Posts Tagged ‘a mother’s love’

My bipolar boy.

March 30, 2016

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How fitting that today my husband and I will sit down with our sons doctor in hopes of some sort of game plan for the inevitable med change.
How fitting that yesterday I said to his pharmacist “I prefer to be proactive and I have to know how it will happen.”  when in the bipolar reality, we never know when, why and how things will happen.
And as mother, a mother who herself has to know plans and heaven forbid they change, the not knowing hangs like a dark cloud every moment of every day.

But today I am grateful as well.

I am grateful for my sons treatment from a young age. I am grateful for his learning and educating himself on an illness that never goes away, never will. I am grateful for his strength, for his compassion and his undeniable courage.
Most of all I’m grateful we’ve made it to 14.
We didn’t know we would.
We almost didn’t.
We don’t know how many birthdays we’ll mark on his calendar. We don’t know how many days we’ll have. We don’t even know how many moments of good we’ll have.
We don’t know.

For parents we sure don’t know much.

But what we do know is: we love him beyond measure. We will continue to fight tooth and nail to get another birthday. Another day. Another moment.
And every moment will be cherished.

Because we also know that our son has bipolar (and a gambit of others),  but he is so so much more.

He fills our lives with joy,love, laughter, frustration, heart ache and pain and we are proud.
He has taught us not only as parents, but as human beings. To see things a little bit different. To see things a little bit clearer. That the world is full of different. That the little things are actually big and that no matter how much darkness there is, there’s always a sliver of light.

We are proud.

And as we stumble through this whole parenting thing, we stumble a bit more parenting a bipolar child. But we will never fall. For we need to be standing strong when he does. We may stumble, but no we will not fall, we will catch our hero instead.

Because his life matters. Your life matters.
Because we will be his strength when his is lost. And we will always, always have hope.

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From caterpillar to butterfly.

August 18, 2015

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Just like that, those 8 seconds are gone. I’ve missed writing, but so enjoyed those moments of just being.

As my boy plugs through this life that so “kindly” cocoons at every corner he turns, I’m amazed often at how he works desperately to knock them off and fly.
His life is a constant caterpillar /butterfly effect. And that quite frankly sucks. But the beauty is so worth it. Those moments of anguish and pain are out weighed by those of pure and simple joy.

I look back 10 years ago, then 5, then 3, heck even that many months and I am amazed at where we are today.

Don’t get me wrong, bipolar definitely still lives here, anxiety and ptsd still reside in our walls, they’re not going anywhere. What amazes me is his acceptance, understanding and knowledge of each and how damn hard he works to overcome them. And how doing so has changed not only his life but ours.

For a 14 year old those things are astounding.
The fact that he can now tell us what he needs (to be left alone, a walk, to talk etc) depending on his mood has been a huge shift! The fact that he is able almost all the time to describe his moods (and if they’re just a bad day or cycles) is monumental in our world.

Often this summer I’ve watched him battle, literally you can see it on his face, to overcome and ultimately conquer things he would have easily avoided in the past.
It’s exhausting for him, and it’s heartbreaking for us to let him break those walls without being able to help. Wishing so bad that it could be easier, wishing so bad he could conquer the things that are so minimal to most, yet monumentus to him.
Watching the cautious steps he takes forward in his unsure steps makes my heart smile.

A lot of it has to do with having accepting and kind people around (even strangers!) while he’s taking them. The little words of encouragement from those who don’t even know our story, the family that just simply let’s him be until he figures it out , no pressure, and the people who actually make an effort to see past an illness that a) makes first moments sometimes a bit shaky and b)even when or if they don’t understand  they make no assumption or judgement based on an obviously big kid full of nerves they’ve never met but instead of an odd look they give a smile. And those that do know our story and don’t care, or do care enough to look past it, and realize there’s so much more to the kid than an illness.   His knocking those cocoons off isn’t nearly as difficult with you along the way.

But he continues to overcome the caterpillar and soar, and we’re proud. As so many parents are proud of the trophies and medals, we are proud of the simple things taken for granted.

Typically after the “butterfly” moment, we endure a week of the return of the “caterpillar”. But I will take all the caterpillars in the world for an hour with the butterfly!

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If I knew then, I’d do it all again.

September 27, 2014

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A conversation with a friend the other day, got me reflecting. We were discussing termination of pregnancy if you knew you would be having a special or high needs child. This is not a post for or against. But I answered honestly and adamantly that yes if I knew then what I know now, I would still have had my son, gladly and happily!
You see my son has bipolar, etc. But bipolar, etc is not my son.
Bipolar is one of those illnesses that greatly affect his personality, so in a way it is him.
And that’s fine with me!
I am open and honest about ALL things dealing with a child with high needs and mental illness is.  But I’m equally as open and honest about the good points, not just the bad.
So yes I would do it all again because my son is my son, my son and illness has brought me here. In 13 years I have grown and learned, and yes it would be lovely to not have to learn many things I have, the things I’ve learned so soon are so incredibly important. Words can not explain what we go through, but yes I would do it all again because it’s brought us…

1. Strength.  I’d be lying if I said there weren’t horrible, awful, exhausting, frustrating, heart breaking moments. And lots of them.  So many fears and private tears.  But I’ve learned I have an inner strength I didn’t know possible. That truly a mother’s love is like no other and can give you super hero powers.

2. Don’t stress the small stuff.  I’m a stress ball.  And this has been a life long fight for me.  I stressed about everything! Now I shrug my shoulders and sigh. Alot.  I often look at what others are stressed about and remind myself, that’s big in their life,  at this moment.  Because you see so much seems trivial, when you’re in the throws of crisis almost weekly. I’m slowly, very slowly learning about the big picture. And instead of stressing over the little things, that in 5 years won’t matter, I’m learning to breathe and remember this moment won’t last but that, a moment.

3. Grace. I’ve been on this journey a while now, and I’ve learned to be graceful. Not everyone understands. I’ve learned to debate, advocate and explain with grace and facts. With that combination I’ve seen doors open, understanding and cooperation.

4. Humour. If I can’t laugh, I’m lost.  Mostly at myself.  I screw up,  I fall down, I’m often high strung, on guard and exhausted. And more often than not if I laugh at my mistakes I’m better off.  The list is long,  and I’ve had to apologize and forgive myself tons.  But my humour makes me accept I’m also human.  Plus laughing is sometimes all you can do.

5. Compassion. I have always (I like to think) had a big heart. But let me tell you having a child with illness opens your heart more than you thought possible.  Judging others is almost non existent (almost, because we’re human and no matter what at some point we judge).  That homeless guy that others mock, say is a waste? I wonder what has led him here, and what can I do to help? That kid screaming in the store, that others will tell their parents to take out, spank or tell to shut up? I will ask if everything is OK, can I help? And so on. I find myself judging those who judge now the most. If you’re not them, don’t think you know or know better.

6. Open eyes. So often we don’t have our eyes fully open to others and their struggles. So often we close our eyes to reality. Mine are open. All the time.  I’m enjoying the little successes that are actually huge. I’m watching the little moments that I used to take for granted. I’m watching the pain, the suffering , but also the courage and love. I am more aware of friendships and family.  I’ve learned you truly never know when those eyes will close forever, so open them while you can!

My son is my hero  he is all of the above and more. He is empathetic to a fault, caring, kind, smart, courteous and by far the best son I could have asked for.
And if you’re one of the lucky one’s you’ll get to see that twinkle in his eye.
And that twinkle says it all.