It’s taken me a very long time to become conscious of some of my own reactions and needs. Part of this has come about with maturing, awareness and the acquired art of self-reflection. The rest has come about with the sharp learning curve accompanied by the ride that is additional needs parenting. So often, the tree realises more about itself, when its apples fall. Slowly but surely, things become clearer.
I need quiet time to function. Time of nothingness. If I don’t get it, the coil inside me winds and winds until it one day, it unravels in a big ugly way. When I worked, it would be my lunchbreak. When the kids were small, during their naps. Even zoning out at the supermarket at night. Yes, dear husband, it can take 45 minutes to get bread and milk! There’s always a way, and unfortunately these days as it becomes harder to come by, it eats into sleep time. But at the time, late night time alone is far more valuable than sleep. I know I couldn’t nod off anyway; I’d only lie there with my whole day churning about before me in the dark.
I have sensory sensitivity, especially to noise. As the coil winds inside me, all noise becomes harder and harder to separate, filter or block out, creating cacophonic chaos in my head. Concentration becomes impossible and my sensory load becomes overwhelming. My temper becomes extremely short. I did not know this was unusual. Earlier on, those around me must have thought I was just ‘highly strung’, rude or difficult.
What happens with overload, is that my productivity slows, responsibilities pile up and I have to prioritise only those things that must be done until I can find that break. Parenting is harder this way- I don’t have the patience or consistency we all need to work well together. I say yes to things I normally wouldn’t, just for the sake of blessed peace!
Recently my son was sick and home with croup for the better part of a week. The poor thing coughed and coughed and though I felt sorry for him he whined all day and until very late too. From Monday night to Saturday morning we were barely apart except for his sister’s school and after school class runs. All that time, I was never alone. All those nights, I heard his incessant night coughing though he slept through. By the weekend, I had a near collapse. Migraine symptoms threatened.
Tomorrow I am doing something for myself. I’m returning to a (touch up) meditation course. After that I hope to do it more regularly. It’s so important to find some inner calm, be present, lose the irritation. I’ve been off my path for too long now and I’m so very pleased to have a way of finding some of the way back. I’ve been amazed at the difference it can make to decision making and mental clarity. I didn’t notice any change at first, but a little later it was there. I hope to introduce the kids to it as soon as I can.
Have you ever meditated? What do you do to find your way back to your path?
This post appears in a slightly edited version, over at Autism In Our Own Words today
I’m participating in #Blogvember with Stella Orbit’s Blog. I’ll blog every day in November for a festival of awesome randomness. Also doing Fat Mum Slim’s PhotoADay November. Come again!