our journey of hope and healing through autism

I’m not okay… and it’s okay.

Photo by Becky Noblet

I’m not okay, and maybe for the first time ever, I’m okay with that.   For much of the past 3 years,  I was stalked by a tiger- a massive, menacing tiger, that threatened to swallow all of my peace, my hopes, dreams, and any chance for normalcy for my child and family.   The sleep deprivation, the unpredictable violent tantrums, the heartbreaking isolation I saw my daughter experience…  In public, I held my head up high during all of those things.  I needed to have control over something.  All I had to control was my outward facade of being composed, when inwardly I was was wracked by grief and fear so sharp it took my breath away.

Now that Hannah’s autism symptoms have improved so dramatically (through diet, supplements and antifungal treatments for which I will be eternally grateful, as well as intense therapy, and lots of prayer), I’ve been feeling like I should be feeling better.  I’m actually getting a solid 8 hours of sleep most nights.  I should be on top of the world with that much sleep- especially after the years that Hannah spent screaming for hours during the night most nights.

The truth is, I’m not.  I don’t feel great.  I wake up tired.   On Sunday I told a friend, and she said “It’s just being a mom”.  I’m proud of myself, because I was honest, and respectfully said that it wasn’t just that.  I know what regular mom tired is, and this isn’t it.  I think sometimes, because I put a best-foot-forward face on what is it to be an autism mom, my friends forget (or never knew) what I have been through in the past few years.  And what I am still going through, to help Hannah make the tremendous progress she is making.

It could be that my thyroid levels are not quite right.   I had some routine blood work done after a physical, and the initial testing is indicating that my thyroid is off.  The normal range is 2-6 for TSH, and mine was at 5.8.  But I think it could be more than that.  Another friend and I talked about adrenal fatigue, and the concept describes perfectly how I feel.  The idea of adrenal fatigue is that with prolonged stress, the adrenal glands start to under perform.  You can read a list of some of the classic symptoms here.

Bless my friends heart, she brought over a book, and some supplements to try.

So, for the first time in at least 3 years, I’ve been taking it a bit easier, instead of driving myself to push through exhaustion, I let myself take it easy now and then.  If I have a less productive day, I try to keep my inner voice kind, rather than critical.  I’m not pushing myself every day of summer to take the kids on great outings to compensate for not having money to go to impressive places.  Sometimes, it really is okay to just relax.  Nathan-bless him- had been letting me sleep in (before he got a concussion about a week ago).  So, I’m starting to feel a bit better, and get back to eating healthier.  I’ve been wanting to get back to running, to enjoy the two months of good weather we have before winter.  The past few mornings, I’ve taken Evan and Sarah on a bike ride, and ran while they pedaled.   It’s felt great, in that out-of-breath, out-of-shape sort of way.  🙂  It’s interesting to be at an age and a time in my life where taking care of my self, for the sake of me and my health is a higher priority.  It feels odd- since I’ve always been pretty healthy, without having to do a lot to be healthy, but I think it’s  good for me to remember how to invest in myself a bit.  🙂   Here’s to feeling better soon!


7 comments on “I’m not okay… and it’s okay.

  1. Dawn
    August 9, 2013

    I am so glad to hear that. It is good, in my opinion, to give up the need to do it all. You do so much. You deserve to cut yourself some slack. Bless you!!

  2. Donna J. Dingwall
    August 9, 2013

    I may not have had an autistic child as severely as you do, let me just say that I do understand. In so many ways our lives have been paralleled. I am just a few years ahead of you with it all being 52 and now my child is 21. I praise you for taking the time for yourself and taking it easy. This is soooo important. I person can’t continue to run the way you have and putting on that ‘face’. Running physically, on the other hand….kudos to you Becky. You GO!! Here’s to feeling better for yourself and then your family.

  3. P.Toor
    September 27, 2013

    Becky, this is great!! I am so delighted to be reading this, it really warms my heart that you are investing in yourself.

    • holdingtomorrow
      September 28, 2013

      🙂 I’m glad you stopped by the blog. I’ve been thinking about you! Hannah was sick, then I was sick, but we’d love to figure out a time for you to come visit soon!

  4. P.Toor
    September 29, 2013

    Yes please! I have a paper due Monday and I work Tuesday night at the physiotherapy center. Any other evening during this week will work. This Wednesday and Friday, I am available all day. Feel free to email me with your availability! 🙂

  5. Heather Bergevin
    October 7, 2013

    I have issues with thyroid, too, and was interested to find out that the “regular” options /chemical solutions didn’t work as well for me, and also that, from stress or the other illnesses we’re working with in our home, the concept of “in the normal range” on the tests done’st describe what happens to me, either. For example, switching from synthroid to armour made a big difference, but they weren’t giving me enough. My hair was shedding out….and it was close to enough to a pregnancy that I was getting a lot of Oh, that’s normal.” It was so frustrating. Finally, I realized I had to listen to the Spirit instead of just the doctors (which is how we’d found armour in the first place.) I started, on my own, taking a slight amount more… lo and behold, my hair loss ceased immediately. Then I went in to the doctor and explained what I had done and the results. She agreed that she had been hasty, since my tests said I was in the “right range” on the dose I had been on before, and immediately upped my dose to the one I had found worked for my body. Between that and taking vitamin D at night instead of in the morning, I’m almost feeling like a human again. Which is good, because in order to process grief, in my opinion, you have to be able to take care of yourself physically to be able to made the spiritual decisions for your family that have to be made 🙂 That, and it’s so good to not be quite as exhausted all the time…. well, mostly.

    • holdingtomorrow
      October 7, 2013

      Hi Heather-
      I’m so glad you’ve shared that with me. I go in for retesting of TSH, and first time testing of T3, and T4 in two days. I’m mentally preparing what I’ll say to the doctor if everything comes back “normal”, since I’m pretty sure everything isn’t quite right. I find I feel better when I’m eating paleo diet style, and have gotten back to doing that and it’s helping, but I think it’s just part of the solution for me. I’ll try the Vitamin D at night, too. I think I have a lot I could learn from you. 🙂 -Becky

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This entry was posted on August 8, 2013 by in autism, feelings, grieving, hard things, What's Up Lately.
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