Friday, 24 February 2017

Life is like a Rollercoaster with Scary Clowns Lurking in the background

Several weeks ago we had a very, very interesting week. And when I say interesting I mean challenging, overwhelming, frustrating, exhausting and heartwarming. And it’s taken me until now to work up the courage to write this.

Daddy superhero was away for work and the little superheroes really struggled to understand where and why he went.

They both know that sometimes Daddy has to go on an aeroplane for work but they haven’t quite grasped the concept that it doesn’t mean that he’s gone on holidays. O has started calling his work trips "workadays." O knows that Daddy is doing work but she also thinks that Daddy is doing some sight seeing.

In L’s mind, the last time that we all went to the airport, we went on a fun holiday. So L was adamant that Daddy had gone on a holiday too, without us. It was quite logical to a 4 year old and you can imagine the response that the thought of Daddy going on a holiday without us brought on.

L also decided that for that week sleep was optional, every night.

By Friday morning I was completely overwhelmed by the little superheroes, by the lack of sleep and by the subsequent stress that the week brought on me. This feeling of being completely overwhelmed brought on a panic attack, the first one that I have had in a very, very long time and I ended up at my GP where one of nurses made me have a sleep. Thank you Sue xx

The week ended well, I caught up on sleep, L and O caught up with their friends at a birthday party and a lovely friend came over to help with the little superheroes. I can’t say thank you to Alisha enough.

But that week got me thinking that our Autism journey really can be likened to a ride on a rollercoaster at a funfair.

Life in general can be likened to a rollercoaster. Life can be beautiful, crazy, emotional, exciting, frustrating, difficult and amazing all at the same time.

There are many moments of immense joy, excitement, thrills and laughter. There are the photo moments that I want to etch into my brain so that they’ll last forever. Then there is the fear and anxiety and self-doubt that I am doing enough for my little superheroes, could I be doing more, should I be doing more?

We have days where I am the mum who is waving proudly from the sidelines as my little superheroes tackle life on their own. These are the days when I am cheering them on as they learn new skills, watching them make huge gains and wanting to give them constant high fives to celebrate their successes!

We have days where I feel as though all I am doing is driving a bumper car, forever knocking obstructions out of the way so that there is a clear path going forward for my little superheroes.

Then there are the days, weeks even, where I feel that I am hurtling downwards on a white knuckle, out of control, jaw dropping roller coaster and I feel as though I have no control what so ever over the ride that we’re on. It feels as though we have no way of getting off and I end up wondering whether and how we are going to survive.

And then there are the scary clowns. Seriously, L has a phobia of clowns, even pictures of clowns. Clowns cause L to run, very fast, in the opposite direction from them. Those days I don't know how we survive. Days like these I just put one foot in front of the other and keep pushing forward.

We all go through these ups and downs. Sometimes there are more ups then downs, other times the ratios are reversed. Throughout this ride called life we have two choices - we can scream and try to hide or we can try to enjoy the ride.

I chose the latter. I have no choice but to ride this rollercoaster so I muster the strength that I need to navigate through the Autism minefield and simply get on with life. If I didn't try to enjoy the ride, I would end up in a very dark place. All of the time. Not a pleasant thought.

Why do I chose to enjoy the ride? Because I love my children. They are my world and I will never give up, no matter how insecure and alone I may feel at times.

Autism doesn’t go away, and believe me I have been asked this question many times! Autism does get easier to manage.

You can never predict what is going to happen in the future, it's the great mystery of life. So the next time that you feel as though life is throwing you a curve ball and is getting you down, just remember that life changes. Nothing stays the same forever.

And in the meantime, hold on tight and keep going.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to a lot of this, my partner works away a lot and it confuses our son. I also know too well about those ups and downs!