My Most Important Lesson: Be Kind to Yourself

Everyday I struggle.

I am used to accomplishing things, crossing things off my list, working everyday, juggling the 3 boys and their activities, homework, dinner and all the things. I am still learning to accept our new normal- my new normal. The days are very long and there is lots of time with William. The journey itself has been long.

After a year and a half of testing, therapies, day treatment and hospitalization my sweet 11 year old now has an ASD diagnosis from Fraser, along with Anxiety and ADHD in September of this year. He is doing better…less aggressive and destructive but still unpredictable, impulsive, and continues to need a lot of help regulating himself and so I monitor him almost constantly.

This leaves me with lots of time to think and question— are we doing enough? The right thing? Is placing him in residential treatment for three or more months the best thing to do? Who will rub his back when he’s sick? Or be there for him when he wakes in the night with a nightmare?

We need to make progress. So, on the other hand, how do we not do it? Will he live the life we have dreamed for him when he grows up? These are heart wrenching thoughts for my husband and I to juggle in our hearts on a daily basis.

Emotional exhaustion is a real thing. My motivation to do things comes in unpredictable spurts. If William is regulated and engaged, more often than not I find myself on the couch. In general, I’m keeping up with things. But some with great effort, like dinner. I do love to cook and usually enjoy finding delicious and healthy meals for my family. Not so anymore.

I am so grateful, as you can image, for the friends that have sent meals to make or gift cards to local places to order food. It is hard for me not to do all things I felt confident in doing and handling before.

Everyday I remind myself to be kind. Kind to myself. I’ve been in therapy a few times with great success. The greatest thing I have learned is to be more gentle, patient and kind to myself.

So when I find myself, like today, on my couch drinking my daily afternoon coffee and deciding if I should read for a bit or just stare at the Christmas tree I will take a breath, let it go and be kind.

Written by, Margaret Axe

Margaret is the proud mama to William, an eleven year old boy with autism, ADHD and anxiety. Margaret shares the journey of her sweet, tow headed, sensitive boy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hopeiswhatmatters/. She hopes her page educates, inspires, reduces stigmas and provides hope for all those who love someone with a mental illness.


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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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