It’s a hot enough topic talking about medications for our kids. But to discuss medications for ourselves — the parents — well, it’s a conversation we’d rather avoid.
Nonetheless, it’s something we must address. The stress level special needs parents experience on a daily basis is not the norm. It’s a far heavier load than the average parent bears. One study equates the stress levels of special needs moms to that of combat soldiers.
It’s that kind of stress that completely blindsided me.
I’ve always been independent, a hard worker. I believed there was nothing I couldn’t handle if I set my mind to it. With hard work and determination, I could accomplish anything.
Well, I was wrong.
When You’re Drowning in Stress
Dealing with autism increased my workload exponentially and took the “mommy guilt” to a whole new level.
- There was more driving–to therapy sessions and doctor appointments, to schools and social skills camps.
- There was more paperwork to file and keep track of.
- There were appointments to be made, phone calls to make, books to read, meetings to attend, and more to learn than I could possibly shake a stick at.
- There were diets and supplements to try, behavioral strategies to implement, schedules and charts to create, tokens to pass out, screens to monitor, sleep schedules to regulate, basic life skills to teach.
And there was very little support.
I was one of the lucky few blessed with supportive family and teachers. But I had few friends who understood what I was going through, and no one to talk to about the difficulty of managing my day to day.
It felt like drowning.
I loved my child–all my children. But I was so depleted emotionally, physically, and spiritually that I had trouble expressing anything other than frustration, anger, and sadness.
It was time for some intervention.