Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Things I Know About Myself

I have spent the last few years apparently forgetting anything and everything positive about myself.  In the last few weeks I have tried to begin rediscovering my strengths, and I am learning that it is ok to own my strengths. Not to hold them over anyone, but to know that I have them, and that they are an important part of who I am. I feel a little bit like the guy on SNL saying "and gosh darn it, people like me." Silly or not, here are a few of the things I choose to acknowledge about myself and be proud of - in case I need a reminder some day... like next week:

- I can be persistent and highly motivated
- It is important to me to be kind
- I have a strong sense of empathy
- I can be quick-witted when I stop worrying what people think so much.
- I am a peace-maker
- I am trustworthy

That's what I have for now. I hope to find a bigger list for myself soon. Babysteps. :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Derby Confidence

I know, I know, I know... I'm all about the derbs lately.  But there is a reason!! You guys (girls) really!! You need to watch, join, volunteer, get in and around Roller Derby because there is absolutely nothing like it.  Every day I read more and more stories about women who found Roller Derby, and through it they found confidence, an outlet, their voice, peace, not to mention a group of women who accept each other just as they are.  We joke that Roller Derby is cheaper than therapy, but I'm fairly sure most of us aren't actually joking.  Because it isn't cheap. But also, it really is as good or better than therapy.

I think it's pretty funny that I have felt such a transformation before I have even passed my minimum skills test.  And that's the thing, it's not about achieving greatness. It is all about finding the strength within yourself to take risks, endure pain, get back up, and keep working.  Its about women encouraging women. Its even about men encouraging women.  Our league is surrounded by husbands, friends etc who are men. And you know how I know they are strong men?  Because they truly dig seeing women succeeding and being strong, athletic, bad-ass beasts.

I think that many times we feel emotional pain, and because it is different that physical pain, we begin to question our ability to tolerate it.  It seems most often that these difficult times come at a time in our life when we have had a little too much space from the physical feats of our youth.  We begin to forget the strength inside of ourselves. We begin to feel overwhelmed as the obstacles we face pile up, and without confidence in our inner toughness, we start to believe that the best we can do is to ride it out.

And then something spectacular happens.  We get a glimpse of a sport that sparks something deep within ourselves. Maybe we don't even know why. And for whatever reason we decide to take the leap. Maybe desperation for something in our life to call our own. Maybe boredom, angst. Maybe just that every other diet/exercise plan has failed us because it is based on work, not fueled with enjoyment. For me it was time to find something to call my own. A risk to take because I missed the thrill of doing things that scare the bejeezus out of me.

The first day you put your skates on is hard. Your lower back and thighs burn like never before. You want to give up, but when you look around, expecting to see a bunch of people who assume you are going to fail, instead there are a group of smiling women cheering you on. Telling you that they remember when they were in the exact same place.  Telling you that you can do it!  And no matter how hard that first practice is, you find that when you start unlacing your skates- as quickly as you can so that you can find feeling in your feet again- your heart feels light. You feel exhilaration through the exhaustion.

The next few practices you learn that you can fall and still get up.  This feeling seeps into the rest of your life.  You know that when you meet an obstacle, you can over come it, and that even if it knocks you down, you are strong enough to get back up.

Ahh the derbs.  I have already learned so much about myself.  I can't wait to see how it continues to change my life from the inside out.  And maybe some day I'll even pass my skills test and be able to really compete.  But for now, I'm happy busting my butt, competing with my own self, and learning how strong I can be!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Just Breathe

I had hoped to write a witty and light-hearted blog full of humor and self-depricating wit, but for right now this will just have to do...

As I drive home from this morning's appointment, the children chatter lightly in the background. The heaviness of things learned has not weighed on them as it has on me.  I am grateful for that.  It's important that they feel that everything is going to be OK even if I don't feel quite so sure.  Each breath I take catches in my throat as I feel responsibility and overwhelming obstacles start to creep up around me like water in a closed space. It is important to keep control. Relax the muscles in my face. Blink tears away quickly before they have the chance to overtake my countenance.  There may be a time for tears, but it is not here. Not now.  

I marvel at the other autism parents I know.  They seem so accustomed to doggedly pursuing what is best for their child.  Advocating is a part of their nature.  Already part of who they are. They don't seem tired. I don't see them crying their eyes out in frustration, grief, and exhaustion.  Maybe they got it out of their system at the beginning like I am. Maybe they just hide it well, but I find it hard to imagine a day when all of these appointments, obstacles, setbacks and fears don't cloud my brain and my eyes.  Where the mountains I feel I am going to need to climb just to help my beautiful baby boy attain the life he deserves don't seem so damn tall.

All I want is for my kid to sparkle. To shine and be happy. For his creativity and passion for science and color to come back.  Right now it has all been swallowed up by stress and pressure. By feeling different and not yet knowing that different is OK. By the fear of what certain kids are going to do to him at recess, and the seeming inability to tell us about what happens until much much later when he has had time to process. All I want is for my boy to know that he is OK. 

So I blink the tears back and try to answer my children's random and silly "what if" questions as if the "what if's" in my mind weren't so crushing.  It will be OK. It really will.  And maybe someday I'll have this "new normal" down a little better. Maybe I'll be able to encourage someone along the way. Someone who is right where I am today.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What It's Like

I know what it’s like to lose your mind.

I’ve done it nearly a thousand times,

Been lucky enough to get it back again

Just. In. Time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back Again

Funny how you say it matters,

But you can't tell me to whom.

I see how you try with your words,

But I'm too far gone.

 Funny how you say I'm enough

And can't answer for what.

Funny that you say I'm not alone

But where are you now?

 I hear you say there's hope,

But I still see only darkness.

I've ridden the highs, felt so low,

It comes and it goes

But it always comes back again.

 If I matter then please tell me why?

If I'm enough then for what?

If there's hope then why do I see myself

Always coming back around,

Back down to here.

Its too much pain,

more than I can bear.

I don't want to sign up

for another go round

I want off this crazy

merry go round.

You say it gets better

I hear you, it does,

But it never goes away

and I know it never will.

And it always comes back again.

Better without the drama

Better without the tears

Better without the yelling

And all the irrational fears

This world is better

Without the wounds

My Selfishness brings

Better without the pain

Of my kids with broken wings

Better without the heaviness

I just can't escape.

It always comes back again.

 Funny how you say it matters,

But you can't tell me to whom.

I see how you try with your words,

But I'm too far gone.

Funny how you say I'm enough

And can't answer for what.

Funny that you say I'm not alone

 But where are you now?

I hear you saying there's hope,

But I still see only darkness.

I've ridden the highs, felt so low,

It comes and it goes

 But it always comes back again.

The rain has stopped and peace has come

I look and find no rush to run

And so I stay inside this place

And rest my heart from its crazy pace

The highs so high, and lows so low

The waves so fast I never know

The days bring change I cannot see

But God gives me oars each time I need

To save me from the rolls and tides

To help me see why I'm alive

The highs so high, and lows so low

The waves so fast I never know

I do not love this journey wild

But I have three loves, each one my child

For them I'll bunker down and stay

And see how next my life will play

My heart is tired, body weak

But still I need to touch their cheeks

There's reason still to walk through pain

And pray for green to follow rain

To My Babies

  As I sit here with my nose in the computer, just after getting my nose out of my phone, I know that I am not being what you need right now.  I look around at the mess on the floor and I know I am not being who he needs right now either. And it breaks my heart.  But here's the thing. I'm trying to get back to you. To him.  I'm trying to escape the confines of this strange bubble I have found myself encased in.  A bubble that keeps me prisoner to myself. Watching. Waiting.

I didn't want you to learn about the broken world through my broken self, but here we are.  And I am sorry.  I ache for you, and want to run away to save you from me all at the same time, but I know that will only cause more wounds and brokenness. 

Today you saw ugliness I never wished for you to see. I don't really know who is to blame. All I knew to do was to tell you it would be ok. And it's not your fault. And it's ok to be scared.
Lost for Words
Time to sleep
All my demons
Will have to keep.