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I am an Octopus

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

I Am an Octopus!

My journey is not unlike multitudes people who live with tremendous responsibilities who search to find a way to cope and find balance in their daily life. As a 64-year-old woman, I am a mother, a daughter, manage a home, serve as a caregiver for my mother and my husband, as well as a myriad of other duties. By sharing my story, it is my desire to provide inspiration and motivation to anyone that is sliding down into the “rabbit hole” of life.

In recent months I often stated that I felt like an octopus with each leg pulled in a different direction. Work responsibilities, family health concerns, family relationship issues, financial uncertainty, extensive community involvement, and permanently moving to a new state brought about a level of stress that became almost intolerable. Insomnia kicked in and it became increasingly difficult to physically make it through each day. As the pressure mounted, I reached a point of desperation one evening and decided to head for the ocean where I could find comfort in the deep water. I could depart from the chaos of life and the heavy burdens that I carried. With my toes touching the water’s edge, a ding from my watch jolted me back into reality. A text message saved my life.

Mature women often suffer in silence when the world around us becomes too much to bear. We walk around with a smile on our face as if we have no care in the world. Because we have reached a certain age, we are supposed to have the answers to all of life’s problems and the strength to withstand the vast challenges thrown our way. All the while these forces pull us further and further from the center of who we are. The octopus becomes stretched to the limit in every direction and unless we cut off the legs we will eventually be pulled apart.

Understanding this reality took serious self-examination and the commitment to seek help. It was evident that I did not have the tools needed to climb out of the hole I was in, and I took a tremendous step forward to find a counselor that could work into my schedule. I opted to pursue an online counseling service and it was the right decision for me. Being able to pour out my heart to someone that was completely objective and not judgmental allowed me to genuinely share my feelings and know that I would get honest feedback. Openly talking about my issues allowed for self-discovery and along with the journaling exercises helped me to gain control of the issues that seemed so insurmountable. Slowly and deliberately, I addressed each of the “legs” and found that as I focused on one area the others seemed to begin to fall into place. In a short four months, I successfully found inner peace and recentered my focus as I continue to deal with the challenges of life. The octopus is back in shape.

I cannot stress enough the importance of self-care and seeking professional help when feelings of despair or stress become too much to manage. There are a multitude of resources both in person and online available that can work with your finances, schedule, and level of need. Remember that you never have to be

alone in your journey no matter how difficult it may be.

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