An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Not Alone

Today has definitely been one of those moments in time that forces someone to look reality square in the face, as tangled and complicated and amazing and horrible as it can be, and make a choice.  A choice to grab on or let go.  A choice to run and hide or stay and fight.  A choice to step up or to go lie down and pull the covers over one’s head.  The irony of it all?  There is no wrong answer, not really.  At different points, and in different situations, all of those choices have a place and can actually be considered valuable and wise.  And even during the times when the best choice for the situation isn’t necessarily what’s chosen, it doesn’t automatically mean a wrong choice was made.

You need to rest (finished)Too tired to fight even though you know you should?  Don’t feel guilty about laying those boxing gloves down for a day or two.  The fight will still be there waiting for you when you are strong enough to pick them back up.

Too scared to let go?  Go ahead and grab on tight.  Just make sure you also get a strong hold on someone who loves you and whom you can trust to help you loosen your grip.

Too weary of the heartache or troubles and just want to pull up the covers and go back to bed?  That has its place and point in our lives too.  Just don’t let yourself make too cozy of a home there.  You will need to get back up soon.

A part of me has struggled with what choices I wanted to make as today rolled through with its array of challenges.  David has regressed back to a point I haven’t seen him at in years.  He struggles with using his words, stims almost constantly, mumbles and hums and squeals and speaks gibberish at least 80% of the time now, he’s running off more and more, his energy is through the roof, his attention span through the floor, and he keeps getting in people’s faces and is a struggle to get pulled back to a decent distance.  Add to that the fact that his brother is struggling too in his own ways (whining, fighting, getting physical, shortening attention span) and that my EDS, with the help of serious stress, has taken me down to almost passing out today and getting horribly ill, and you can start to see what’s unfolding here.

Don't Give upA part of me looks at all this and seriously just wants to give up, throw in the towel, say “sayonara!” and go dig out the fluffiest, most cuddle worthy blanket and my favorite book and just check out.

Another part of me though reminds myself that I don’t want that to be my story.  I don’t want that to be how this ends.  I don’t want to be the one that gave up with the intention of never looking back.  Do I need a break?  Oh for the love of all that’s good and merciful, YES!  But that’s all I need.  A break.  Some music here, a little reading there, a night of silence maybe while the children are finally sleeping?  But then it’s time to get back up, face the sunrise, and remind myself it’s a new day.

I can’t do this alone.  I can’t face all these struggles and challenges all by myself.  That’s just it though, no matter how I might feel while trudging through the mud at the bottom of this valley, I can still see those mountains.  And I can still see the river flowing strong and powerful alongside me.  I am NOT ALONE.  There are others on this road with me and some who have traveled it before me who are stretching out their hands with encouragement and advice to help see me through.

you-are-not-aloneMost importantly though, I am not alone because I have Him.  A loving God who really does care about me and understands my fears and weariness, but can also see that I have a future worth fighting for and so isn’t willing to let me just give up.  He has gotten me through so much already, and He has been blessing me and my family tremendously even in the midst of all this chaos.  I know I can trust Him.  He’s proven that to me far too many times, and on such deeply personal levels, for me to have any doubts left.  I don’t always know what lies ahead, or understand His plans and His actions, but I know that He is trustworthy.  Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to tie a knot at the end of the rope and hang on with a prayer.

If you are finding yourself trudging through the mud tonight, please know you are not alone either.  You are in good company my friend, and the mud won’t last forever.  I promise.  And if you need to stop and rest for a bit, please do so.  But get it in your head and heart now that you can’t stay there.  It’s just a rest so that you can keep going.

You’re not alone.

You can do this.

We can do this.

I can do this.



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