When is it ok to say it? When does the stigma reside or the condemnation for admission disappear? “How are you?”,… “I’m fine”,…. total bologna so thick as it comes out of your mouth you could chew on it.
It’s not fine. It’s not ok. I’m not ok! When is it ok to say it? When do you not jeopardize your career by admitting it? When do you not feel the guilt of failure that you just can’t measure up and that frankly no.. it’s NOT OK!
Crazy to type it. Scary to say it. But you know what? To hell with it. I’m not alone. There are plenty of others dealing with their own newfound lives who are crying out right along with me that no… it’s NOT OK!
Life, is now different.
This is now a test of grit. Can you work full time in the house.. teach full time in the house and somehow manage not to end up making your kids hate you or allow yourself to loathe in your own inability to be a super-parent while you are still in your pajamas and haven’t brushed your teeth yet?
Choice. There is always a choice.
I duked it out. I fought my fight. I left myself internally bruised by psychologically beating myself up day, after day, after day. Fail. Fail. Fail.
Life, was quite literally turned upside down on me. Yet some people,.. just went on. Nothing changed. It was just another day.
Eric’s medication started about a week and a half ago now. I’m not sure if I’m seeing a change, but I think a little. I try not to get overly hopeful on a “new thing” to try to help Eric, as it has normally led me down a path of heartbreak in the past. This “new thing” however was unlike any other…. It had broken my heart before it even started.
While I know there is science behind it,.. I just have always hoped there was another way. My grandmother once said “Whatever disease there is out there… God already has the cure somewhere right here on Earth and He made it himself.”
Why was I so foolish? Was it my own pride in trying to help him the way I thought was best?
When I gave Eric his first pill, I cried, hard.
I had tried so many ways. Every diet. Every vitamin. Every recreational activity. The best therapists. The best schools. But I couldn’t help him. He was spiraling.. his humming off the charts. Incessant and wildly anxious.. the straw had broken. I couldn’t take it. Even worse, his slender body, wrought with tension and unease pacing while he buzzed for hours on end.. it was devastating to see him endure.
Then, there’s my ownership in it. There’s more to his story of change, of which I’ll carry the cross for for the rest of my life. His change, my change, my family’s change, was monumental.
Change and Autism usually do not play nicely in the sandbox together. Erics whole life however, he’s done very well. Moving from PA to TX for example, piece of cake. New school and new teachers,.. no problem. I underestimated this one though. Big time.
No more school. No more church. No more mall. No more movies. No more horseback. No more therapy. No more friends. And then, no more bedroom. No more dad. No more little big brother around 24/7.
Divorce is not something you usually go around starting conversations off with. But it was inevitable, people would know. I kept it to myself as long as I could but sometimes.. you just trust the wrong people and poof… everyone knows. I had just hoped it would be on my time. When I was ready. When the sadness and disappointment was stinging a little less… when I was at least ok in one area of my life.
But choice, there is always a choice.
What do you do when life’s taking a royal crap on you and you’re stuck on the ground?
What do you do when you’re defeated and feel all alone?
What do you do when the person you spend 24 hours a day with won’t just say one word… Just one..?
You cry, deeply. You pour yourself out in tears as your belly buckles from the strain. The silver lining fades away into the hole you have swallowed yourself into. And you wonder.. when will it be ok? Can I do this?
And then,… you knock it the hell off.
Self pity is very unattractive let alone very unproductive. My why is bigger than any bullsh*t life wants to throw my way, so have at it. I’ve been down before and gotten up again. Failure, is just an eight letter word.
I choose to win.
I choose to get back up. I choose to remember this struggle, this fight, this season of life isn’t about me or for me. It’s for him. It’s for his brother. It’s for others like them and others like me. It’s for my only purpose in life and it’s bigger than me.
I do my best and my best is damn good enough.
I await the day. I call someone and I ask… “So how are you?”… and I get a refreshing… “NOT OK!!”. It’s ok to be NOT ok right now. It’s ok to let the hurt, hurt. It’s ok to forgive yourself for your shortcomings and it’s okay to accept your best is enough.
We are healthy. We are safe. We live in a great country and we have a God above that will work it out. This all too,.. shall pass. Just another season of life.
For my Eric, his season is much tougher than mine. Many others, for reasons of their own…. dealing with seasons much tougher than mine as well… everyone, has something.
To bear it all, this is a season of Grace. Giving grace to yourself and to others. Remembering to accept those things you cannot change and finding courage to change the things you can. One day at a time. It may not be ok right now, but someday it will be.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me