“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Sometimes I look at my life, my world, and I wonder how in the ever loving fawk I ended up where I am.
I love my family. I love them so much that it literally hurts at times because of the stress that I am under.
I had an ache deep in my chest most of yesterday. I spent most of the day crying, dealing with school and mental health for one of my children. I felt defeated all day. My child has a huge heart. My child means the world to me (all my children do). My child has broken my heart more times than I care to recount and has challenges that may never be solved.
Any parent of a high needs child can tell you that, as caregivers, it is often a thankless, stressful position to be in. You KNOW that they love you and you love them unconditionally, but their needs take precedence over so much of your life that other areas falter and fail. Burn out is common, exhaustion, stress born illnesses are common as well.
Changes are need – it’s hard. Oh gawd, I know it is hard. You HAVE to take time for YOU. No matter how infinitesimal, no matter what it is – you need to take that time and embrace it. No more guilt. Guilt is often a frequent emotion for parents.
I began knitting (again) as a form of ‘me’ time. I may not always get out of the house, but I can sit, watch Doctor Who, and knit and I feel at peace. It is my meditation, my time. It’s not a huge change, but change doesn’t always have to be! Baby steps.
Working towards a healthier me is also a step I have taken – eating healthier, going to bed earlier, getting more exercise. What seemed impossible just a few short months ago is so, so possible now! I’ve started to (FINALLY!) lose weigh after years of struggling, though I’ve had health challenges lately, in general that is improving too!
Make sure you have a support team – even if that is a team of one! You NEED someone. You can’t be the rock your child needs if you are crumbling to dust…Even mountains need a foundation to build on. I’m so fortunate that I have an amazing family network and friend network. There is ALWAYS someone I can talk to.
Let it out. Holding in that pain and hurt from your day will only make you feel worse and takes a toll on your health. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and I took the long way to learn it. I hold very little back anymore. It’s a change that I have learned with time.
Love yourself. This is one change that I am still struggling with. It is needed, and is probably one of the most difficult ones.
Let others help. Sometimes letting go is the most amazing thing you can do for your child. Allowing someone else to guide them is sometimes the most important thing that can happen. It sucks ass. As a parent, you want to be the ONE. That isn’t always possible.
I’m tired. I think that is all I have in me for today. If my advice helps even one parent of a special/high needs child than I am grateful and happy for it.
Peace all and remember to love yourself.
David Bowie – Changes