Believe in yourself.
Remember that you’ve made it so far.
Through all of the days and moments that you really didn’t think you would get through. Here you are. You’ve heard the words. The diagnosis. You’ve cried the tears. You’ve stared at the wall praying for answers and a crystal ball. You’ve blamed yourself. You’ve angered at yourself, vowed to try harder, do better, be a better person. Change all of the things that you can’t change just to make it all ok. But here’s the thing.
It is ok. It’s different but it’s ok.
It seems scary right now but it’s ok. And you’re ok. Sit with the fear, the hurt, talk about it with others, professionals, to yourself. Make sense of it. Grieve. Yep, grieve the life you thought you would have. It doesn’t mean that you love your child any less. It means you are human. There will be times down the track when it will rear its head again, the sword of diagnosis will be long buried and you won’t expect it. That’s ok. Acknowledge it. And there will be times when, my God, there will be times, when it’s all just too much. Brain overload, physical exhaustion, emotional burn out, but that will pass. Promise. Learn to climb the mountains and then leave them where they stand instead of carrying them with you (it took me a good few years to learn this and those mountains were bloody heavy at times!) Learn to compartmentalise things. Jack’s eating went crazy last year and I was so worried, the stress almost burnt me out. It’s gone the same way this year and instead of stressing about it I’m saying ok, we’ve been here before, we’ve come out the other side but I’m just going to make a mental note to review it in so many weeks. And move on. There will always be something (he’s having difficulty swallowing this week) and it’s how you deal with it that determines how you weather that storm. Pop on a rain coat and walk on and it’s cool. Stand there in your underwear and you will really feel it! Ride the storms on the wings of your love for your child. It’s amazing what you can, and do, endure for them. When you come out the other side (you will!) the strength and empowerment you will feel will astound you. When I look back at a situation we went through last year I am so damn proud of myself. It was an awful moment and I wouldn’t have wished it on my worst enemy, but I thought about what I was fighting for and I discovered a strength and a skin I didn’t know I had. Life for Jack is the complete opposite of what it was 12 moths ago and I’m so proud that, even though it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I made that happen for him. It’s in all of us when it comes to our children.
The shit will be worth it. Remember that.