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Autism: Change is Hard

13 Jul

 

What a year. What an incredibly challenging, difficult, painful year. I suppose there is much to be thankful for, but it seems to be drowned out by all that has happened. Although, to be fair, not all that has happened has been negative. It is just… change is hard. Change is so hard.

Six months into 2016, and what has it meant to me? First I was so sick for the first two months, that I couldn’t even sit up. That from withdrawal from a medication that was supposed to take a week to wean off of. I had my last pill two weeks ago, and am still getting shocked. It is only that the past two weeks have been so harsh that I figured now was a good a time as any to suffer the effects.

My psychiatrist and I have come to the conclusion that while it might be a life saver for many, medication is most definitely not for me. Although I had come to this conclusion in the past, I really had hoped that this time it would help. If it helped and lowered my anxiety, maybe I could work. Maybe I could socialize. Maybe I could not fail so much. But no matter what was tried, it didn’t work. It made things worse. Worse anxiety. Worse depression. Strong thoughts of suicide, where in the past while I might not want to live at times, I was more waiting to die, than actually thinking of ways to accomplish that.

The medication also made me really sick. So sick that even if it did help (which it didn’t) it still wouldn’t be worth it.

Well, then came March. For eight years my son hadn’t so much as trimmed his hair. Suddenly he wanted it gone. Gone, gone. So we cut it all off, and he didn’t even look the same anymore. Okay, so it is only hair. And it didn’t really matter. It is just… change.

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Not only did he shave his head, when he used to have ringlets down his back, but he also lost weight. All of his life he was above the 95th percentile for height and weight. He hit the 20lbs mark by his four month ‘birthday.’ Yes, that is months! It wasn’t that he was overweight, just a bit big. He suddenly chose to put himself on a diet, and lost quite a bit. Probably it is a healthy thing, but he looks so different, and… change is hard.

Well, then my grandmother died. That was hard. That was painful. Suddenly, there were no plans for the future – just memories from the past. Suddenly it became too late to go back and visit her. I couldn’t even go back for the funeral, and that caused a lot of pain, too. Above that, there were those 16 years that I missed with her after choosing to move away. Regret. Pain. Change.

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My aunt died a couple of weeks later and I thought, where do the years go? I was thirteen when she married my uncle. Fifteen when she had my cousin. At that point, both of my uncles children from his first marriage were alive – but not now. Cystic Fibrosis took them at 21 and 26 years old. My poor, poor uncle. His wife was only 55. What a sad world.

Then in later April, and early May, I started to settle a bit. I was enjoying trying out new recipes for my gluten free vegan diet. I was worried about this cough my dog had, but we took him to the vets, and he was on medication. Maybe we would need to try different meds to find a solution, but surely he wasn’t going to die! He was only 7. Only 7.

I feel like I’ve paid for those couple of weeks of happiness in the past two. For my dog did die. And everything was broken. And nothing in this world felt right anymore. Even all our routines were… wrong. The world became dark to me, and no amount of sunlight could pierce the shadow.

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So because I had to. You do understand I had to, right? I got another dog. I thought she was a rescue, until just before they dropped her off. A rescue, in need of a home. But she belonged to them, and she loved them, and she doesn’t understand. I don’t understand, either. But we will grieve together, for though this beautiful girl is now mine, I still miss my boy. We will grieve together, and hopefully in time we will heal together. My Clara-bell, and I.

Clara June 23 002

And while I miss my boy, and she misses her family, neither of us had an option in that. In time, I think this will be a good thing. I love her already, and she will come around. But right now, it is change. And… change is hard.

 

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