I feel like I need to preface every post with an "I'm sorry". But then I realized, those of you that are reading/following along likely already know my daily situation and forgive me my shortcomings. For that, I love you.
I figured, I've never really written an about me on here. I mean, most of you know me. I'm Amanda. I'm 23 years old and I'm mommy to Everleigh, who is almost 2.5 and has Down syndrome.
But that's not who I totally am.
I'm a student. I'm a single mom. I'm a girl.
I struggle. With anxiety, depression, panic attacks. With never feeling good enough. With bad habits.
I have very few close friends in real life. I have often become closer to women I have met online.
I still sometimes grieve for the "normal" child I thought I would have.
I have a short temper, and very little patience. I don't understand the cruelty and ignorance our society still has in 2013.
I often can't see the forest for the trees. I have a hard time looking at the bigger picture and often get caught up and stumble over the little things.
I make bad choices. I got caught up in a relationship with a married man. And while it, to this day, is my biggest mistake...I got Everleigh out of the deal. SOMETIMES, when I'm having a bad day, I feel like her having Down syndrome is punishment for the choice I made. Then I look at her, with her big-girl attitude and funny smile and contagious laugh and I wonder "how could ANYONE think she is a punishment?!"
There are a lot more bad things I could write about myself. But you know what else I am? I'm thankful.
I'm thankful for my mom and stepdad, who tell me how proud they are of how far I've come.
I'm thankful for the friends I DO have. Amanda and Winter are the best aunties Everleigh could have. Family doesn't have to be blood related to make a difference.
I'm thankful for the strength my mom instilled in me from her years as a single mom herself (and she did it with three of us!), the wisdom she still imparts on me even when it's hard to hear.
I'm thankful for the special needs community that has welcomed Everleigh and I with open arms, and always has an ear available to listen.
I'm thankful for Sari, who lives in VA Beach. I'm thankful for her son, Sam, who also has Down syndrome and is on the autism spectrum. I'm thankful for her daugher, Sydney. I'm thankful for this family, who has their own massive daily struggles, and for the friendship they have shown me.
I'm thankful for the roof over my head, and the part-time job I have that (mostly) pays the bills.
I'm thankful for Canada, for Ontario, for our health system (even with it's faults). I'm thankful that I don't EVER have to make the choice between getting medical treatment and putting food on the table or paying the bills.
I'm thankful that I'm getting a second chance to make something of myself. I'm thankful for my mom and stepdad who have supported me going back to school every step of the way.
There are always two sides to every story. Never judge someone else until you take a walk in their shoes. People sometimes tell me how proud they are of me for holding it all together. But just remember, people hide behind their outside mask sometimes. I don't often hold it all together. We all have bad days.
Strength is falling down 7 times, and getting up 8.