Since Friday’s post, when I didn’t think things could be worse, they got worse… to the point where Saturday made Friday’s post look like a minor throat clear.
The bad news: That sucked.
The good news: I got through it!
How? I focused on Stink’s appointment with the naturopath on Tuesday.
I also gave myself permission to feel annoyed by the sounds. In the past, I’d spend a lot of time thinking, “A good mom would not be so frustrated. It’s not like he can help it.”
This go-around, I am realizing that there is only one way to be at truly good mom. This kind of mother is the kind who realizes that she is not superwoman. She can do many things, but not all. For some people, constant sounds aren’t a big deal. For me, they are like kryptonite.
For those of you new at this Tourettes thing, here is something I wish someone had told me in the beginning of this journey 8 years ago.
Hi scared mama –
I’m sorry that you’re going through all this. I really am. But I can promise you, tics are like house guests. Just when you can’t take them anymore, they disappear. But don’t get too comfortable. Christmas is just around the corner, and this time, they’re bringing friends.
You can try a whole bunch of stuff to mitigate the sounds and twitches – Lord knows I did – but don’t fall for every scam out there. Talk to people. Join a group. Check out ACN. Find a great homeopathic doctor. Find a good psychiatrist for your child (or you if you need one!)
But most of all, remember to love your kid for who he or she is in their soul. Don’t get so caught up in the latest movement or sound that you forget the best movement and sounds of all – dancing and hugs, kisses and singing.
Your kid will likely outgrow this syndrome, but he will never outgrow needing to feel like he is the most important thing in the world to you, tics or not.
I know you’re scared. It’s normal. But I’m here, and I encourage you to leave a comment to let others know that you need help.
Also, don’t forget to do something nice for yourself every day to get a break from worrying. You don’t need to feel bad about it. Your child deserves a mom who is present. One who listens. And one who is totally accepting. If this means you need to take some time off for a walk to calm down, do it.
If it means you need to put in some ear plugs, do it. (Tell your kid you have a headache from traffic or work and it calms you down. They don’t need to know that one more beep-beep might send you over the edge.)
If it means you need to take three baths a day so that the only sound is the water slipping over your toes while you day-dream about hot Scottish Highlanders, do it! The people at DWP warning you about the drought? They can suck it. (And if your spouse is like mine and he doesn’t worry about the tics as much as you do, you can justify the extra water by taking his shower ration from him! Let him stink for a day. Your sanity is worth it.)
You can do this mama. Yes, you can! And your kid, tics or not, can be the most incredible kid on the planet, because he will be brave, strong, courageous and completely confident in who he is as a human being, not a ticker. Why? Because you raised him to believe that. DUH.
Hang in there. It gets better.
In closing, I’d like to say that a good friend of mine, Tuskany, inspired this post. Tuskany is snarky and opinionated at times with her comments which makes me laugh. She also knows when I need to hear truth.
Over dinner on Saturday – which consisted of just the two of us because YES I NEEDED A BREAK – she reminded me that I do a lot for my kids. She pointed out that I took a full-time job last year so my spouse could start his own I.T. biz. She listed the many times I step it up for Pip and for Stink, but what do I do for me? Last she checked, I was part of this family, too.
And you know what? She’s right. I don’t often think of that. But it’s true. While being there for others is not only part of my general make-up and faith walk, too much of it is not healthy.
“God doesn’t just care about works,” she reminded me. “He wants you to rest in Him.”
Is it really that easy? The more I thought of it, the more I decided that it is. “Do you love your kids more when they clean up their room, or when they wrap their arms around you and tell you how much you love them?” She asked me. “Of course, the second,” I told her. “Right,” she said, looking me straight in the eye. “As your parent, God wants the same from you.”
That, my friends, is liberating.
It got me really thinking about how “un-peaceful” I have felt the past year. I’ve been running and working and trying to be everything for everyone… so much so that I’ve forgotten who I am. The song American Honey states it best, “I got so caught up… in this crazy life… trying to be everything’ll make you lose your mind. I just want to go back in time… to American Honey.”
Honey is sweet and so is feeling grounded. I want that – whether the tics clear up for good after tomorrow or my kid’s syndrome gets so bad I need to drive him to a surgeon for deep brain stimulation. (Dramatic much? Me? Never.) Tuskany’s pep talk got me thinking: Where do I want to be this time next year in my career? Who do I want in my inner circle of friends? Who needs to get the boot? How do I want to raise my kids?
While I am not 100% sure what direction I will go, one thing is for sure: It’s time for less virtual life and more real life.
Blogs and articles are fine. Like books, they speak to me in a variety of ways. Hopefully I can speak into someone else’s life with my own blogs and articles. But Facebook? It’s gonna have to go. It brings me no peace. I compare and despair. It sucks the life out of me. For some, it’s a fun way to connect to family and friends. For me, it’s one sound byte away from me going into an anxiety attack.
I’m giving myself permission to check out Facebook one day/week only. But, based on the peace I feel right now, it might just go away altogether. I might not be able to fix the tics, but I can fix who I connect with.
Cool update: Since limiting my virtual addiction, I’ve seen three people in person for lunch, interviewed for a job today, and had more meaningful conversations with my mom than I’ve had in a year. With this in mind, I give Facebook:
What are you doing these days to be mindful? Share in the comment section below!
Until then, May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you can’t change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.