I would love to say that today has been filled with wonder and awe, but it hasn’t. I would love to say that everything is ok in my world and fill this blog post with quips and catchy clichés that make everyone have a “warm fuzzy”. If that’s what you are looking for then I give you permission, heck I encourage you, to stop reading and come back tomorrow when maybe I’m in a better place.
Today, although I was able to get a good workout in and was pleased with the numbers I saw on the scale as my initial weigh-in for my 21-Day Fix Challenge, I am feeling weary to the core and need to refocus myself on what my true purpose is. I wasn’t sure how quickly “it” would make an appearance on this blog. I prayed that I could possibly have a corner of my world where “it” didn’t visit, linger and take over, but alas…..”It” is autism, and “it” SUCKS!!! I was foolish to think that I could have a part of my life that wasn’t affected by autism and its slimy self.
I’m not going to be full of wonderful statements about how my son “Isn’t less, he’s just different” or “Embrace the amazing” or any fun-filled, inspirational sayings. Tonight as I’m still hyped up on the start of “fixing” myself I’m crushed at being reminded once again that I can’t and never will be able to fix my son.
Tonight as I went to go rescue him again (he runs away almost daily) I just thought about how did I get here? When I first begin to really address my food addiction and take on the beast of obesity I had to ask myself that question “How did I get here?” I was forced to see things, isolate patterns and before the weight started to budge I had to make changes.
Even though Joseph was diagnosed eight years ago tonight it seems all new, all confusing, all unfamiliar. How did we get here? In this place with an angry, sensory overloaded pre-teen that hurls verbal grenades at everyone almost constantly it’s hard to stay motivated. I feel helpless to love, guide, share and support. I can’t see anything clearly. My lenses are scratched by fear, sadness, pain, bitterness, envy and anxiety.
So….where do I find strength on days like today? I have many sources that I can tap into when I’m feeling emotionally dry and bankrupt. Today I’ve been finding strength in prayer. A particular prayer. Perhaps many of you have read or heard of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr. Many of you are only familiar with the first few lines but the prayer in its entirety is as follows:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
So I’m really spending time on the phrase “the things I CANNOT change”. I cannot change Joseph. I can’t cure him of autism, sensory issues, tics, anxiety and other issues. Being his mother doesn’t give me power, ability, permission or license to change the outcome of his life. How can I find serenity in the fact that Joseph is….well him? Tonight, I can’t answer that. Looking at the boy and feeling complete peace about his past, present and future isn’t possible for me…..YET. I admit to all of cyberspace that I’m still selfishly holding onto dreams, ideals, goals, agendas and plans I have for Joseph and our family. Simply put, I’m a control freak. That’s an odd thing to say for a woman who let her weight spiral out of control. That’s the point. I never lost control. I was completely in control of how much I ate, what I ate, when I ate. I made myself fat to try to hide from people (ironic, huh???).
Being Joseph’s mother is difficult for many reasons. One of the hardest is this control issue. He simply isn’t compliant on any level. I try to help him navigate social situations. I try to help him with portion control, proper manners, personal space issues, toileting….you name it and almost always he’s resistant, obstinate and has MUCH difficulty mastering the task (if at all). Since I’m into admitting tonight I’ll say that I’ve spent a large portion of my parenting life being embarrassed by Joseph, afraid of people’s words and opinions, defending him, protecting his siblings and trying to make sense of it all. If I don’t enjoy being a parent why do I have five kids??? These are the kinds of questions I ask myself on days like today. However, I cannot change……that I have a child with autism, five kids (two sets of twins), that I allowed myself to become morbidly obese, and more.
I don’t want this post to be completely negative. I really am trying to view my life in a more positive way these days. So I want you to hear that I am grateful for the ability to isolate, list and release the things I CANNOT change. I’m praying for wisdom and grace to see more of those things and to let them go so I can live in peace. Serenity in losing control…well the truth is I was never in control to being with, but now I can admit that and find the serenity in the process of revelation, realization, release.
Another time I’ll tackle “the courage to change the things I can”……..
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