Self-Care Tip #161 – Celebrate your insight, your choice, and your hope to be a friend to yourself.
I realize autism has taken over my life and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
When April said this, I jumped. The insight into her situation, the implication of her own ability to choose, the hope of what those potential choices might do for her and her children – all these leapt at me, so of course I jumped. Startled.
April was the parent of three lovely although autistic children. She was wiping her face. “I never cry. I’m usually really strong.”
And then she said those words. Her realization. I don’t know how much thought she had put behind them. She certainly didn’t have much time to self-actualize. Getting only a couple broken hours of sleep every night. Responding to complaints from the school. Springing towards her son every time he tried to hit himself in the head to stop him. April was busy. Mostly all that I had been able to do so far in our treatment together was help her kids via medication therapy. We were clearly still working on things in that department. She was willing to wait for us to make our slow way towards her children’s health, even though she was falling apart in the process.
Go low and slow.
Nothing like a cowgirl psychiatrist in the saddle. I try to keep my spurs off and make no more than one medication change at a time. Then, when something happens, negative or positive, we know what we are looking at. April’s children were taking their time getting to their therapeutic responses. But at least we hadn’t done more harm than good.
We had made the changes to our plan of care that we were going to make, and April was about to leave. She had just said what she said and my mouth was open. Unfortunately for April, I’m not consistently articulate.
And then she left, while I was still bouncing on the chair.
I don’t know if she’ll celebrate that marvelous epiphany. If she does, I know her kids will benefit. I’m confident about that. If she does what is not intuitive, that is self-care, she will still be able to do what is intuitive. Taking care of our kids is the most natural instinct. Wild dragons and other mythical or natural creatures could not keep us away from it. Now taking care of them well, however, is something that definitely is more likely to happen when we as parents are healthy, too.
For now I will celebrate this. April has insight. She has choice. She has hope.
Question: What has your life been about? Where is your choice and hope? Please tell me your story.
- Think About What You Have. The Season of Epiphany. (friendtoyourself.com)