At least once every few days I hear these words and I seldom know how to respond. I get asked how I cope with my husband travelling for about 6-7 months of the year. I get asked how I cope with running a home, property and family so well. I get asked how I cope raising three great kids - two teenagers and a tween. I get asked how I cope with children who have been so ill, with high demand children who need me so much.
I began thinking about this today as I went to the Naturopath for myself, the Dr with Elizabeth, the Pharmacy for Sarah and Elizabeth and back to the Naturopath for Matthew. Everyone around me, keeps asking me this question. I always answer with "Well what else can I do?"
On reflection I think that my coping skills kicked in at a very young age. I am the oldest child and being a 'big' sister to a younger brother who was very ill as a baby, meant that I had to cope. I found myself being really good and trying not to be too much trouble, so that I did not need any attention.
I also liked being praised for 'coping', for being 'such a big help.' It honed those skills really well.
I come from a loving family, but like all families we have had our tragedies and problems. My own problems never seemed important or 'believeable' enough, so I learnt to bury them and switch off from feeling and dealing with them. This to my detriment, I discovered in the last couple of years is not a good way of 'coping.' They all came back to bite me and boy it was a nasty bite.
This time I coped because I had a wonderful support network who loved me and believed in me. From my wonderful husband, to my best friend, my children and my parents. I also chose this time not to hide my problems, not to bury them, but to be open and honest. I also had the skills and knowledge from years of reading and exploring to ask for help and advice and search for the answers that I needed.
I cope because I am strong. I cope because I chose to go to bed each night knowing that I have done the very best that I could do that day. I cope because I know that I am the only person who can do what I do. I cope because I was put on this earth to share with others the lessons that I have learnt. So the next time I am asked "How do you cope?" My answer will be "I cope because I can and because I am meant to."
How do you cope? Ask yourself the question and give yourself praise for the wonderful successes you have everyday. Focus on your strengths, the weaknesses will take care of themselves.