There are very few people who understand how much it takes out of you to attempt autism recovery. For the last 4 years, I have completely forgotten who I am. I got lost in the maze of autism. I’ll be honest, I have let myself go. My name is Molly and I am an autism addict.
It all started with the lack of sleep. Annie did not begin sleeping through the night until she was 6 years old. This caused night-time food nibbling (of the donut variety) so that I had the energy to get up 8 times a night. Then, as my recovery plans were yo-yoing, I got more and more depressed. Which caused me to have a glass of wine every night just to “unwind.” Then, I stopped working out… I just didn’t have the energy anymore. As I felt worse and worse about my self-image, I eventually stopped getting properly dressed and putting on makeup every day. Yoga pants and hair in a pony tail became my standard uniform.
One day, I looked in the mirror and could hardly recognize myself. Where had the years gone? How did I go from a fairly stylish, successful career woman to a frumpy dumpy, autism obsessed mom?
So this year, my New Year’s resolution was to recover from recovery. To get back to the person I used to be. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. I am going to have a life outside of autism. During the last 4 years, I stopped doing so many of the things that used to bring me joy. I lost touch with friends, no longer had the desire/money to travel, could care less about shopping or going out to restaurants, and I lost my entrepreneurial spirit. Basically, all I wanted to do was sleep or research autism.
2012 is going to be the year I revive lost friendships, discover new passions, regain my self-esteem, and take time to do the things that bring me pleasure.
I don’t want anyone to think I am whining. Sure, I am having a bit of a “woe is me” moment. But the truth is, I’d do it all over again in a heart beat. I would live in a paper bag and smear dog poop in my hair if I had to. The net result of my last four years of effort and sacrifice is that I can now have a conversation with my daughter. Something that I once thought was inconceivable.
Nothing brings me more joy than recovering my daughter, so that will still be number one on my priority list. But, I am going to regain my sense of balance. I have gotten Annie to a good enough place where I can breathe again. So, I think it’s time for a new year, new me.
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