Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When the dust settles, then what?

It's the strangest feeling but I've never felt so bad in all my life. Not that I'm depressed because I’m really not; I really don't get depressed, actually. I know this because I’ve always had quite a bit to be depressed about but just never fell into that kind of hole. It’s a personality thing. If I felt bad about something, I would just become proactive and just fix what was making me feel bad in the first place. The best example of this is when I first learned that Meghan was autistic. Yes, of course it was upsetting, but instead of getting depressed or worse, going into denial, I was determined to make it all right. For her and for me. My mission was to fix her. I know that sounds ridiculous. How can I fix my child of her developmental disorder? But that is what I was going to do. Perhaps it was just my way of dealing with her diagnosis. I don’t know, but I thought that every scientist that was being paid to work toward helping “cure” autism (and very little because very little money was designated to autism at the time) that they were not as motivated as I was to cure the disability. I thought, give me a scientist who had an autistic child of their own and who was as committed to curing autism as I was at that very moment. And as far as I was concerned, the clock was ticking—she was three and I thought that I only had four more years to cure her. I know that you're thinking, “crazy,” but that is what I thought at the time. How arrogant right? Well no. In one of the many books that I’d read, one was “Let Me Hear Your Voice.” It was about a mother (just like me) who was determined to “cure” her daughter and did—as far as she was concerned. The only difference between her and me was that she was much richer and could pay for the same resource that I had to fight for from my local school system. But I do remember thinking that money would not stand in my way… and so was the journey of fighting for the future of my daugther—getting the best neurologists, phsychologists, ABA teachers, therapists, etc …

And if that wasn’t enough for me, my son was next on the "just diagnosed of a major development disorder" list. But I got mad, not depressed.

And when I knew that I needed a break from autism and all of its venom, I would take that break and either go on vacation—to recharge, or go to work.

My point here is that I would always be so charged up and determined to get out and do something—anything. The excitement of life was still alive and strong, even though I was living with two very real reasons to shut down and take cover. I was on the path of discovery and learning and challenging myself everyday. And I wouldn’t do it in a small way either. One day I was writing a book, yes, I had it in my mind and was determined to write a book (still working on it by the way) but I was in a slump; so, I remembered what an old college professor had once written, that when he had writers’ block he would write poetry. So, I started a fresh Microsoft word page and began to write a poem—and within seconds, literally, I had a much-needed-to-be-released poem with tears pouring down my face. I was not only amazed at what was coming out, but I was hooked because if made me feel so much better. It was the therapy that I, apparently, had needed but was too cheap to pay for the professional kind. One poem led to another and soon I had a small book of poetry. But I didn’t stop there. Nope. I needed more. So I contacted my old poetry college professor and told him about my new found love and need. The next thing I knew I was attending his readings, lectures, forums, and book signings—and wanted to have an affair with him, too, but let’s not go there (that’s a whole other psychological matter and post). Then he hooked me up to an old poetry tutor of his from France (she was from France, I didn’t go to France) and I was getting private tutoring. The goal: release a book or start a magazine. Neither was accomplished.

I guess that best way to describe that scenario was the old saying: this too shall pass.

See a trend here? Personality problem?

At the time I called it personal growth and development. And I did the same thing in the two business ideas that I was determined to start, developed and make successful. I just didn’t do things too small, I went full speed ahead and went for the gold, but settled for the bronze.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that now things are moving in all the right directions … personally and, to a very small degree, professionally--I like being a freelance reporter and when the economy is good, again, then I'm sure I will be happy doing just that. But in the meantime, I've got to find a way to get back my zest for life and that familiar zing for personal growth.

What happened to me? Do I just thrive on complexity? Maybe I'm just one of those people that need to be overwhelmed and overworked in order to see straight. I think so. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m turning 42 next month. I just don’t know.

But my spell-check is not working, so that's interesting!!


Minxy Mimi said...

I am a bit like you are...I jump feel first into things in order to solve, get ALL the information out there on and deal with things. Sounds like you have a good attitude to me!

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

"Maybe I'm just one of those people who need to be overwhelmed and overworked in order to see straight." Just one more area in which I totally identify with you. And the poetry writing. It's such a great outlet.