Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It won't be easy, but it will be worth it

I recently met another autism mom. Her child had recently been diagnosed. I could see the sadness in her eyes. I could hear the fear in her voice. I could feel the hurt in her heart. I understood. I recognized it all. I remembered so well, all of those emotions. I tried to comfort her. I tried to give her words of encouragement. I knew that no matter what I said, only her own journey would lead her to the comfort she needed. Truthfully, my words could only help sooth the pain she felt. The only remedy to cure her heart would be experience. As a person, on my own journey, I could only offer hope for the road she has yet to travel, because I have already been there. Lucky for us both, many parents have gone before us, paving the road, searching for answers, fighting the battles to help all others who would follow.

After meeting this mom, I began to reflect upon my own experience.  I remember being scared, and confused, and feeling hopeless at times. I remember looking for many answers I could not find. I remember feeling a loss for what I wanted for my child. I knew that life would be tough for him and it hurt. I knew that my job as a parent would be vastly different than I had imagined.  I remember watching my husband question “why?” in anguish as he went through so many emotions. He fought with denial, and pain, and anger. I fought with trying to fix it all and heal the pain we were feeling.

I wish I could go back 8 years and tell myself so many things. First, I would tell myself to breath and take it all in. Enjoy your little boy for everything he is right now because he will only be little once. I would tell myself that life will be hard so many days, but there will be some great days along the way, so take it all in stride. Soak up all the knowledge you can from other parents who have already gone through it. Their information will help more that any text book or doctor ever could.  Most importantly, I would tell me to stop being so hard on myself because I was doing the best I could.  Don’t listen to the criticism. Only listen to the voice in your heart telling you to keep going. In the end, it would all be okay. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.