Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Good Day?

Here is a trick question for you:

As an autism parent, which is scariest, seeing your child have (a) one of the worst behavior days, or seeing your child have (b) one of the best behavior days?

Some of you, I know your answers. Some of you I've never even met, but I understand you from the beautiful way you communicate.

There are those who I know would say that the worst days are scariest. You are right, of course. The worst days make you wonder what will happen if things don't get better, and what if the worst gets worse. That is scary on a practical level.

There are also those who I am pretty sure would say that the best days are scariest. Right? Aren't there a few of you out there like me? Aren't there a few others who have many hard days in a row stacked up like Tiny Too Little trying to climb up high enough to kiss a giraffe, and then that one good day comes, that one day when you reacquaint yourself with that long lost vagrant called Ease, and it scares you nearly into losing your balance and toppling to the ground for fear -- for the certainty -- that it just will not last?

I sucked the marrow of goodness that came to me today, wallowed in a visit with old Mr. Ease, and tried not to let the fear interfere. But I would be a liar trying to curry favor among the wiser among you if I didn't own up to the fear that did make its way in around the edges, in some of the quiet spaces while my family enjoyed itself today. I admit to you, humbly baring my raw painful truths, that watching my Rooster navigate better than usual at a family gathering, I:

  • felt proud;
  • worried about regression;
  • spiralled through the fears of what role his medication plays, and what might happen now that his blood work (Argh!) indicates we may have to change (Aaahhhgggh) medication (eeeek);
  • berated myself for my own panic;
  • waved my arms in the air to chase away evil deities.

Yes, yes, I DO hear myself. Remember, I said it was a trick question -- one in which there are no right or wrong answers. The truth is, I worry all the time. I see what is wrong with the worry, but still I do it. I can't blame autism... I have worried since the dawn of time. I am working on it. As part of my own self-conducted (and free!) therapy, I read all of you. At least I have learned enough in the process to know the worry isn't really doing me any good, and to celebrate the good days the best I can. At least I have learned enough to know I needed to write this post.

As weird as it sounds, I needed to confess: I (we) had a good day. And it scares me.


Niksmom said...

Ah, love, I think we all worry about the same (or very similar) things. It's just the degree to which we embrace or reveal those feelings.

Good days? Bad Days? Sometimes they can happen all in one day. I think the key is letting it be OK and giving yourself permissio to take a little break to re-group. To review...and maybe try something new when you feel like you're stuck in the rut of "bad day."

Sending hugs. xoxo

Maddy said...

Well I'm delighted to hear that you did have a lovely day and I think it's o.k. to startle oneself in that manner!

Anonymous said...

You know, I get that. For me, when he has good days, I wonder why he can't be that way all the time. When he has bad days I'm thankful he's not like that most days.

I suppose we can't have one without the other; like everything else in autism, it seems to often be an experiment in extremes.

I'm on my way back. Catching up with y'all is my starting point. :-)