I haven’t been feeling like me this week, and I’ve been unable to shake off the funk to be my usual positive self. They are over whelming you see, these waves of not okay-ness, or whatever you want to call them. No-one is immune to the dark clouds, no matter how mentally healthy they are.
This post was almost going to be about the things I do to stay level when I’m feeling low. Then it dawned on me, that the internet doesn’t need another super upbeat blog telling everyone they should eat well and take regular exercise to make them feel better. Not that I don’t think we should do these things, I’m a huge advocate, but because it’s good to hear that everyone has times when they don’t feel themselves and aren’t okay.
The thing is, as much as it’s perfectly acceptable to be not okay, the brutal truth of the matter is, that it’s also not very feasible in my house.
We’re an autism family you see
When you have autism to factor in to every single equation, it takes a lot of energy to keep life balanced. A slight tip of the scales could lead to sensory overload, and an inevitable meltdown, then a whole lot more energy needs to be invested to deal with the fallout.
We’ve been hit hard lately by illness after illness. The spots had barely disappeared from a double whamy of hand, food and mouth before a stomach virus presented itself. The general consensus seems to be that autism and a poor immune system go hand in hand (not that this is much of a consolation).
This time last week we were doing so well – it felt like we were finally winning after a whole lot of not winning. This week has been truly awful though, and has knocked me for six. Then last night the sickness came (more stolen sleep and sullen children). If only we didn’t have bugs to contend with quite so frequently. I know it could be much worse, but it’s still a lot to deal with day to day.
Back to the not okay-ness
There is much said about it being okay to not be okay, but what happens when you have kids depending on your stability for theirs? We all know that they’re allowed to not be okay, but us parents, not so much. I have many coping mechanisms in place to deal with my own sh*t, but I know in my heart of hearts that this not okay-ness I’m carrying isn’t about me. It’s about them.
It’s about my fears that we’re not doing a good enough job of equipping our darling first born with the tools she needs to survive in this world. Fears that the little ones are going to have their childhood stolen by their sister’s autism. Largely unfounded worries (but worries none the less) that they are also autistic. Rather than reaping the rewards of having laid back parents who made all their mistakes first time around, and let them get away with murder, they are being stifled. Everything is so tightly controlled, otherwise all hell breaks loose.
It’s never ending, it really is.
And in the nicest possible way, you could never truly understand it unless you’ve lived it.
So this one is for all the autism mama’s and papa’s out there. Who aren’t allowed to not be okay, because not being okay would turn their little one’s lives upside down.
Sending love, strength and a truck load of coffee your way!