.

BECAUSE I DID. I USED TO.

And that sticks with me. I used to be able to carry 3 or 4 heavy cloth shopping bags and not even think about how heavy they were. Now, I am lucky I can carry one. But I used to carry 3 or 4! So, if I could do it before, why can’t I do it anymore?

THAT WAS BEFORE CHRONIC ILLNESS AND PAIN DOMINATED MY LIFE.

I put on this front and I continue to pull through, because I have to, not because I want to.  I didn’t talk about cancer when I was scared that I had it. I put on a brave face and didn’t let anyone see how much I was falling apart inside.  Even preparing for my surgery and through my recovery, I didn’t ask for help because I wouldn’t have in the past. I also didn’t ask because there are things I have learned I have to do alone.  I also didn’t want to talk about cancer. I didn’t want to discuss cancer.  I didn’t want to think about cancer. The words “pre-cancer cells” were all I could take.

A minor surgery and some benign test results later, I am still trying to convince myself I have got it all covered. I have got it all. Because I always do – whether I want to and because I have to. And there is a chance this might come back and I got to put on my fake Superwoman strength and try to be normal even when normal and I are worlds apart. And if you look from the outside, all you see is normal.  You wouldn’t believe that I am chronically ill.  BUT YOU’D BE WRONG.

Why do I show those around me that I am more capable than I really am or that I once was? And how do I do it without falling apart?  I am learning that I have to prioritize what is important to me and let the cards fall as they may. I have to pick and choose what I need to do and who I should I put first.  I have angered a lot of people in the process and I have stopped asking for help from these people.  Because sometimes NO, I CAN’T just isn’t enough for these people.

I know that it doesn’t matter what I planned, sometimes I have to cancel plans.  But when I follow through, sometimes the happy me doesn’t look like the me that is in pain and not feeling so well.  I say I am fine, smile and keep going because I like to believe that I am still that Superwoman I once was.

There is another side to me – the side you don’t see – the one behind closed doors. It is probably the side most people are not interested in.  The me that sometimes struggles to get out of my car due to joint stiffness and pain because I have sat too long.  The me who hurts too much to go for a long walk.  The me who is too drained to do something as simple as vacuum.   Superwoman? Yes, that is me!

When my world is falling apart, I try to convince myself that tomorrow will be better. I will be okay and I put on my happy face.  Because you don’t get to see the side of me that is a mess lying on the sofa, not able to move, the anger and tears because of the level of pain I am in, and frustration because I can’t get my super powers to work.  You don’t get to see that side. And maybe it is all for the best.

I will keep going and maybe my superhuman powers will make their way back home to me once again.  But for today, I got this and even if I don’t, I will pretend I do. I might not be Superwoman anymore but I GOT THIS!

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3 comments

  1. Hopefully your superwoman moments aren’t after getting a steroid injection or something… I had a friend with severe back pain who would aggravate the injury every time she got a cortisone shot. Running around, standing on chairs and drilling holes in ceilings.

    But isn’t that such a story of life and adulthood in general? – learning how to say no to fun-sounding things, keeping focus on the more important goals. Reminds me of an old quote along the lines of “Discipline is about ignoring what you want now, to focus on what you want most.” or something like that.

  2. Wow! It is like you took the words right out of my mouth. It is so hard to realize you can’t do everything. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you Lana, I have this attitude too. I want to be superwoman, if not her, at least close to it. I am very envious of friends who pack a lot into there weekends. Me, I have to pace myself. If I can do a bit, I do. If not, then I have to accept that I need the rest. Going back to work on Monday and hearing all the great stories of what my friends did, just brings me down a bit. When they ask what I did, I just say, not too much. Just relaxed. : )

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