As the day has gone on, my stress level has steadily increased. The boys are in bed and sleeping. They need their rest after a long day. Lizze and I are watching Jack Ryan on Amazon but I think I’m done for the night.
My stress level is at a point where my left eye has been twitching so much that I have a tension headache.
I’m overwhelmed, worried and have way too much on my plate at the moment. When I get to this point, my ability to cope is severely impaired. This is when I can feel the out stretched arms of depression reaching out for me.
I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like on most days I can keep my depression at bay. When I have the resources available to keep myself righted and moving forward, things are okay for me. When life chews into too many of my available resources, I can’t effectively cope.
That’s pretty much where I am tonight.
I know tomorrow is a new day and I’m clinging to that for strength. Right now however, I battling thoughts of wanting to give up because it’s too hard to keep going.
It will be very important for me to go walking tomorrow be a use the physical activity helps me to rain balanced.
Like I said, tomorrow is a new day and I’m remaining focused on the fact that things will get better. Things will get better.
I am in my late 60’s and my wife and my wife and I have a son with Autism who is in his mid 30’s. He lives at home with us. So to Rob I would like to say that parental depression is something that comes attached to autism. When you think about it, how could you not have periods of depression and how could it not become part of your life when you have a child who has autism. How could you not feel depressed knowing and experiencing the pain of having to watch your child trying to make his way in a world that isn’t always as open and beneficial to that child’s special needs. How could you not feel depressed at knowing that these children who you love more than yourself, who are so dependent on you and your wife will never be able to go out into the world and live on their own independently, even when you both as parents are no longer here to protect them. How could you not feel moods of depression when you have all these things plus so much more that you have to deal with that other parents do not. Yes, there are parent’s with children with other problems, both physical and mental as well as substance addiction and they also go through periods of depression and hopelessness. But we are parents who are dealing with one of most painful and often terrifying situation a parent could face. We have to wake up every morning (if we are able to sleep) to the realization that there are no 100% cure all for this thing called autism that has captured and disabled these children that we love more than anything in this world. We travel from doctor to doctor, often great distances, seeking even a sliver of hope that there will be some new astounding treatment that will somehow rewrite the neurological brain system and give our children a chance at a normal, independent life. There are
financial problems, behavior problems, school problems, bullying, etc. It goes on and on. Parents of no autistic children have no idea the mental and physical strain, the fear and the uncertainty that we go through everyday. So what I’m trying to say Rob is how could you not have periods of depression. Depression can be lifted when their is resolution to a certain problem or situation. Our situation comes with no resolutions. But it does come with the fact that we as parents of those we care for and love are our children and no what, no matter how low their situation brings us into deep depression, somewhere, somehow, we have to keep digging down and coming up with the strength to look at them and know that this is the hand we have been dealt. And this is my family and keep on pushing forward. Yes we are tired from lack of sleep (I’ve been for over 30 yrs), yes we are fearful of what the future may hold but science and medicine are advancing in ways we have never seen and there are some scientist who have developed some interesting treatments that have changed the
neurology of mice with autistic like symptoms which they hope will someday be able to work on humans. Rob, I’ve been reading your blog for the past few years and I am glad that I happened to stumble across it. I have the utmost respect for you and your wife and all that you have and are going through. Don’t give up on yourself. I’ve gone through what you have gone through but recognize that you are going through 3X what I have to deal with and that makes me have that much more respect for you and your wife and your family. I still go through depression at times but I think all these many years having to deal with my oldest son’s autism have seemed to insulate me against certain things but I am still open to periods of sadness and depression when certain situations arise. I have accepted that as long as I am on this earth, this is the cards that fate has dealt my wife and I and somehow I always have be the mythical phoenix bird and rise from the ashes to handle whatever comes our way.
That just about somes up my life with my son. On a bad day. The walking bit too !