We Have More Gas in Our Tanks Than We Think We Do

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by Joe MacDonald |

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Many times when my sons were younger, I found myself overwhelmed by the constant demands of their bleeding disorder and felt that I had nothing else to give. The needle on my gas gauge was below empty. I felt as if I’d used every ounce of energy and couldn’t continue one more step. Exhaustion crept into my soul, and I felt depleted of the food I needed for both physical and emotional strength. I wanted to raise a white flag and yell, “I surrender!”

When I faced my feelings of inadequacy, doubt gave way to absolute defeat. I remember the negative thoughts that filled my head. The expression that rang in my ears the loudest told me that I didn’t have what it took to be a good father. My reasoning went something like this: “Good fathers forget their needs to care for their children. I’m a failure because I cannot dismiss how I feel about addressing my sons’ medical issues. Feeling overwhelmed is no excuse to freeze up when my children need me. A real man picks himself up by his bootstraps and solves the problem with no excuses.”

My thoughts continued to spiral down a dark path, and I felt helpless to try to make things better.

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In my brokenness, a still, small voice deep within seems to step up, take charge, and speak the truth to the negative thoughts in my brain. I remember the affirmation that I have what it takes when I most need it. I remind myself I am my boys’ caretaker, and I am enough. I feel comforted by remembering that every emotion is an expression of a situation. Being overwhelmed is a natural response to addressing life-threatening medical issues.

In my darkest moments, I must block out the negative attacks on my spirit and embrace the reality that my best is more than good enough. My soul may suffer many wounds, but that does not mean I cannot recover. I feel blessed with a resilient spirit that overpowers all the obstacles I face and sets me on a positive path forward.

At times, the journey may be rough, but my inner strength propels me to do the next right thing. Amid the beauty of deep soul-searching, I discover that I have more to give to my sons.

I realize that, as a caregiver, I have a unique privilege to walk with my two amazing sons on an odyssey that offers many twists and turns. Along the way, we discover one another’s hopes and dreams as we continue to grow together. Yes, I do experience moments when I feel like I have nothing left, but I discover a lot of comfort and joy. Finally, I pick myself up and remember that my two amazing young men give me all the strength I need to face life head-on.

Hemophilia may rear its ugly head, and we sometimes feel overwhelmed and out of sorts. Yet in the trying times we face as caregivers, one reality must ring true. Our love for those we hold dear feeds us the fuel that we need to overcome any obstacles. Compassion empowers our steps forward to fight any battle we face. We are amazing!

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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