Replace fear with faith. Easier said than done. I feel like there is a constant fear vs faith war going on in my head. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning I just feel all beat up and emotionally drained from the battle that goes on in my head.
For the record, I always used to pride myself in being an optimistic person. I pretty much always felt like things will work out, and that whatever happens I can still be happy. I felt like I was flexible, resilient and willing to take on tough challenges. I was what I could call...an emotionally very stable person.
Then life got hard. Then it got harder. And then it got even harder. When Colton was first diagnosed with Autism a couple months ago I would ask, "will I ever be happy again?" I wasn't sure.
So, am I happy now? YES. Yes, I am.
So, does the Autism still hurt? YES. Yes, it hurts bad. Every day. Every day I'm faced with this reality like a freight truck coming right at me.
About 1 out of every 5 days, my fear gets the best of me. And here is what it says:
1. You aren't doing enough, if you were doing more...he would improve more
2. You aren't doing the right things, you should be saying it THIS way to him, or getting him to make eye contact by doing THIS.
3. Your therapies aren't going to work
4. Colton is never going to be able to make friends
5. Kids are going to pick on Colton at school
6. Colton won't be able to have any meaningful relationships outside of me and Mike
7. I'm going to run out of energy and strength and not be able to give Colton all he needs.
8. Maybe he won't ever go to college, or get married, or live on his own.
9. How am I supposed to have more kids? What if they, too, have Autism? What if Colton hates me having a baby?
THEN, my faith kicks in...and I actually HEAR these words in my head. Repeating over and over.
1. Colton is going to be fine. You are going to be fine. Your family is going to be fine.
2. Colton is going to talk again (which already is happening)
3. Your therapies are going to make a huge difference
4. Colton has SO so many great things going for him...see his sense of humor, his smile, his talking, his eyes, he's taking in everything, he's a smart boy.
5. Colton has had friends before, he will be able to make friends again one day.
6. Colton's possibilities are limitless. Keep pushing, keeping pushing.
7. Yes, it will take 100 times more effort, but the effort will get him there. And you will be SO proud of every accomplishment along the way.
8. We can have a happy family.
Yesterday...fear won...today it's a tie...tomorrow...I'm sure I'll be back to faith for another 5 days. And on and on I will go up up up down and then back up again.
But, I WILL get back up. and I WILL have faith. I have to.
(PS don't feel like you have to comment...I'm really not fishing for compliments...more just informing people of the emotions I'm sorting through. I recognize these emotions are not unique to me and that others battle many challenges too. I admire so many people for the things they've gone through and am more aware now, more than ever, of the strength I see in those around me.)
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Here are a few favorites:
While running down our hallway, "Geeeeoooooorrrggge! Hey!"
While pulling a wagon,"Here goes nuttin'!"
While holding a train track like a camera, "say cheese!...HEY!"
When walking into a messy doctor's office, "What happened in here? What a mess."
While at the zoo, "I see monkey. George monkey. A doctor monkey!"
While watching me get ready, "What are you doing in there?"
While playing outside, "Don't be too curious! Be careful!"
PS don't you love Colton's sandal tan?
(Note: for those of you wondering "wait, Colton is talking...does he still have Autism?" Here is my answer: Yes he is talking more, and yes he has Autism. His speech has gradually been coming back, but it's noticeable now that he is simply memorizing things and not speaking conversationally (autism problem, it's called echolalia). He still DEFINITELY has Autism, and is verbal...but will need to learn how to communicate better still. Speech is only a part of communication and although he can put together words in a sentence, he lacks the other aspects of communication like directing language at someone, involving others, uniquely coming up with sentences, eye contact etc. It isn't so noticeable when they are 2, but as they get closer to 3 then 4 years old etc. the gap becomes pretty noticeable. It's noticeable now if you watch him in nursery or with other kids his age. But BOY are we CRAZY grateful his language has come back. EVERY word he speaks I love and appreciate! :)