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Parents, It’s Ok To Ask For Help

How do you ask for help when you’re the parent of an intense child?

Ten years ago I thought I would die.

Not figure-of-speech “OMG that’s mortifying” die but the one where I actually lose my life.

See, life was plugging along nicely as a nationally recognized Speech Language Pathologist in the world of Autism, a competitive women’s rower, and renter of a 1-bedroom apartment with floor to ceiling living room windows only four blocks from the Pacific Ocean.

Overnight, however, my identity changed — again, I mean this literally.

Without knowing the reason why, sickness erupted in the form of around the clock fevers and debilitating stomach pain that allowed me to consume only two foods.  White rice and green vegetable powder. This lasted three years.

I moved back to Minnesota so I could be near family to help take care of me.  I wore a scarf around my neck even in 80-degree heat because I was constantly cold and sick, and felt I needed to shield my skin from air.

You know what it’s like to have your entire identity shift overnight because you’re a parent.

Not just any parent, but one who is raising an intense child.

At the very least, your child is strong-willed or “spirited.”  As we move along the intensity spectrum it’s possible that your child has Sensory Processing Disorder, or Autism, or ADHD and the anxiety, oppositional defiance, and behavior issues that commonly accompany this personality type.

Your identity changed from someone content with life to a parent who doesn’t like life.
Your hope dies.
Your other parent friends don’t understand.  

You play past memories over and over in your mind, wondering if the future will hold happy events or the same drudgery of today.

It’s ok to be in the space that you are right now.  It’s ok to be real and struggle. You don’t have to do what everyone recommends to fix the problems in your life.

But DO consider tapping into hope so that you keep striving.  Find a friend who understands.

This poem is for you…

Think of the future.
          But what of my past?
My struggles and hurts.  All the places I’m stuck.

These do not rule you.
You get to choose.
Happiness — or health — or love — or radiance.
It’s up to you.

Why am I here?
Should I just give up?

Choose to fight.  Have fortitude.
Overcome.
Choose hope and the future.

But I still have “today.”

Today, you’ve got this!
Yes you are here, and in a moment you’ll be there.  Each moment blending into the next.
Mix it with hope.
And the sparkle will come alive again in your heart.

After a decade of striving, and healing, and tapping into the wisdom of my body-mind-spirit I am returning to some of the ways I used to shine — nationally recognized as a helping guide to parents with intense children, and a competitive rower.

I believe in the power of vulnerability.
I believe in sharing our stories….the truth behind closed doors.
I believe people are “out there” to help us tap into wisdom and renewed hope, and answers that make life better.  

If you need a friend to talk to I’m here to help.
If you need someone who understands your story and won’t judge you or tell you it’s a “discipline problem” I can help.
Or, if you simply need to witness someone else overcoming their struggles so you have a beacon of light to aspire to, I hope to help.

Visit us at www.mad2glad.com for information on how to make parenting easier.

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