Life Isn’t Easy…Not for any of us.
We all have times when we find things hard going, but how often do we put on a brave face and pretend that things are all hunky-dory?
Why do we feel that we can’t admit when we are not coping well or are finding things hard going?
It’s never easy to admit when we find things hard going, but sometimes we’ve just got to hold our hands up and admit when things are hard and that we feel like we are fighting a losing battle.
How Do I know This?
You may have read my post about Gregs, my son, who after a lifetime of being ‘different’ has recently been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, having a sensory disorder and apraxia, to go along with the myopathy he was diagnosed with a few years back
That all happened back in February and since then he has been having all sorts of regular therapy sessions and every couple of weeks, me and my husband get to talk to a psychiatrist that deals with Gregs to talk about how he is doing and what we can do to help him.
Basically he has a lot of relearning to do, as the way he learned to do things as a young child has stuck with him and he doesn’t know how to really think for himself. He was never like other young children when it came to wanting to do things for himself and it wasn’t because he was lazy – as so many people told us – it was because his brain works in a different way to ours and he didn’t and still doesn’t know how to.
Helping him to relearn things is hard and requires a lot of patience. He is seventeen years of age and whilst being different in many ways from other teenage boys, he still has the attitude of a seventeen year old man/child.
As my husband works long hours seven days a week in the summer, the bulk of helping Gregs falls at my feet and at times I find it so hard. I am a patient person, people often comment on just how patient a person I am, but even I find myself having to take so many deep breathes to stay calm at times, that I could probably have a good stab at the world record for free diving.
I am always thinking how we can make things easier for Gregs to learn. My brain seems to be constantly thinking, how, what or why. And it is hard.
Why I Am Reluctant To Admit That I am Finding Things Hard…
I think I am reluctant to admit that I am finding things hard, because I am a Mum and being a Mum means that I must find the strength to do what’s best for my children and that’s not always going to be easy.
I feel that if I admit to having times when I doubt my ability to help Gregs that I am being selfish. I often feel like it’s an uphill battle. A battle that I am fighting on my own; and those are hard words to say out loud.
I also feel that if I admit out loud to finding things hard going that I am letting people down.
All of which just adds more pressure, making things feel even harder than they are. It’s a vicious circle!
What We Are Up Against…
We have been told that there is no way of knowing yet how Gregs will develop. His hope is to be able to live an independent life; to have friends, to work and to live on his own and more than anything that is what we want for him too. But it’s going to take a lot of work and it’s certainly not going to happen over night, if at all. We have to be realistic.
Things that most of us just ‘get’, he doesn’t, I have to explain things time and time again and in different ways in the hope that he will understand why he has to do certain things…At times he even has to be reminded to do the basics like eating and drinking.
He has no sense of time. Often things he is supposed to do on his own, don’t get done and I can’t get cross, we just have to keep trying. Everyday is a new day and we start again. Remember the film Groundhog Day?…Life is very much like Groundhog Day in this family. Things are repeated and played out differently until the penny drops, even for just a moment.
Gregs does get cross at times – wouldn’t we all! – and I have to take a deep breath, walk out into the garden, hug a tree then try again later when he has calmed down.
How I Felt After Holding My Hands Up And Saying I Am Finding This Hard Going…
Pure relief and like a weight had been lifted. I walked out of the therapists office knowing that it was okay to walk in there and say this is hard and I’m honestly not sure if I can do this….There are days when I have seriously questioned and doubted myself. There are days when I am not sure if we will ever make it to where we want to be, but we have to keep trying. There are fleetingly brief moments when I feel I could just walk away and not look back.
I want more than anything for us to get there in the end. I want to stand there with my son and to be able to look back and say we got there and he’s living a life of his own! It wasn’t easy, but we did it!
I know that nothing can be done to make things easier for us. There is no magic potion or pill that will change things for Gregs, it’s just going to take time. It’s going to take a lot of speech therapy, cognitive therapy and occupational therapy to get him where he needs to be to live an independent life.
I know that by admitting that I am finding things hard at times doesn’t mean that I am failing him or letting him down….It just means that I am human!
I also know that whatever the outcome we are lucky that things are not worse. For however hard I may find things at times, there will always be people who are having it harder and that helps me to keep things in perspective.
When life is hard do you freely admit it? Or do you bottle it up and let it get you down?…Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below…
Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts