Here we are, not only a new year but a new decade!
January is not a good time for me, I love September to the New Year. It is full of my favourite things, I love the weather, the colour changes of the trees, Halloween, Christmas, my Birthday, my daughter’s Birthday, it’s wonderful.
I hate the pressure to make changes in the new year. For me every year is the same, this will be the year that I lose the (baby… yes they are 11 and 8!!) weight, this will be the year that I am going to take better care of myself.
I also feel that trepidation.
“Will things be easier this year? Will my son find life easier this year?”
“Conversely, what is going to happen this year and what struggles are we going to endure?”
At the beginning of 2019 I felt that I was hanging on by a very fine thread, teetering on falling apart. I was struggling to balance the stress of work with the increasingly difficult situation that I was finding myself in with my son and his reluctance to go to school and his behaviour and frequent meltdowns when he got there.
By the second week of January I had fallen apart, quite spectacularly, sobbing during the morning school run, sobbing as I drove to work, barely holding myself together during my working day and becoming paranoid that my colleagues were irritated by me and the constant talk of autism to the point that any family on our caseload that had a child with autism I was insisting on visiting so that I could prove that I was okay.
It took my best friend to tell me that I was not okay and I needed to make an appointment with the doctor immediately.
And so I didn’t return to work until late September, I can truly say that from a mental illness standpoint this was the worst that I had ever been and that includes two episodes of postnatal depression!
“It took nearly nine months to get my medication ‘right’ to get me back into therapy and to start feeling like ‘me’ again.”
As always I am eternally grateful for my ever patient husband, mother and best friend who got me through this time.
“Being on the other side of it is amazing but there is always that niggling fear that I will fall down the rabbit hole again and the next time it will be even harder to get out. Because lets face it, life doesn’t get any easier.”
My beautiful boy isn’t suddenly “better” in fact we have hurtled from one drama to another and now we are dealing with secondary school where he is being bullied and teased for being different and we are now seriously considering alternative provision.
And so as we enter this new decade I ask the question what will it bring. I think I can guarantee that there will be hard times and big decisions ahead of us.
Will I be strong enough to make them? Will I have enough conviction to know that I am doing the right thing for my children? Will I be able to hold on to my sanity?
It is crazy to think by the end of this decade my babies will be adults, my son will be 21 and my daughter will have just turned 18.
Their journey into adulthood will be beginning and as any parent I hope it will be an easy transition full of happiness, excitement and opportunity.
But baby steps, so back to January 2020, take it day by day, week by week and month by month.
I cannot (and wouldn’t want to) change my son and I cannot control everything.
So maybe this will be the year that I take control Of the things I can change.
Maybe, just maybe I will start to take better care of myself. After all where would my little family be without me?
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Sharon blogs about the ins and outs of living with anxiety and depression; plus, the tales of motherhood to her 11-year-old autistic son and her 7-year-old daughter.