Thursday, January 8, 2009

Embarrassing but Necessary

If you have been reading lately - or any time over the past year - you know that not only have I been physically through a lot but struggling with depression. I have been seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants. All the necessary steps towards better mental health. Two months ago I started writing affirmations in an attempt to reprogram my thoughts and become positive. I also was given a wake up call by my oncologist. She told me, and I quote, "I don't know how to change your thinking." I admit I had stopped fighting and was accepting the prognosis of less than five years. Granted, I had just gone through open heart/lung surgery and chemo but this was deeper than that. This was constant thoughts of how much time I had left. I had pretty much given up on hope and settled on living the remaining time.
Now don't get me wrong -- I think living the remaining time is important. Incredibly important.
A series of events led me to read The Secret. I took to heart the passages about living a grateful life. I made a list of all that I was grateful. I told myself thank you every morning when I woke up. And I felt and still feel great. Positively joyous.
I also started meditating. Through the meditation, I began to think of more than the easy stuff to be grateful for. I started to think about the hard stuff. I began to think about all of those issues I have carried for years if not decades. I thought of fighting with my brother; sibling jealousy; rape; suicide; cancer; death; autism and every issue that I have faced in my 43 years. Old wounds that most people hide or don't talk about. How could I be grateful for those horrid and scary issues?
Through more meditation, I was able to come up with answers. Beyond the obvious if it hadn't for those issues, I wouldn't be here today kind of answer. I then wrote all those on a piece of paper and burned it. What a marvelous release!
Ever since that time, I have been fighting with myself to keep those thoughts of death out of my head. I have tried very hard to reprogram my mind for hope, health and healing. I am making progress. Those old worn tapes in my mind are starting to dwindle. Granted, I do have more stress today than before. But then again, I am less than a week from a trip to NYC and scans.
I had breakfast with my autism mom friends today. I talked all about my relevations - or my karma dharma phase as my daughter puts it. A good friend had trouble with the book because the book states that all that is bad that happens to you is brought to you due to your thoughts.
I believe that. She said how did that bring autism into her life. She really stumped me. Yes, I had thought about how I am grateful for autism but how had my negative thoughts brought autism to me.
That is when I realized my thoughts hadn't brought autism to me. Autism is a condition of my son. Most likely genetic - no different than a person's hair color. While I can't control the autism, I can control how I react to it and help him with it. I can work with him and send him positive thoughts, support and encouragment. I can do everything in my power to help him and put the rest in the hands of God and the Universe. I can also have hope. I can state my desires and intentions for his continued improvement and believe that God will provide. I did not give him this condition due to bad or negative thinking. I am giving up the guilt from this issue. I am not going to own that anymore.
You may be wondering about the title, embarrassing but necessary. I have been thinking of writing this blog for the past week. It is hard for me to write about all of those past issues - they are embarrassing. Yet it is necessary for me to write about it. It is like taking off a bandage - you need to pull it hard and get it over or the pain will linger. I have let linger far too long. By stating it publicly, I am letting it go.


Anonymous said...

WoW! What a difference. We are in process, aren't we? You are going to have a wonderful 2009. Me, too. My prayers are with you as you have your scans.

Nicole said...

My son's babysitter has a daughter who is in her late 30's. Her husband passed away several years ago and she has one teenager. She had dark circles under her eyes and hadn't been feeling well at all. Family urged her to go to the doctor. They found that she was pregnant with twins. When they did the sonogram they also discovered that she has cancer. So even though the daughter is not married, the family is grateful for the babies because otherwise the cancer might not have been detected. So when the babysitter told me all of this news it immediately brought to mind what you wrote about living a grateful life.

Marlo Ellsworth said...

Ok, that brought tears to my eyes. Throughout the years I have had a lot of "why me" moments with four on the spectrum. It wasn't until I started looking at it as a blessing that things really started to turn around. God must have thought that I could learn from this and do something productive. Autism has convinced me that I am stronger than I ever thought and miracles sometimes can come in the smallest of packages. I will never "get over" autism, no matter how much progress my children make I still think of what causes this; I guess the difference is I am past the point of feeling guilt over it. Glad to see you are there too!!! You are always in my thoughts and prayers!!