Monday came and went, without a whole lot of fan-fare or hub-bub; and in its passing, I turned 40. I know that “age is just a number”, and “you’re only as old as you feel”… but I feel 20 years older than I should, and I don’t like it.
While I have only been swept away into to category 5 hurricane that is Autism for the last 6 & 1/2 years, it feels like an eternity; like I have been worrying and going through 16 extra steps to all the basic things we take for granted, for at least the last 30.
I. Am. Tired.
Not of my child, I love him to pieces, just tired of how hard this is (see previous posts for a taste of my chaos).
I’m tired of never having time for myself.
My brother took me out to a live comedy show on Sunday; it was the first time I had done something fun and on my own in at least 8 years. I mean, I’ve been away from my kids for a night, and most of a day, but I always spent that time super scrubbing the house (like toothbrush scrubbing in between tiles). This was the first time I was without children, just having fun. I can barely make time to schedule doctor appointments for myself (most of which have to be repeatedly rescheduled due to, well, “children”), let alone, go out and be allowed to have some semblance of “normal” (whatever that is).
My house is best described as a “3 ring circus”, and going anywhere with my kids ranges anywhere from an F-1 tornado to a complete planet killing catastrophe. I am constantly at red alert, and stressed to the gills (not specifically an “Autism” phenomenon, but it certainly doesn’t help).
After 6 & 1/2 years if studying nutrition and the body (in an effort to understand how to help my son), I know this stress is aging and killing me faster than I’d like. However, I have yet to find a way to mitigate it. I lay awake most nights, attempting to sleep, but instead thinking about all the things I “could”, or “should”, be doing to help my son. I dream about all my perceived failures as a parent. I wake up exhausted, and most days hit snooze for an hour, until I find the will to yank my sorry ass out if bed.
Depression? Ya think?
My children’s dependence on me is the only thing that keeps me going 9 times out of 10; and 1 day every couple of weeks I decide, “I can do this”. While, deep down inside, I know, it’s gonna send me to an early grave… I just keep trying.
I don’t have time to even cry about it; these kids need me. In fact, apathy seems to be my “modus operandi”, for the last 5 years.
So while I give every last iota of time, strength, and energy I have to my children… My wine is the only thing keeping me from a nervous breakdown and completely loosing my shit… And it’ll have to do.