It can all change in just a second.
Our entire life and every single thing we think about it. It's ice cold frightening. Everything we thought we ever knew was wrong, or a lie- or even worse never existed.
The more we are given, the more can be taken away. Loving is a simultaneous pledge to risk the worst pain imaginable. Awful, gut-wrenching, puking, swollen eyes sobbing pain. But we still love, because it's bigger than any risk.
And pain burrows into every curve and corner of our being. And it takes up residence and space. It eats with us and sleeps with us. It drives with us and talks to us constantly. "You will never know normal again," it lies. And we believe it.
But we have to move on. We have to get over it.
You have to get over it.
Get over it. Your kid has autism. You had a shitty childhood. You're getting divorced. Your spouse cheated. Get over it.
No, no, no- not in a day or a week or any unreasonable fake it til you make it amount of time. There is no set amount of time you must give yourself. It depends on our specific story and what we look like on the inside. Grief is a house guest that must be entertained until it is ready to leave. It may take a month. Or a year. And that's not to say you may never hurt or feel that pain again, but it means you have agreed with yourself to move on.
To get over it.
And I've found you must walk over the hot coals, right down the middle of your pain. It demands to be acknowledged. You can't fake it. You must hurt and feel something die and beg for it not to be so. You must hit and feel the lows. It's awful, but there just isn't a way around it except for time.
The United States Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness...
Notice it does NOT say we all deserve happiness- like something that can just be delivered to us in a box. It says the pursuit of happiness. That means it's up to us- it's within our control. Happiness takes work- but it's the foundation to a meaningful life.
The other day I reread an old post I wrote four years ago- the first time I knew...just knew it was autism. And I talked myself out of that realization many times in the seven more months it took for him to be officially diagnosed. But this is the day... the awful day I knew it in my bones. I still shake thinking about that loneliness and fear that curled up with my while I sobbed on my bed. I wrote:
"Now I get down on my knees and ask I don't know who...God? The Universe? What is real? Who am I? Who is Greyson? What will his future look like? What about his life that I've already daydreamed into existence? Where did it go? His life, complete with many friends, school, sports, love....college, marriage and babies. I want him to have that life. He deserves that life and it just isn't fair. What dream will I dream instead?"
And I feel scared remembering exactly how it felt to FEEL like that and to think those things- every moment of every day. It was awful. And I am so grateful because it took me reading that to acknowledge- I DON'T FEEL THAT WAY ANYMORE. It's like I won the lottery and I got my soul back. Of course I have my days and my moments. Moments when the devil wakes me up at night and all I can think about is- "Who will take care of Greyson and Parker when I die?" But I have moved past that initial, awful grief. I've learned that it's best not to have specific expectations- for me or my boys. There is no parallel life where my children don't have autism. This sometimes painful life is EXACTLY the story we are all supposed to live.
I don't even remember how long it took to move past the gut-wrenching part. Maybe a year?
Sometimes grief stays well past it's welcome. You find yourself much later still having the same pain and thoughts. Then you must kick out this unwelcome guest. That doesn't mean you like what happened to you. That's doesn't mean it isn't real or it didn't affect you. It means you've made a pledge to GET OVER IT. If it's been years and you are still focusing on what isn't- it's time.
Get over it.
Life is not about what you get. It's not what you achieve. It's how you get over pain. How you find a way to live without what you wanted or with what was taken away.
When you cling to the past or to a life that doesn't even exist- it's impossible to live in the present.
It's time to forget. To move forward. Stop wishing for rewind or redo. We may not get the answer to "why me?" in this lifetime and we have to be ok with that.
Free yourself, truly free yourself so you can focus on the blessing still present in your life. They may not look like you imagined, but they are there. I promise.