Last Sunday I woke up with a stomach virus, you know the drill, no visuals necessary. I also had a wrenched neck and back after volunteering on Saturday at Feed the Hungry and pretending like lifting boxes was something I do every day. The combination of my stomach, neck and back literally pushed me way way way over the edge emotionally. Get it, mind-body connection? In my case my body reacting poorly forced my mind to become unglued. If you play those mind games where they ask you to say one word to describe yourself, fortunately or unfortunately my word would be “responsible.” How lame is that? To get to 50 years old and that’s the word that comes to mind, my alternative is “capable” but that would mean I would have to think very highly of myself and my mind is not quite there this week. So when you are the responsible person and you are overwhelmed beyond belief, combined with physical discomfort, what’s the result: meltdown, that’s what happens. In my case, I would not say meltdown really, more of an implosion of sorts. I literally could not get out of my own way. You know if you cry a lot while taking lexapro you’ve reached somewhat of a milestone.The doctor doubled my lexapro prescription. Better living through chemistry!
The only way I can explain how I felt was imagine you are at the bottom of Mount Everest. You know you have to get to the top or at least to the first summit so you won’t be too embarrassed. In your mind you are thinking, I’ve been climbing all of my life, I got this, I’m good. You are standing there with your fancy gear and ropes and then it starts to snow a little, no worries, I can handle snow. You climb a little more and then it starts getting super windy. Again you think, come on, I know about wind, I will just hold on a bit tighter. This is all well and good until you stop for a water break only to realize you forgot your water bottle, a completely amateur act, bullshit for novices. And then, then, what do you do? You fall back to the ground knowing in reality you cannot climb without water. I was without water all week. Loser!
I am trying to learn this week. I am trying to learn that it’s ok to have people help you when you need it. My group at work allowed me the time to unplug and regroup and I am grateful. I have also learned that when you need a break you have to take it before your life breaks you. I have this need, this drive to be productive, to get shit done, so when I don’t I feel worthless. I have learned that my boys have compassion and empathy. Bryan was very snuggly all week and he kept saying, “Mommy, you’re sick.” He kept coming over to me wherever I was and just hung out with me. Bryan has his way of letting me know that he cares. Jason gave me plenty of hugs but on Wednesday morning, when I truly felt my worst and was crying and puking at 6am and looking like hell, said to me “you look beautiful.” I see an Oscar in this kids future. Earl allowed me to freak, didn’t try to talk me out of it, didn’t try to minimize my feelings, I am not sure if he learned too or he was afraid to poke the bear. Either way he treated me with kindness and respect for the person I am and that too helped the healing process. Kindness and warmth should never be minimized.
In reading back this post as I am writing I am thinking, wow this is not about autism. Does that mean I am falsely representing my blog? Well I will offer up some autism stuff. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and let loose all of the problems and issues that had me in knots. He asked me how things were going with my son, meaning Bryan. I was able to say, without hesitation, that right now Bryan is great. He is communicating better, he is more aware, he is more engaged. He is loving school this year and is genuinely happy to go each day. When I see him making progress, I know I can make progress too.