I write a lot about the support I’ve received on my journey. It always shocks me how many people have stepped up to help me when I felt undeserving and worthless. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I’m a burden or attention seeking. That’s the depression talking. I strongly believe that everyone deserves support- ESPECIALLY when they feel they don’t deserve it. When I assess my situation from the outside, I want to scream and shout “YOU ARE DESERVING! ACCEPT THE HELP!”
Support comes in so many ways, and the need for support comes from so many origins. Maybe it’s just a matter of showing up to a friend’s performance, or sharing their small business post. Maybe it’s checking up on someone during an especially stressful time in their lives- just a call, a text, being tagged in a meme that will make them smile.
This weekend Jacen is a little under the weather. He was seen at the Children’s Hospital yesterday for some ongoing GI issues related to his Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS.)
Unfortunately the medicine he was given has made him very nauseous and bothers is stomach. Mike and I canceled date night because Jacen couldn’t be away from a bathroom long enough to get to a babysitter’s house.. Plus the mama bear in me needs to care for my sick baby. Mike ran out this morning for gatorade, and melted my heart when he surprise Jacen with a “get well soon” present. The pups have been extra snuggly, hoping to make him feel better. Even Anna has been dragging her toys and books over to Jacen to cheer him up.
What really hit me was Arielle’s reaction. Before we knew Jacen would be sick this weekend, we had plans to bring the kids to Auntie’s house so Mike and I could have date night. They were excited to play Mario Kart with their uncle, and snuggle with their labradoodle cousins. Sometimes they even get to sneak some orange soda and pizza. It was definitely disappointing when we realized we would all be staying in for a lazy day.
Mike and I started planning and scheduling in our head. How could we save this day? We were thinking one parent could stay home with Jacen while the other did something fun with Arielle- especially since she’s been begging to go ice skating.
When I brought up going to the ice rink, her eyes lit up! Then I had to break the news that Jacen would not be able to come, and it would just be her and I. She spent a moment on the fence, time with just the two of us is always so appreciated. Instead she looked over at Jacen and said, “my brother isn’t feeling great today. I’m staying home with him.”
That is support. That is genuine love.
Today, Arielle is supporting Jacen by sitting on the couch with him in their pajamas, watching TV and playing quiet games. She’s even helping Jacen get his medicine down and his fluids in by being his little cheerleader. They played “drinking games” with gatorade, and had so much fun. Jacen is going through a rough patch, but you wouldn’t know it. He’s smiling, playing, and laughing – even during the worst of it. He wouldn’t be acting that way without Arielle’s time and friendship.
What Jacen is going through this weekend isn’t cute. It isn’t fun to watch. (It’s honestly pretty gross.) He gets bullied at school sometimes for similar issues, and it’s easy to make a joke out of it or be nasty. Arielle has not flinched, has not said a mean word at all. She’s had plenty of ammunition to make a malicious joke, and instead has turned her energy into cheering up her brother. She has only been kind and helpful. He is so lucky to have her. We are so lucky to have each other.
I love talking physiology, as you’ve probably noticed. Being on the receiving end of support increases hormones of love, acceptance and confidence building. Being on the GIVING end, has an astounding number of its own hormones! It promotes happiness, and reward endorphins. It’s a win/ win situation!
Support does not to be grande, expensive, or a big deal. It doesn’t require fixing anything, or to do anything in particular. Support is just an action that makes someone else feel that they are not alone. It doesn’t even have to be time consuming. It’s just a moment, a smile. It’s a kind word, a small action, a hug. Everyone needs support sometimes, and everyone can give support all the time.
Be kind. Be understanding. Be helpful. Be supportive.
With Happy Hearts,
Kate and the Kids.