Remembrance

I forgot why I write here.

I had to take a break, because it didn’t feel worth it. I thought I wanted a blog to share a message, to earn a paycheck, to be successful at something for once. I thought I wanted those things.

Turns out I don’t need those things from this blog. I write because every time I do it a little piece of me comes back to life. Dead things rise again when I write. They come to life not because I’m some great writer, but because by expressing them I am set free.

I think this is something that we as humans need. To do something just because it sets us free. It makes us truly alive. Therefore, it has value regardless of whether its popular, appealing or earns us a paycheck.

I forgot all of that.

I’m glad I remembered it again.

Candidly,

Ash

No Emergency Exit Here

I wish I had something insightful to say. I wish I could cull something deep and meaningful to the surface.

I do not have insight.

Today, I sat on my bed staring out the window in a haze of apathy. On the same window, I noticed a sticker that says “For Emergency Exit”. It basically tells how to open the window.

I was struck by the words, because I have wanted to exit life. Life has felt like a plane dive-bombing due to lost engines – full emergency mode.

But there are no emergency exits here.

So my insight today is that life sucks. Things feel bleak. I suppose this is depression.

Hello, old friend.

Candidly,

Ash

Sweet, Sacred Moments

“Bzzzzz” I made the sound of the bee while zooming my finger around in the air. A giggle erupted from underneath the blanket.

“Bzzzzz” I continued to the sound of more giggles. Finally, the bee came to land on the pile of blankets causing an eruption of laughter from the little soul within.

Sweet, sacred moments.

Later, my husband knocked on the door two hours early in coming home. As he entered, all five of us trailed him with delighted smiles, while he walked to put his things away in the bedroom. His answering smile told me he felt loved by our response to his early arrival.

Sweet, sacred moments.

Tears crested my eyes as I left the message on the nurse’s voicemail. My voice cracked as I listed our call back number. My son was out-of-control at school and they were worried he would injure himself.

“What do we do?” I said to the air after ending the call. “He can’t live like this.” I cried and wept to the still room around me.

Sweet, sacred moments.

The beauty in life is feeling all of the moments, not just a few. It is so hard to feel the pain. It is worth it, because then I can feel the joy too.

Candidly,

Ash

When My Strength Fails

The phone rings. Again. It’s the doctor, the really kind doctor. The one who calls you instead of assigning the task to his nurse.

He wants to increase the medications. Again.

I ponder how much longer it will take to reach the maximum dose.

Because I know the medication isn’t enough.

I know that modern medicine has failed my son. I know our only hope lies in a specialized facility.

Because I know…

I am sad. I am tearful. I feel lost. I feel powerless.

Powerless. Such a small word for such a large feeling.

This is the part where I choose to believe in a higher power. Not because I’m certain God exists or that He will intervene. I choose to believe because its my only option. Some people say God is a crutch for the weak.

I’m here to say – I am weak.

I need there to be a God. I need that God to be loving. I need to believe that…

Just so I can go on.

Candidly,

Ash

P. S. “The Lord is good to those who wait on Him. It is good to wait  for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26

 

Disorganized Memories

Yesterday, I tried writing about a time in our lives when our finances were a huge mess. We lost our house, moved to a tiny apartment and started over. Yet, I struggled to summon memories from this time in my life.

That’s when it occurred to me that I have some unprocessed pain. My brain is clearly trying to protect me from the pain of remembering, but what if I don’t want to be protected anymore? What if I want to explore this and learn from it, process it? How do I break through to the memories?

I think part of the process is just recognizing that the block is there, keeping me from something. It’s frustrating though, because I want to wade through this in an organized manner. I want to get to the other side of it and see the lessons learned, the final outcome.

Life’s troubles aren’t processed that way though.

They come in patches and glimpses, minutiae and pieces. Our job is to sit with each little thing and work through it until the next thing comes.

Man, that sucks.

Candidly,

Ash

The Mountain Range I Travel

I’ve been thinking about autism a lot lately – how its talked about, it’s symbols. Specifically, the puzzle piece comes to mind.

I remember when the puzzle pieces seemed meaningful. I remember when I thought this disease was like a puzzle.

In a lot of ways, the analogy fits. Everything we have tried to help ease the effects of autism claimed to be the missing piece – the one piece that would make the puzzle whole.

I’ve come to learn that autism isn’t like a puzzle and there is no missing piece. Autism is most like a series of mountains. You climb up one side only to slide at light speed down the other side.

Into the valley.

People, guides, come into your life for one mountain, but not another. No technique, no skill seems to work twice. Every hurtle is a mountain. There is no runner’s form to prepare you for each coming uphill battle.

Perhaps the only way to survive is to adopt a posture of serenity and responsiveness. I imagine myself centering after each bump in the road, not engaging with the battle, but stepping outside of it.

The truth is that I have the ability to press pause while the battle rages. I can climb the hill and overlook the scene. I don’t engage in every fight like it is my life on the line or at least I try.

Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe not.

It’s the way I’ve found to cope – to carry this grief. There is no missing piece for which to quest. This isn’t a puzzle that can be solved.

This is the mountain range I travel.

Candidly,

Ash

Honor the Girl Inside

I used to push through things. Difficult things. Easy things. Dwelling on problems or negatives didn’t solve anything. I had to keep going.

After my stay in the hospital that all changed. In therapy, I was able to recognize that part of the reason I wanted to end it all was that I had pushed through things too many times. I was living a life that I didn’t want.

For most of the time since then, going on four years, my goal has been to listen to myself and honor the things I feel. For several years, this meant waking up to suicidal thoughts, sharing them with my husband and him staying home or calling a friend to stay with me. It hasn’t been an easy road.

These days, I don’t wake with suicidal thoughts very often. I believe a steady practice of listening to myself has helped me create a life I want to live.

Like (probably) many people, I still have days when I wake up without motivation, not wanting to do the things the day requires of me. Today was one of those days. It has me walking around sad, consuming caffeine to feel strong and equipped for the next thing. It hurts to push myself, but maybe sometimes that is okay?

Harder than pushing myself is discovering what I need, because it feels incredibly like something is missing. So I go through the motions and I try to listen to the sway of my feelings, while still keeping up with the day. I find this to be infinitely harder than the pushing onward.

Honoring the girl inside.

THAT is the real struggle in these days.