It takes a village: I can’t do this alone

I have a lot of complex issues and the conditions of my life aren’t exactly conducive to accomplishing self-care activities.

Here’s the laundry list:

  • Single parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum
  • Dependent on ex to pay the bills and basic necessities
  • Subsisting on less than $100/mo and $350/mo SNAP benefits, aka food stamps
  • A support person for adult daughter and her family with three children under four – depending on availability
  • In treatment and recovery from PTSD & Bipolar Disorder
  • Fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, diabetes

As you might imagine, I feel overwhelmed and isolated much of the time.

The isolation exacerbates the intensity of the overwhelm from all the challenges.

In the past, I lived by the mantra, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

I became the go to problem solver and rescuer of those around me.

A lifetime of living that way is what led me to where I am…a 258 lb woman under 50 with diabetes, high cholesterol, unable to maintain employment, dependent on government assistance and the ex.

I have very good whys for changing my health style by exercising and improving nutrition.

However, those whys aren’t motivating when the overwhelm kicks in and takes over my brain. They just add to it and make it worse.

This is where I need community. I need a village of support people. I need a network and a safety net for the times when I’m going to backslide, cheat, or start to give up.

I need to feel the hope and inspiration from the success stories of others who’ve gone before me. I need the camaraderie of those in the trenches, marching beside me. I need the cheers of those who believe in me. I need others not yet where I am who I can offer my experience, hope, and strength to.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with these needs. I’m almost positive that we all need these kinds of connections…which is more than challenging in the culture and society we live in today.

Everyone has their own laundry lists, their own challenges, and maybe even their own sense of being isolated.

What, then, is a person to do, especially when making the kind of changes I am making and can’t afford to join the weight loss programs and organizations?

I started online with my social networks on Facebook & Instagram.

I also did a little research and discovered Spark People. In the two days I’ve been engaged on the site, I’ve discovered tools (food/exercise tracker), information regarding making the healthy changes and sticking with them, as well as all the things I listed above. All for free.

I’ve found my tribe in a virtual village.

What does your tribe look like?

11 comments

  1. First of all, I apologize for being late. I’ve been saving a bunch of email notifications that I’m now finding the bandwidth to look at.

    As far as tribes are concerned, I imagine that’s why you created this blog in the first place. Before ubiquitous internet access, it was hard to reach out to people at a distance unless you already knew them (telephone, telegraph, US Postal Service) and even harder to create a substantial, persistent community.

    Now community can be virtual, which is really important if you don’t have the sort of people you need locally. My religious community is virtual since my views on Christianity and Judaism are atypical and not a lot of people share them. Also, since taking up fiction writing, I’ve fallen in with a group of writer/bloggers from all over the world and am able to share my efforts while partaking in theirs.

    I realize this doesn’t speak to your particular experiences, but in the end, as you say, we all need others to help with those areas in our life we have troubles with or can’t resolve on our own. The interesting thing about tribes is that they change over time just as we do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you feel welcomed here and a safe place to talk, find information, and hope! Many blessings to you 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lillian. It’s so true to have a tribe to support you. I have found some tribes for all the things that I need to do. I’ve had some very beautiful people that have made a way for me to be where I am today. It certainly takes a village.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m thrilled that you have found your tribe. I think you have every right to be overwhelmed with your lot in life. It’s daunting, but you sound like a survivor and a strong woman so l’m cheering you on. Remember to take some time out for just you, no matter how little of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Lilian!
    I’m so happy you found a support network! It’s so important to have people around us that will share good and bad times and hold our hand when we need to.

    🙂

    Dani x

    Liked by 1 person

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