I’m sitting here trying to figure out where I went wrong. A month ago I started this great new diet. The food was good, it helped me feel better, and I lost almost 20 pounds in three weeks. Three weeks ago I started writing on my novel and I was tearing it up in the best way. I wrote almost seven thousand words in four days. I made it through Halloween with all the candy and BamBam disappearing in the dark street for a few minutes. We found him and everything was fine. I was fine.
Then the boys got sick. And I stopped writing. And I faltered on the diet. And I forgot to take my anti-depressant for three days (not consecutive, but still). And I had a fight with a close friend on Facebook that it turns out she didn’t even know we were having. And I had a nervous breakdown in front of our ABA program manager. And I smell like cigarettes, but I don’t even smoke and that’s making me crazy. And if I have to have another fucking conversation about a zoo my head is going to explode. And I keep allowing myself to become hypoglycemic and shaky. And I don’t want to write anything, anything at all. And I don’t want to read anything, either, which is what made me realize how depressed I really am.
A woman I know had surgery to remove a brain tumor on Tuesday. She’s been such a trooper and I’m amazed. She has such a great attitude and I’m falling apart. I’m falling apart and I have nothing real to complain about.
I have a wonderful, supportive husband. Our boys are both doing really well in school and in therapy. I now have time to myself without requiring a babysitter or even my husband to watch the kids. I have fabulous and supportive friends both in person and online.
Yet I’m depressed and frozen in place. It’s such a first world problem, right? I’m the one standing in my own way and I can’t figure out how to make me move my ass. Maybe I need a tiger to chase me. I was kidding about that, but it’s actually kind of true. I’m really good in a crisis. I’m very levelheaded and on task. I hate every second of it, but I get things done. For other people. But I freeze solid when I’m the one who needs something. Because I’m only comfortable on the back burner. My issues can wait. They always can.
Except now they are getting in the way of front burner issues. Like potty training. I realized during my meltdown with our ABA PM that I’m part of the problem there. I’m resisting being consistent about making Zoo Keeper go. Actually about making him wear underwear instead of pull-ups at home and making him try to go. Because it’s a fight every damn time and I’m tired of fighting.
Part of what he needs is to alleviate his constipation. We’ve done that several times by using Miralax in apple juice. But I’ve stopped making him do that because every fucking sip is an all out war and I’m not up to the fight.
His constipation would probably improve if his diet were better. I might even be able to muster the energy to fight that battle, but I would certainly lose at this point because I would have to fight it with his brother as well and god knows I’m not up for that. I’m also not up for the fight it would take to get them to take supplements. I found liquid calcium and B vitamins because BamBam won’t eat the gummy kind. Or the chalky kind. Or the liquid kind, as it turns out. I could hold him down and force it down his throat, but I’m not up for that every day either.
And, so, my sons will likely be malnourished into their teens unless I muster the strength to engage in a daily fight with them in the next few years. But I can’t even seem to fix my own diet for any reasonable length of time, so who am I to tell them how to eat anyway. I know, I know. I’m their mother and it’s my responsibility to do it. I just don’t know how. Or, rather, I know how, but I’m at a loss as to how to make myself do it.
Those are the major battles, but there are others as well. Zoo Keeper comes out of school every day raring for a fight. I get it; he’s had to hold himself together at school all day and he needs an outlet for that energy, so he spews it at me. But that takes a toll. As does his reluctance to do anything for himself. Like buckle his own seatbelt. Or put away his shoes. Or take his underwear upstairs to put in the hamper. I know it’s completely run of the mill to struggle with the underwear in the hamper thing, but at least they’d be in his room instead of the middle of the floor just inside the front door because he sheds them in favor of a pull-up as soon as he’s in the house. And there are toys on the floor all over the house. Sometimes I fight that one, but it always wears me down. And there are zoos on every flat surface. We try to restrict him to certain areas and that works for a while sometimes. But then they start to move to chairs and couches and eventually walkways and stairs and I just tire of the sound of my own voice in the argument.
And then there are the battles I’ve been fighting that were apparently pointless. I’ve been cutting the boys’ hair for more than three years. They fight me every damn time, which is why I generally allow their hair to grow much longer than I’d like. They scream and they squirm and they make it so hard. So very hard. And they end up with uneven hair that looks…well, like their deranged mother cut it. But I’m okay with that, except that I wanted their hair to look nice for family pictures we had taken a few weeks ago. So I asked friends for suggestions and then took them to a woman who specializes in cutting hair for kids with sensory issues. They both jumped up into the chair like pros and hardly moved as she snipped and buzzed their hair away and I looked on in astonishment. Zoo Keeper even let her wash his hair, which is a battle I assigned to Sparky long ago. So, apparently I’ve been beating my head against the wall every month or so for the last 36 months for NO REASON.
And those are just the battles I fight with the kids. What about me? What about my own health? I’m pretty sure I’m at least on the precipice of diabetes, so what about my own diet? I know what I need to do. I read the (recent diet) book; the science is sound and, what’s more, the diet worked. It made me feel better. I did feel better. But it takes a lot to cook good food on a regular basis and that’s energy I’m already lacking. And then there’s the fact that sugar is soothing. It just is. And my nerves are frayed, dude. I need a lot of soothing. I know it’s bad for me and my body feels better without it and there are a million reasons to resist it, but it’s a drug and I’m addicted to it. It’s hard to continually fight that battle, too.
So, when Sparky told me to go take a nap this afternoon because I looked so tired, I went upstairs. I didn’t nap, but I did think about the fact that he’s right. I am tired. So very tired. But I don’t think a nap’s going to cover it.