Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Anonymous - I feel I will be lost in this sadness forever. What gives you strength? Do you still cry in bed about his future?

Dear Anonymous...I Hope You See This 

I got a post from Anonymous, and it said; " I have looked over your site alot in the past, but just watched my first videos. My son is 6 with ASD and you are inspiring me to stay focused. I could see alot of my son in Nicky. It makes me both sad and happy. I have cried almost every day for five years. 

People say I am a an amazing mother and advocate for my child. I do everything I am supposed to. I feel that no one will ever truly understand and it isolates me. 

Then Anonymous asked "What gives you strength? Do you still cry in bed about his future? I feel I will be lost in this sadness forever...and of course I do not want to be...for myself or for my children."

Dear Anonymous, 

The simple fact that you wrote this and people are taking the time to tell you  that you're amazing mother is no mistake, it's a definite sign that you are strong, because we all know that being a great mom, any mom, much less a mom with a special needs kiddo takes strength!  You are filled with strength - which is why you are able to put one foot in front of the other, everyday, even when you feel discouraged. And perhaps no one around you at this time understands, but I promise you that as time goes on, you will have more people in your life who understand.

As a single mom who is now a shocking 13 years into this journey, I have been there. I remember the days when all I did was cry. For me it wasn't when my son was diagnosed. I spend the first 6 years existing in a auto pilot state dialed to "Warrior" mode. It wasn't until he was 8 and I suddenly became a single mom, emotionally and physically exhausted that I grieved my marriage and my " loss expectations" for my son. This was the time for me when it was all to much, I could't imagine any future, all I felt was loss and all  I did was cry. I cried when I woke up, I cried when I drove the kids to school, I cried when people said "hello",I had to stop listening to music because I couldn't hear anything sad. I just cried all the time. This period lasted at least a year, but it did end. I can't say it get's easier, but I can say we get better at it, which makes it not as hard.  

What gives me strength? 
Who knows for sure, but my first guess is, above all I love being Evyn and Nicks mom and I know I have to be okay. I know I have to be strong to take care of them, it's not a choice for me, I'm the only one. I just kept pushing forward often only by the tiniest baby steps. 
I can't afford to waste my time on things that don't contribute to our better good. So, when I start to feel bad, and it's just sadness spinning in my brain taking me lower and lower, I set a timer to let myself have the feeling, and to remind me to stop. You might laugh at me but this is what I do....I envision my brain as a TV and I have the remote in my hand and I say to myself  "Would I want to watch this channel?", and if the answer is "No" I change it!

Do you still cry in bed about his future? 
Not as much because the gift of time has been that I'm not as scared anymore because I accept that Nick has autism and I know what that means to us. Acceptance vs the early live of "unknowns" stopped a lot of the tears. Still sometimes, when I'm exhausted, or feel like I haven't done enough or been enough, or hardest of all when I start thinking about all the bad things that happen to someone so vulnerable and my inability to protect him forever I cry.  Then I circle right back to where I get my strength, the little voice say's "Snap out of it. Take a step, do what can you do? and I'm off doing that thing - and there is no time for tears.  

You will not be in this sadness forever, you're already too strong. You already know you can convert all of your energy into love, not sadness and action not weakness and in doing you'll move away from the isolation and the darkness.  

This picture is you!