A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam

RECOVERING FROM RECOVERY ©

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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.

Copyright © 2012 [A Ventography!]. All Rights Reserved.

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Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.

10 thoughts on “RECOVERING FROM RECOVERY ©

  1. Pingback: We Have Come Such A Long Way |

    • Thank you so much for the kind words you said about us in your post. We feel the same way about you. We admire how hard you are fighting for your son, your family, and your marriage. We are so glad you’re making a vow not to forget about yourself in the process. Meeting moms like you is exactly the reason why we started our blog and website. We have not found many people who “get us” in our local autism community. It is so nice to connect with someone who has similar goals and beliefs. We are so glad we discovered your amazing blog. -L & M

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  2. I get it. Two years ago, I looked in the mirror and saw that I dropped everything for 13 years to recover our son, Zack. Now, Zack and I start every day walking. We walk for one hour after breakfast. Depending on the day, we will walk 2.5 -3 miles together. On a good day, he will walk the stadium stairs with me and on the other days, he will insist on walking the neighborhood streets 🙂 I let him pick the route but I insist that he walk with me. I tell him, “I must stay around to take you as far as God will allow. You sure don’t need a dead fat mom!”

    I have no regrets putting my son first but there came a time, when I slowed down and realized there was five in my family and priorities began to shift. The “full speed ahead” attitude was very necessary in the early years. It brought Zack to the point of me being able to handle him, (without drugs 🙂 I too would do it all over again.

    But I am thrilled to be done with ABA, and darling tutors in and out of my house all day long. We did the whole 40 hours a week for 5 years. Tough. Tough on the whole family. Taking care of myself never entered my thoughts during those days. My focus was giving our son every opportunity we could.

    But the lessons learned are immeasurable. Who I am today hardly resembles who I was before autism came into our home. Not, that I was a bad person. I was a corporate working lady just like you Molly. Suits filled up my closet…now, I don’t have one suit! And that’s ok.

    God has a way of turning bad things into good things. Its unfortunate for us that it takes so long and that some days can be really hard. It would be terrible if any of us moms went through all that we have to go through and found ourselves not changed on the other end.

    Sooner or later, the tides shift and we are given the blessing of having time and room in our heads to even think about ourselves.

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    • I agree… I am such a different person now than who I was before autism came into our house (thank God). I love your point about not even having room in our heads to think about ourselves. That’s what it was like for me. It’s not like I made a conscious decision to put myself on the back burner and focus on Annie. I was in such a frenzy to help her (and make our family life better) that the years went by before I knew it. Keep up those walks with Zack! Thanks for reading and for your comments. Molly

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  3. You liked a post of mine today, and when I clicked on your blog, I realized, at different times, I have come across and read yours also.

    I am so sorry for what you have gone through, I pray, 2012 is THE YEAR you are able to fulfill your hearts desires. Reach out for help! I don’t know where you are in your battle with Autism, but, I can tell you, about a month ago, we added Super Enzymes, by Twin lab with each meal….. and Fish Oil…. HUGE DIFFERENCES (as well as reducing his meds down to about 1/4 of what they were.) IDK if maybe this will help, or if you’ve tried…. but, it has brought so much peace into our home…. I’ve even been able to shave my legs and work out more often lol

    Hugs sister!

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    • Thanks for your kind words.

      We realized after reading your comments we need to do a better job of sharing Brody and Annie’s story (from the beginning to now). Our kids have come a long way and we feel strongly this has to do with addressing their individual health issues and ABA. Glad to hear you’re having good results with enzymes and fish oil. We did too.

      Here’s to a great 2012!

      Stay tuned. L & M

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  4. Beautiful story of a Woman of Grace! Sent a prayer for you both;) I have found Brazilian Jiu Jit Su to be very effective. I shared your post on Unveiling Autism. Kindest Regards, SolutionSeeker

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    • Thank you for your prayer… that means so much to me. I will have to look into Jiu Jit Su. Thank you for sharing our post. We are following your blog. Love your pictures. We are fans of Julie Matthews too. From reading your blog it sounds like we share many beliefs in common. I too am a “solution seeker.” Molly

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  5. I so sympathize with you on this and wish you lots of luck keeping your resolve. Even though my daughter is not “recovered” it is not for lack of trying everything in the book and out of the book. My friend and I were just lamenting similarly yesterday after looking at yet another adult day program. Now our children are grown and yet it does not stop, not for one minute. Our careers, our physical selves, our families and friends all willingly sacrificed to the Autism gods…
    I highly recommend Tai Chi or Yoga and walking with friends or dogs!

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    • Thank you so much. It is nice to know that someone out there understands what I’m talking about! And thanks for the tip about yoga and Tai Chi. Leah and I just started yoga a few weeks ago. I really like it and I think I will be able to stick with it. Best of luck with the adult day program. Leah and I intend to work on getting more options for adults with special needs in our area (there is practically nothing available right now). Take care! Molly

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