Noah has been in a funk lately. And in turn, so have I. Maybe it was us leaving him for a week. Or maybe it’s the full moon. Or maybe there is no rhyme or reason to the ups and downs of this journey. But I will tell you one thing with all honesty, riding these waves is exhausting. At times, even debilitating.
When these changes in Noah happen, I immediately go into panic mode. Did we change any supplements? Did he eat too much gluten? Was it a, b, c or 1, 2, 3 that caused this shift.
And I also worry if he’s acting this way is something more serious wrong? Is he sick or hurt? Being that Noah is completely nonverbal, he can’t tell me or show me what’s wrong. Ever. He’s four and a half now. He’s just getting older, and his emotions are getting more intense as his frustrations are growing stronger.
And so we all feel it. We all feel the shift. It almost feels it happens overnight. It’s that’s sudden. And so we make changes and accommodate where we can, but most of all we pray. We pray it’s not forever, and that it will get better. Get just a tad bit easier again, and soon.
Adam said something to me so profound the other day. And I think it has changed me and my way of thinking when these moments arise from here on out... “how do we know if we’re riding the wave, or we’re just creating the wave?”
I’ll admit as soon as I see a sudden change in Noah, or something that was gone is back, I will tweak his supplements. I’ll think perhaps we’re missing something. I haven’t created the “perfect cocktail” yet. So I mess with that, and I deal with all the stress that comes with it.
And then I research, and research some more. And reach out to friends and ask them questions. I dive deep to see if there’s something, anything I can do to bring us all relief from Noah’s mood.
I get so consumed by anxious and worrisome thoughts. It literally depletes me. Each and every single time.
Noah is living with anxiety, and I’m living it right along beside him.
I’ve realized I am continuously going through waves of grief and acceptance during these times. That I’m just as intense and emotional as Noah. But just when I feel I’m at my breaking point, he’s back. Just like that. He will be happy, and calm. And when I walk into another room in the house he won’t scream -- but me, I’m still on edge. I'm still waiting for the protests and screams from the day before.
But then they won’t happen. We’ll be on a good streak for weeks, and just as soon as I get comfortable with our new norm — boom he’s back to being so frustrated with everything.
It's the never ending waves of autism, and I just wish I wasn’t so shocked every time it happened. I wish I didn’t plummet. This is how it has been for four years now. I should know, and do better and be stronger. I wish I were at times.
And for someone who feeds off other people’s emotions — like anxiety, I have to do something about it. Because these waves are inevitable, at least for us. So we’re working on accepting this is our autism. It’s always going to be one step forward followed by two steps back. And there is nothing we can really do about it.
Perhaps I myself just need to take a step back, and let things unfold as they should. I need to not ride these waves so much with Noah. That’s the real lesson for me to learn here.
And while getting out in that water and hitting those waves is your reason... sometimes sitting back and just watching the waves crash, is just as important.