- Posted March 31, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Communicating through autism
Six years ago, after a shocking autism diagnosis of my little boy Alex, I collected all my might and fought the fight of my life. It was long and brutal, but rewarding on many levels. I learned to be patient with him, pick the battles for him, learn to cheer and celebrate even the smallest steps forward. My entire body and mind were concentrated on one and only one thing - the fight, fight to the end!
Years gone by, and the grip of autism started letting go - Alex made amazing leaps forward, started going to school, became a cool buddy of mine...
However, instead of celebrating the victory, I, suddenly, stumbled, fell flat on my face, and... was unable to get up.
Have you heard of depression? Yeah, I've got that. Suddenly, being a mom, going to work, having friends over, and just breathing air in and out became an unbearable burden.
"Depression, shmepression," I've heard from many. I tried to follow friends' advice to ignore "bad mood", but it was not helping. I felt weak, deficient, and very disappointed with the world.
The day when I woke up, looked at my kids, and felt absolute apathy, I knew that I had to call not my friends, but a psychologist.
It took a while to untwist my all-tangled-up brain cells - by then, I was so wrapped up in a bubble of working, whether it was at work or at home, that I could not grasp a concept of being able to do something for myself, but, as it turned out, I resented it greatly. What about me? Is me over? Done? Am I a bad mother if I want to think about me a little? Oh, there was a lot of work to be done...
Here are a few things I learned:
Don't ignore your feelings of being trapped. These feelings won't go away, they just will keep growing and, eventually, show their ugly face. Never be ashamed of your feelings, and never be ashamed to ask for help!
Imprint in your mind - your life and happiness are as valuable as everyone else's. When we have a child, we think that we can never love anyone else as much. We have another child, and we, somehow, love him or her just as much! Our heart has the ability to grow big. There is no need to sacrifice space. So go ahead, take a selfie.
Never feel guilty to take a little time for yourself. Our children don't need us 24 hours a day. Take a break - a happy mom equals a happy household.
Find your ME again to bring balance to your life. Is there something you've always wanted to do? I'm sure there is! So, start a new career or pick up a hobby, whatever rocks your boat - whether it is painting, or pottery, or sewing, or gardening, or cooking, or playing an instrument, or playing tennis or any other sport... The possibilities are literally endless!
True, it takes a while to learn to live by these rules. But we have learned much harder things in our lives, haven't we?
I had to remind these rules to myself every day for almost two year. But I made it! For my hobby, I chose horseback riding - spending time at the stables, learning to becoming the boss, getting myself out of the comfort zone, forgetting everyone but me for an hour a week. Works wonders, I say!