There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated with situations that fall completely out of your grasp. Recently I found out my baby boy is autistic. We had to meet a bunch of specialists and fill out these questions about him. I’ve been in the preschool teaching game for over a decade and seven of those years with kids three and under. I know the signs as a teacher. You notice things a child does differently than the others. And I did notice with him. But boys do things at a different speed then girls. So I wasn’t worried. Not really. Well, maybe a little. A lot of the signs of children on the spectrum can also be seen as typical behaviors. Like categorizing toys by size and color. Repeating certain words and not being clear with them. I knew what bothered my son and what didn’t. It would be fine going forward right? Then I started reading pamphlets and websites and began to worry more. It’s like when you have a small ache that hasn’t gone away for a while and you go on Dr. Google and see what it could be. Suddenly after ten minutes of research, you find out you’re dying of some rare disease that only .5% of people ever got in the history of Earth. These sites began talking about the signs and then I am reading about if he needs adult care and how to live with your autistic child forever. I imagined him at fifty and us barely moving thanks to our barely functioning bodies. How could I care for my grown son when my own shit was a struggle to live with? What happens when I’m sick and he needs me? I am already crawling half the day from my endo.
I am in full panic mode after reading this stuff. We don’t know yet what level (if that’s how they measure) he is. I don’t know if he will do well in school all day. I sit with him now, his pale cheeks spotted with bits of dried muffin and he is happy. He is watching videos about dinosaurs and he is naming them all along with colors and shapes, numbers and animals. He loves other kids and he hugs us and yells out “family hugs!” He jumps with excitement when he sees his older sister and they play legos together. I see him as just GG, my middle baby and happy boy. What if some asshole kid with his yellow-toothed punk friends picks on him? What if he hates himself because he is “different”? What if some shitty teacher targets him and flunks him all the time because he learns differently than other kids? My husband and I sometimes dread these scenarios that, of course, have never happened yet. But my mind is on its own, creating this world that may never occur. And I’ve been a parent for a while now and a teacher for a long time. I know this is just how our minds work. All I want to do is protect my kids from anyone who will ever do them harm. I can only wait which sucks 100%. Until then I can watch him enjoy his little life, his love of snuggles and dinosaurs and hope everything will work out.
Lately I feel swallowed up by life. It keeps overwhelming me and there isn’t anything I can really do for it. Well I CAN but sometimes I just need to be grumpy. Don’t we all? I can be mopey and reserve my pity party of one. And sometimes I do. People who once supported me in my endeavors have faded away. And while I find myself sad by it, I have to realize I myself am the only who who can persevere through it. How? I honestly have no clue. The hands I held for security are gone. So I must hold my own. When you are stuck in a rut you may find yourself looking around for someone else to toss in that life jacket. I am slowly learning I have to learn how to swim. If you are lucky enough to find your saving grace you grab hold.
There are soooo many ways people tell you to hold your own. Don’t feel sad. Don’t be so upset. Cheer up. But while you flounder during your path to find yourself there are things you can do to cheer yourself up. For one, I read. Escaping in someone else’s world even for a while can help you push some of that negative crap away.
Take a drive. I find a neighborhood with those great old Victorian homes and I gawk. The architecture, the history…it is all.amazing to me. But don’t gawk too much. You don’t need to explain to the cops you’re just staring at people’s home. Akward.
Binge watch something. Sometimes you need to shut your mind off. Recommendation? My new Netflix fav “Nailed It!”
Arts and crafts. So what if you hot glue your fingers together? Go find your inner Martha and make something amazing. Or something awful. Just make something. Go to the dollar store and let go.
Bubble bath. Bath bombs are amazing. They are fizzy. They smell great. What’s not to love?
Cook. I recently baked banana bread. Grab a subscription (I love Blue Apron) and cook something. It occupies your time and you create a gourmet meal that’s insta worthy
Don’t count on other people to make you happy. It’s not cynicism. Ok maybe a bit. But YOU count too. It is OK to be a little self absorbed once in while especially when you find yourself stretched thin with work, the kids, and all those other responsibilities. Distract yourself in a good way. There is nothing wrong making yourself happy.
It has been a while since I wrote poetry. People who don’t suffer from #chronicpain or #endometriosis or anything mental or physical don’t really understand how it feels. I can only express it through words.
I am suffering from writer’s burnout. I have been writing so much in the last few days my eyes hurt from this strain from the glow of the computer. My fingers ache from typing. I have been feeling stressed out and trying to calm the ulcer that’s slowly coming back. But oddly… I also feel invigorated. I suppose it’s because I am writing with a different purpose than just for myself or with the hopes of being next best selling author (aren’t we all!) Part of what I produced was good but sadly a lot of it was not. I was feeling overwhelmed and I let it affect my writing. So what am I going to do to fix it? What do any of us do to fix our writing when it seems to have gone downhill?
I could buy a bottle of wine and contemplate I’m terrible I am. Perhaps three quarters of the way down I will start to think how great I am! The first thing I guess I should do is attempt to NOT freak out over every deadline. It wouldn’t be the end of the world even though in the back of my head there’s that little voice screaming hurry up and get it done. I need to take myself away from it and take a deep breath. Besides the everyday struggle I have with my disease, I also have three rambunctious kids to chase after. One being a five month old baby and the other and overly active two and a half year old who realizes my time is better suited with him and not his new baby sister-or anything else. The oldest one will just be happy watching other kids play video games which I still don’t understand.
I usually throw in a family movie and we all sit and hang out. For the first 10 minutes into the movie I look around me and enjoy just how lucky I am to have all these people who love me. Then after that overwhelming sense of love, everyone seems to leap off the couch and find other things to do. And I’m still left with the ghosts of their smiles from the previous few minutes. Once everyone is settled in for the night I will probably get back onto the computer and dive into essays how to make my own writing better. We can always improve. No one is really truly the best at anything and that’s okay. It’s also okay to send up a flare when you feel yourself drowning. Life happens. Loved ones get hurt or sick and you feel as if you should carry on. Mostly because you always have. You don’t. Not at full speed anyway. Family comes first, YOU come first. Lucky for me I have found the kindness in others to make me feel like I am not letting them down. They’re lifting me up.
So burn out.
Let em fizzle, Olive
But come back full strength when you can. And if people make you feel guilty for taking a little you time, maybe it’s time for you to let them fizzle and burn out.
Ask my husband-I am overly stressed. I mean I am driving him absolutely nuts to where he is scolding me to stop stressing out and it’s stressing me that he stressed. I am trying to do my work and the simplest thing is churning my guts. Usually he can calm me down but lately he can’t.
I get shaken easily. Maybe it is because the last professional writing experience left me doubting myself. The positive aspect I was told was “you are a good writer” so I suppose that is something. I wasn’t taught in a field I openly admitted to having zero experience. And I was told it was absolutely fine I will be guided through any mistakes I make. We all make mistakes, that’s how we learn. And as a self proclaimed nerd I love to learn. It won’t be perfect and I know that. But I want everything to go smoothly because who likes that acid bubbling in your stomach feeling? Yes…you know THAT feeling.
So I am taking my husbands advice and trying to distress. After my post the other day about story cubes I found these beauties:
(Flower and rocks not included). I bought them a looooong time ago but flipping through them I recalled my college days and those great creative writing classes I took. I bought these hoping, like the cubes, I would get some inspiration. Those post it tags say that I did.
- Urban legend
- A poll about people contacting the devil
- Writing from the POV of a murderer
Bit of theme there. But just flipping through those thick pages I remembered it isn’t about end of the journey. It is how you get there. No one wants to hear “…and I got to the top.” We want to listen to the adventures along the way. So we can write a story about a magician pulling a rabbit from his hat. But how did he become a magician? What kind of rabbit? Where did they first get together? Those rabbits are snarky little things. There is no way she came because she was told. Must have been something in it for her besides hanging around in a sweaty top hat.
I going to thumb through my blocky books trying to recapture that other feeling I get while writing: thrill. Maybe that will override the nervouseness I get while attempting to get it right. Although I mostly write fiction. If I don’t I guess I can just make it up!
First and most importantly…to those who passed on September 11, 2001 and to the families they left behind, Our family hold you in our hearts and thoughts always
Last night was the first time in over a week I spent quality time with my husband. All the kids were in bed. Episodes of “Suits” needed to be watched before this coming Wednesday. Snuggling had to commence before a tiny human from either end of our cozy home awoke. Everything was more than perfect besides that teeny tiny throb that began in the back of my head. It could potentially go away OR become my worst nightmare. By the time we were ready for bed my answer was given.
By morning I couldn’t see. My stomach was flopping and every peek of dull, rainy morning light stabbed my eyes. My eldest was off to school and I would be home with my 2 little ones. I wasn’t the full time and ever present mom with them. I felt more guilty than sick. I begged my husband to stay home but we both knew he couldn’t, and my suffering only made him feel awful, which made me feel guiltier than before. My bestie, who suffers from fibro and other awesome stuff like me, was having a TT-Terrible Tuesday as well. We messaged each other throughout the day about our misery. She shut the lights off at work, mine were off at home with only the glow of kid shows for my son to see his toys from the other room. But sick me didn’t care. I remembered having migraines when I was a single girl and thought nothing could be worse. I laugh at her now. She had NO clue.
The day is almost over now. We are in late afternoon. My eyes are still throbbing. My nausea went away. I ate the mashed potatoes I dreamed all day of consuming. My kids are mellow and content. Soon, my husband will be home and I will feel immediately better. But there’s a reason for this complaint. I have to stop feeling guilty for self care. My kids were fine. They were fed and played and happy. Whether we have these chronic diseases or just a bad day, it’s ok to take time for you. Can’t promise you or myself that tomorrow will be better. But I need to pretend for now it will be.
Crappy day? Here is what I do to make it a little less 💩
- A Bath. Bath salts, bubbles, petals of whatever…a warm bath melts away everything
- Yoga. Sometimes I can barely walk and sometimes I can just about touch my toes. But whether it be 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or a full hour, just a little yoga or stretching helps me feel better and more at ease. Besides, don’t you need an excuse to like all those great candles you know you bought at Target?
- Write or draw. I SUCK at drawing. But I love it. I love painting on small canvases too. For a few bucks you can go to Michaels and get some cheap acrylic paints and a small package of a variety of paint brushes and paint your heart away. I will also sit down at the computer (when the damn thing works)or with my journal armed with copious amounts pens with colored ink. I will draw and doodle until either there is some content or just a bunch of squiggles and flowers.
- Talk or text to a friend. There are plenty of times we get stressed out and we don’t really want to talk to anybody, but I do have to say talking to someone does make me feel better whether we talk about the subject I am stressed about or just about anything light-hearted to keep my mind from freaking out
- Binge-watching. Nothing says productivity when you’re upset, stressed out or feeling low like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. My guilty pleasures are The Bold type, Legally Blond, Definitely Maybe, America’s Sweethearts , and currently all the Marvel series on Netflix.
- Junk food. Diets be damned! Grab your favorite paint of Ben & Jerry’s, sit on the couch, and shovel it in your face. No regrets!
- Read something. Whether it be a book, magazine, blog, or something on Facebook anything that will help reduce a stressful moment is what you want! Of course I must add some of my favorites here which are barely touching the iceberg… Harry Potter, the Divergent series, the Delirium series, some good old-fashioned Edgar Allan Poe, Alice Hoffman anything, and The Hunger Games. I have an entire library of hundreds so if you’re anything like me you spend most of the time just staring at the titles wondering what to read next. And don’t get too excited when I mean entire library I mean guest bathroom sized room full of books.
By the way speaking of books😉
Willamena is a great book, written by moi. But you knew that if you took a gander at this blog. She can also be found at the cute emoji links. #treatyoself